When Mother's Day Is Painful

Mother's Day is a worthy holiday, a chance to celebrate the women who have loved us and nurtured us. A day to show extra appreciation for the women who are our mother's - whether through birth, adoption, marriage or fostering. But it can also be a painful day to face for many people - the person who is desperately missing their mother who is no longer with them, the woman who has faced the death of her child, or the couple who are battling infertility.

On my very first Mother's Day, I did not have my children with me. I had birthed them and watched them be buried just four months previously. It was a torturous day, a painful reminder that I was a mother with no living children, but I so hoped for recognition and affirmation of my identity as a mother from other people. If you know someone who has lost a child, please reach out to them on Mother's Day and acknowledge this day as belonging to them, too. 

I remember shortly after William and Noah's birth, when Matt and I had to complete a myriad of paperwork in the blur of tears and sleep deprivation, I had to sign something, and right underneath lay the words, 'relationship to the deceased.' 

'The deceased,' - what a desolate way to describe my baby, my darling son. And I paused for a moment and wondered to myself if I could write down 'mother.' In the fog of grief, I was questioning whether I could claim that word as my own when I had no baby to nurture and protect. The doctor who was helping us, the kind and gentle woman who held my hand and showed us so much tenderness in those hours afterwards, she answered my question without me having to ask it.

She softly took the pen from my hand and wrote the word I'd be longing to hear, longing to see.

She wrote the word 'Mother.'

Wishing a peaceful Mother's Day to all those who find it difficult.


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