Such a loaded holiday. If you are reading this, then you are probably one of many who are struggling with this upcoming Mother's Day. You may be grieving the loss of your own mother. You may be struggling with wanting a better relationship with her. You may be called on to be celebrating as a mother to living children while remembering your nonliving children. You may be struggling with whether you are considered a mother when you have been unable to conceive at all. You may be wondering how to get through this holiday when the only children you have are no longer here to be mothered.
While many in our society won't be thinking of you and your aching arms and heart, know that there are many of us who have lost our innocence and will be thinking of you and our tragic predicaments.
If you've embraced the dream and cared for your potential child through your own body,You are a mother. If you've made heart wrenching decision to hold your child through their last breath, You are a mother.
If you've made the ultimate sacrifice to spare your baby a life of trauma, You are a mother.
If you've held a baby in your womb, never to meet him/her, You are a mother.
If you've know the sweet tenderness of a living child who is no longer here, You are a mother.
Motherhood is many things and mostly it's about love and for many, it's about unthinkable loss, a shattering of the heart and soul. You are not alone.
As you approach this Mother's Day, here are some things to consider to get you through. Do what resonates with you and ignore the rest. May you find some peace and comfort.
Follow the Love. Surround yourself only with loving and supportive beings. Don't waste your time with those who won't recognize the predicament that you face or who won't help you feel loved and cherished. If your own company is the most loving, then cherish yourself and your memories.
Create a Ritual. Rituals are a wonderful way to focus our memories and acknowledge what we are grieving and honoring. You can light a candle, give yourself space to remember, paint, journal, release balloons, butterflies, bubbles, create a real or imagined ceremony, decorate an item of your child's or make something using an object that you associate with your motherhood.
Ignore the "celebrations". It may be just too hard to venture out of your house. That's ok. Honor what you need and set boundaries with those who have different expectations. They are not in your shoes.
Write a letter. Letter writing is a powerful way to get in touch with your experience and move through it. You may address the letter to your own mother, yourself, or your living children or your deceased children. The point is to give yourself the freedom to express whatever is in your heart without the burden of other's reactions.
Accept yourself. Accepting where you are today is important. Give yourself time and space to feel sad, comfort, peace, anger, and whatever else is coming up. You may discover that you need extra support and allow yourself to recognize that and find it.