The Forgotten Mother on Mother’s Day
As Mother’s Day approaches, I see an abundance of commercials and shows to celebrate the one day of the year that is dedicated to mothers, and my heart aches for the forgotten mothers who dread this day. When I say forgotten mothers, I am speaking of those who had once shared their body and heart with a life that is no longer here to celebrate this day. A mother who just received a positive pregnancy test, only to miscarriage shortly after. A mother who experienced late pregnancy loss or stillbirth. Mothers who lost a child just shortly into their young lives. We hold these losses in our hearts today.
I have personally dealt with what feels like a gut punch over and over throughout my own journey. It is like no other pain in life. No story is the same, but I am sure you can relate in some way. Your loss is honored today by many…..those who have walked the painful path of losing the dream for the life of a child that was so badly wanted. Many who do not speak openly about their losses to everyone, but we exist. Whether you have given birth to more children, or are still in the process, you are and always will be a mother.
Mother’s Day is well-intended. It’s a day that was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official holiday in 1914 (https:www.history.com/topics/holiday/mothers-day). It is a day where children and family give flowers and gifts to celebrate their mother. But for you, this is the day you want to disappear and not get the sad looks from everyone. They may not know just what to say to comfort you. So, they say nothing or the very thing that upsets you. It’s just too much.
This time of the year is a reminder of your loss or struggle to become a mother. Your emotions are raw and tender. It hurts. While friends and family may have great intentions, they sometimes do not acknowledge your loss for how it is measured in your eyes. A life that was wanted and very real to you. This makes you a mother, no matter how far along in your pregnancy you were. In your heart, you know you are a mother.
For those who have successfully had additional children, there is a struggle for the ones you have lost. You do not want to seem ungrateful, but there is a void that when you look at your children and remember that there is a life that is missing. For a moment, your heart is sad. But you find a way to smile and not tell anyone what you are feeling. The void of that life lost in your heart.
You will get through it. You will find your way, and there are things that you can do to help. Honor the life you lost. Have you considered writing a letter or journal to express your loss? It is powerful. These are your private thoughts and a love letter to that life. Try it.
Find a place to go that is peaceful…..but not your bedroom under your covers. Get out and take a walk. Look up at the sun and feel the energy of the day and space that you are in. Be present.
Listen to music that is uplifting and healing. If you need to cry…..cry. It’s a release that your lost little one is deserving of. Some of the greatest breakthroughs come from music. I swear there is a song for everything. A song that says just what you are feeling that helps you know that someone else in the world gets it.
Who is your support system? These are the people in your life that understand your struggles. Your support system has been there for you in dark days and for the joys in life. They know who you are and where you’ve been. They will know how to comfort you and lift you from the low place you may be in during this time. If you have little support, I have written about when a great time to reach out to a therapist here.
Get yourself your own Mother’s Day gift. Treat yourself. Don’t go overboard now, but you get my message. You don’t have to explain it to anyone. It can be our little secret. You are a mother who deserves a gift of acknowledgment if it is meaningful to you.
My hope is for you not to be discouraged by this day. The loss will be forever in your heart. You had a unique bond that no one else could have with that life. Find a way to have joy for the moment in time that was just for you and that life. For those who are still trying, stay hopeful that you will soon celebrate this day with the baby that you are confident that you will one day hold. Today, we celebrate you…..you are not forgotten.