Archive for May 9th, 2019

When the calendar turns to May, grieving begins afresh for many.

There are numerous variations on this grief, but the reason is the same … it is the month when Mother’s Day is celebrated.

As valid and deserving as the celebrations and accolades are for most people, it is valid and deserving to equally acknowledge the white elephant of grief for so many especially this month.

My own first Mother’s Day was sorrowful. Four months earlier, at eighteen weeks gestation, our first pregnancy, our first child, ceased to live and grow within me. I remember that following Mother’s Day … I remember soldiering on, tight upper lip, continuing on as always … aching from the depths of my being, wanting to just be home, mourning alone and openly with hubby.

For others it will be the inability to conceive, the struggles toward adoption, living the solo life when you would rather create another human with a life-long partner. All of these sorrows originating in two opposing realities … you desire a child more than anything else and there seems to be no way around your present reality that it just isn’t happening.

It is a grief that is present every time you menstruate, see another who is pregnant, hear an announcement of a child born, get invited to a baby shower, hear moms complaining about their kids, see a child who looks like your child could look. It is a grief akin to constantly having a scab ripped off, blood gushing as though a new wound. It does not completely heal.

For others it will be the loss of a child. Though our losses (five of them) were in utero, I have no idea what it is like to lose your child, to have him or her die and be buried. At any age, we humans believe it is just not right for a parent to bury their child … it just goes against the lifeline … it is not how things should happen. Mother’s Day would be that reminder of what has been lost, again it would be that injury that never fully heals.

Then there are those whose child was adopted (with or against their will) and this has left a gapping void in their heart and life. Mother’s Day being the reminder of what could have been. To be a mother yet never a mom … to know that a part of your heart is out there, somewhere.

There are those whose relationship with their mother is strained. Of course this can go both ways, and it may be the mother who is isolated from her child by choices of one or the other. When apologies cannot be listened to (or even heard) there is loss, grief … thoughts of what if? why? and where did I go wrong haunting every day.

For many, Mother’s Day is the grief of the mental loss of their mom. Disease may have seemingly stolen their mom from them and a visit is no longer greeted with acknowledgement that mom remembers you. Each visit contains a wish to be known again. Longing for what was is deep and sorrowful.

For others, there is no longer any earthly means of communicating, of laughing together, of that warm mother-child embrace … for death has separated them. Photos can reignite memories and feelings, but

to love, laugh and
inhale the scent of love

are gone forever … and it just hurts.

Like David we cry out:

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?


The mother’s heart is an endless one … and it even exists for those who have never had a child address you as such.

To those who are grieving this Mother’s Day, it is okay to grieve. Like David, it is okay to lament, to say what we really mean (God knows it already). It is okay to mourn what is not, what will never be, what is gone. Then, like David, “trust in his unfailing love” (v. 5), for he is acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:5).


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