Saturday, May 11, 2013

On Supporting a Bereaved Mother on Mother's Day

An acquaintance of mine recently asked me how she can be there for her friend who has lost a baby on Mother's Day (what a great friend!) I want to share a few ideas for how people can be a support to bereaved mothers on Mother's Day, taken from my How Family and Friends Can Help When a Baby Dies post (you might like to refer to this post for more ideas.)

"Mother’s Day is a day of appreciation and respect. I can think of no mothers who deserve it more than those who had to give a child back." ~Erma Bombeck


Perhaps the most important advice I can give is this: Acknowledge the bereaved mother as a mother and acknowledge her loss. Also, speak her child's name. He/she was a very real person! Show that you care about her baby's life.

"The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes, 
But it never fails to bring music to my ears. 
If you are really my friend, 
let me hear the music of her name! 
It soothes my broken heart and sings to my soul!"
~Author Unknown~

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"If you know someone who has lost a child and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died, they didn't forget they died. You're not reminding them. What you're reminding them of is that you remember that they lived, and that's a great, great gift." ~Elizabeth Edwards

Another important piece of advice: Remember. Holidays and anniversaries will be very difficult without her baby. Make a point to remember these days. When you send a card for Mother's Day (whether she has more living children or not), mention her baby. "Remembering so and so today" is really all you need to say. I know Mother's Day is always very difficult for me, especially not having any other children on earth to celebrate the special day with me. Not many people remember that I am and will forever be a mother on Mother's Day. Send her an email, a card, or visit her and let her know she isn't the only one that remembers what that day is to her and will forever be to her. Lost for Words Card Line and Restoring Aching Arms are wonderful places to find cards for all occasions for babyloss parents (I linked specifically to view cards for Mother's Day.) I'm sure there are also Mother's Day cards that could be appropriate at Hallmark (if you look hard enough.)

Just be there for your friend or family member. There is no "formula" to follow. Honestly, just being a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on goes a long, long way. I would be honest and tell her if you don't know exactly what to do or say, but that you are thinking of her and her baby and that you want her to know you remember she is a mother on Mother's Day and will be forever.

There are lots of special memorial gifts you could give. Instead of listing them myself here, for some ideas, read this post: 10 Gift Ideas for a Bereaved Mom on Mother's Day.

Here are a couple other wonderful posts I really recommend reading: What to Say to a Bereaved Mother on Mother's Day and Mother's Day Gifts to Comfort Grieving Mothers.

I hope this post has given some ideas on how to support a bereaved mother on Mother's Day. I also want to encourage people to reach out to mothers who are in all sorts of difficult/different circumstances which make Mother's Day hard for them. Pray and ask God how to reach out to them, either by sending them a card to let them know you are thinking of them, or whatever else it may be. Doing something is better than doing nothing...

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