Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Disenfranchised Grief on Mother's Day

This is something I first shared last year leading up to Mother's Day...

Mother's Day is an extremely painful day as a mother without living children.

This year will be my NINTH year as a mother on Mother's Day. That is crazy. How does one mark such a day as a mother to children who live with God?

Mothers who have lost children to abortion and stillbirth are often not understood or their experiences and motherhood acknowledged, leaving them to walk through the loneliness and isolation of disenfranchised grief. This is especially true for those without any living children.

I consider my first Mother's Day as a mother to have been in 2009. I was at Virginia Beach that weekend and would have still been carrying Luke Shiloh. I would have been 19 weeks 3 days gestation, to be exact. Instead, Luke had been with the Lord since 6 weeks gestation. But that doesn't change that he was real and that he made me a mother, whether I wanted to be one yet or not. His heartbeat was real. His DNA was real and would never be repeated again.

The following year, in 2010, would have been my first Mother's Day with Lily Katherine here. She would have been 2 months old at that point. We spent the week at Massanutten and I was going to have a baby shower with Virginia friends and family. Only there was no need for a baby shower and no baby in my arms. She too was with the Lord and Luke.

The ache of Mother's Day gets more pronounced with each passing Spring. How do mothers like me mark such a day? When our love for our children is the same, yet those on the outside looking in can't see them. When we don't have people sending us flowers and gifts, taking us out to eat, or telling us "Happy Mother's Day." When our arms are empty, empty, empty, yet our love and desire to care for our children in tangible ways is just as alive and real as the mothers around us with their children in adorable outfits.

When the only proof of my motherhood is the love I carry, the echo of the memory of the two hearts that beat within, and the marks of motherhood underneath my shirt.

Mothers who have lost children to stillbirth, abortion, or miscarriage, know you are not alone. Your babies matter and are real. Your motherhood is valid and important. Do whatever you need to do to heal and get through Mother's Day... Whether that be staying home from church and avoiding the baby dedications that make you want to scream and run, staying home altogether, making a delicious meal, going for a hike and picnic, listening to beautiful music, getting together with other mothers with similar experiences, getting flowers in your child's honor, staying away from social media, among many other things.

Please feel free to share your child's name and story in the comments section, as well as any ideas for how to mark Mother's Day. πŸ’•


1 comment:

  1. I couldn't refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!


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