My first Mother’s Day was a lonely one. It had been only 2 months since my daughter was stillborn and while I wasn’t exactly expecting an endless stream of cards and well-wishers, I was expecting something. After all, I was a mother.
The day came and went with very little reach-out from friends and family. I think they were afraid that the day was too painful for me, but to be honest, I’m not really sure. All I know was that the day ended and I felt lonelier than I had since my daughter died.
I knew Mother’s Day was going to be difficult to face without my baby in my arms. I just wasn’t expecting to feel so alone.
It’s true that some mothers are missing someone on Mothers’ Day, but no mother should have to feel alone. Even if a mother is distancing herself from the day, there are ways to make sure she feels included. There’s no doubt that Mother’s Day hurts, but there are ways to ease that hurt and bring some comfort to the mother who is grieving.
1. Talk about their baby.
Mentioning a mother’s baby will never cause them pain. It can only bring comfort to hear about the one you love so much. However you choose to reach out to them, make sure you take the time to include their baby.
2. Tell them what an incredible mother they are.
The mother who is grieving is a mother who defies expectations. She is loving a child that she cannot touch. She is parenting a child that is often invisible to the rest of the world. It is a tough job and she deserves some recognition.
3. Do something kind in their name or the name of their child.
Donate to a charity that is meaningful to them or even a charity that is meaningful to you. Pay for a stranger’s coffee in their honor. Tape a dollar bill to a vending machine with a note celebrating all the wonderful mothers you know. Share your act of kindness with them. It will show them what wonderful things their motherhood inspires.
4. Give them a card.
5. Send a text message or an email.
It doesn’t have to be anything more than a heart emoji. Just hearing from loved ones helps make the lonely days feel a little more full.
6. Invite them to go somewhere.
There’s a very good chance they will say no–a very good chance. Going out on Mother’s Day is tricky business. But, there is also a chance they will say yes. They might welcome the opportunity to leave the house, but not want to do it alone. Whatever their answer, there is the guarantee that they are grateful to be considered.
7. Be their advocate.
Chances are, if you are reading articles like this, you care very much about the grieving mother you know. It is also very possible that you know others who care about this mother too. In addition to reaching out to the mother, reach out to their other friends and family. Encourage them to honor their loved one and remember her on Mother’s Day.
However you choose to reach out this Mother’s Day, please know that you are doing something very important.
You are taking a moment to acknowledge the motherhood of a mother who is often forgotten. It’s important that even the mother who is missing their child is never made to feel alone.
Originally published on An Unexpected Family Outing