Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and for those whose moms are no longer here, the day holds painful reminders of those losses. Mother’s Day is also a very difficult time for women whose children died. The sentiments alone expressed on that day are enough for many to question their roles of motherhood, especially if the young one who died was their only child.
If you or someone you know are in this situation, the first thing to remember is that a mother is and always will be a mom, no matter if her child is in her arms or buried in a cemetery. Experience has shown me that the days leading up to Mother’s Day are harder than the actual day itself. I vividly remember my first Mother’s Day after I lost my daughter, Emily, in 2000. My husband took me away to Las Vegas for the weekend. I was treated to a luxurious hotel room and had an amazing spa day. It was exactly what I needed to escape.
However, I came home to the reality that although my child wasn’t here on Earth, I was still a mother. The following Mother’s Day, I was pregnant with my second daughter, but that holiday still tugged pretty hard at my heart strings. So here’s what I did. I was kind and patient with myself and tried not to get all wrapped up emotionally in the holiday. After all, it only comes once a year. I surrounded myself with loved ones who got how I was feeling.
I also wrote my thoughts about being a mom in a journal and visited the cemetery where my daughter is buried. My husband and I went out to a pleasant dinner the day before, so we wouldn’t be bombarded with all the Mother’s Day sentiments. Finally, I celebrated the growing life in me.
And you know what? I survived. Every Mother’s Day since those first two years has been filled with joy and happiness. I do, however, always take time from the day with my living children to honor, bless and celebrate the very short time I got to be Emily’s mom here on Earth. Remember, love never dies.
About the author: Mary Beth Adomaitis is a freelance writer living in Southern California with her husband and two living children. After her daughter’s death in 2000, she began writing about Death and Dying topics as a way helping others going through the tragic loss of a child. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org