Soon it will be Mother’s day again. A day when many mothers will be in the center for a moment and receive breakfast and homemade gifts. A day when the pain of the children who are no longer there, or who never came, also comes to the fore sharply.
I think Mother’s Day is quite complicated. I am very happy with the children who are growing up in my house. I enjoy cherishing, teaching, coaching and caring for them, having fun with them and watching them slowly but surely become independent people with their own identity. It moves me and makes me humble: ‘Wow, is this really my child?’
But it is precisely by reflecting on my motherhood that the lack of the child that is no longer there automatically pops up as well. The child for whom I can no longer do anything and who I do not see growing up to become an autonomous person. That’s really annoying, especially on Mother’s Day, when your living children are doing their best for you and you really don’t want to think about your deceased child, but just enjoy those who are here. It feels like I am doing injustice to my living children to think about Amanda on such a day. So I try very hard to focus on the living.
Of course you cannot completely prevent grief to suddenly pop up. But maybe it helps to give room for that another day. I read about that this morning when I felt I should write something about International Bereaved Mothers’ Day. This day is meant to remember your deceased children, your miscarriages, or your grief that, despite praying and hoping for it so deeply, you never became a mother.
Bereaved Mother’s day is Mother’s Day for those who have lost their child(ren) and for those who didn’t receive children while desperately longing for them. A day to remember your deceased child, the miscarriages you had, your unwanted childlessness. A day to support a bereaved mother and to express a little bit more that she too is precious and loved.
Someone wrote about this day, ‘If we think about what we have lost today, we can be genuinely happy with what we do have next week on Mother’s Day’. I don’t know if it really works that way. Last year I wrote about Mother’s Day that I am just as much a mother of my living children as of my deceased child. My heart doesn’t make a difference.
But I will give it a try. We happened to go to the grave anyway this afternoon to place the new plank we made. The old one has become illegible, the tombstone still has to be ordered, and during our holiday last week there was an opportunity to engrave wood, so my Love and I made a new plank together. So today I will try to ponder my motherhood of Amanda and the miscarriage I had and I pray for the women I know who didn’t receive children, who had miscarriages or who had a child who died. How do you say this? ‘Happy Bereaved Mothers’ Day’? Let me put it this way:
Dear woman. You are loved, seen and precious and your grief is precious as well. Make time to think about it today if you have the chance. It is allowed to be there. Especially on Bereaved Mother’s Day.
This blog was first written in Dutch on May 5 (Bereaved Mother’s Day) 2019