Tomorrow is international bereaved Mother’s Day. Leading up to it I’ve been mixed on my idea of today. On the one hand I didn’t want my motherhood to be seen as different to that of my other children. I want Elliott to be recognised as a child equal in every way. I want every bereaved mummy to be seen as a mother to be honoured like all mummies and people to understand we still parent after death in our own way, and our motherhood continues.
BUT you know what, is it IS different. Not my love or the equality between my living children and him, but in the way we can parent, on what they and we miss out on, in the heartbreak and loss that accompanies it, in the pain and hollowness along side the pride and love that is carried. Our babies are not here when they should be. We can’t live our motherhood in the way we want and deserve to. And that’s beyond shit and unfair. And it will be beyond shit and unfair forever. We are often isolated, unacknowledged and misunderstood, and all of this can make the most difficult journey even harder.
So I have decided we DO need and should have a day to recognise the heartbreak we carry, the difficulties we face so many days as we live without a part of us. Its not a replacement of Mother’s Day, it doesn’t mean we can’t and shouldn’t be recognised as a mother NEXT Sunday. Because Mother’s Day is STILL our day. But this day is different, it’s a day that specifically recognises the LOSS we have.
It gives us a day where we can all stand together in solidarity and say “we are not alone in our loss, we are mothers the same in so many ways but different in our loss and it hurts and it’s hard.” A day that I hope brings a specific awareness to the many THOUSANDS of parents who can only hold some of all of their children in their hearts. It gives a voice to something that is often shrouded in silence, shrouded not for the sake of the parents but for everyone else. It importantly reminds everyone just before Mother’s Day of us and that we ARE mothers still.
International bereaved Mother’s Day gives us strength in each other to feel confident to say openly:
I am a bereaved mother, but a mother none the less.
My child’s life had and will continue to have value and importance.
My child’s life and the loss of it will always have an impact on me.
I will never forget, always miss them and love them forever.
Something needs to change so it’s not such an issue or taboo to be able to talk about such a loss. Something needs to change the general understanding of grief to recognise that there is no right way or right time frame to do things in. To recognise that you don’t get over it, but learn to live with it in your own way and time. Something needs to happen so more people understand how devastating such a loss really is and that it’s completely NORMAL for it to be life changing. And that something might start with tomorrow’s title.
So I hope international bereaved Mother’s Day gives a little light and strength to all bereaved mums (and dads) to know you’re not alone and to know many care.
Tomorrow we celebrate love that doesn’t end when life does. Tomorrow we celebrate survival through heartbreak. Tomorrow we celebrate strength to keep going even with a broken heart. Tomorrow we say we are so sorry and wish there wasn’t a need for such a day. Tomorrow we remind the world how much we love and miss our children who were gone way too soon.
Tomorrow like all days i will be thankful for other mummies of angels who I have connected with who have opened up to me and allowed me to be part of their journey and have been part of mine. I wish we ‘met’ or developed our relationship under better circumstances, but under such so grateful we have. I am thankful to all those who have shown compassion and understanding. Those who have been so gracious in listening to my pain and anger and sadness and perhaps some unwarranted whinging. To those who have been patient with me in all regards. Those who say Elliott’s name and remind me they think of him and keep him alive in their heart too.
Tomorrow like all days I will love and miss my baby.
To all bereaved mothers on International Bereaved Mothers Day,
I wish so much love to you today and everyday. I wish you warmth, comfort and peace for your heart. I wish you light and gentle days and nights.
You are strong and brave (even if you don’t feel it, even in the darkest moments where you are at your most broken and all hope feels lost). You are a survivor and warrior who faces a great battle.
If you feel broken inside, full of pain and hurt remember all of that is because you are full of love. Remember you are never alone.
You are not just a statistic.
You are a mother.
You are a bereaved mother.
You are a beautiful mother.
I honour you, I value you, I acknowledge you.
I recognise you, your child and your love.
Love from another bereaved mummy,
International Bereaved Mother’s Day, 7th of May 2017