Celebrating Mother’s Day with Empty Arms
NB – The following post contains material of a rather personal and sensitive nature. I struggled with whether or not to post this altogether, or if I should edit some parts out. However, just as I had decided not to post it at all, the song you’ll find at the end came on the radio and I knew in my heart that there is someone out there who really needs to hear this right now. I have left the post unedited as I had finished writing it at that moment.
The first year I celebrated Mother’s day was a bittersweet one. Earlier that year I had a miscarriage. It had left me a pretty broken person and as Mother’s Day approached I was dreading it. I always love honoring my mom, she is an amazing person and I might write something about her a bit later, but at that time I was all-consumed by my own loss, my own lack of motherhood. I was fortunate enough that four days before Mother’s day I discovered I was pregnant again. I was excited and terrified, because this time I knew how quickly that joy could turn into pain. Nevertheless, it made that first Mother’s day easier to cope with.
For thousands of women, Mother’s Day is nothing but a painful reminder of what they don’t have. For a woman struggling to conceive, this day can be like a dagger to the heart. A day to relive all the failed attempts, all the losses, all the babies she should have, but doesn’t.
For myself I struggled with the idea that I was a mother and nobody knew about it, or acknowledged it. It tore me up that the child I had loved for 12 blessed weeks was forgotten or ignored. No one, not even my own family, reached out to me to ask how I was doing, to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day, to acknowledge my pain. My worst fear was that my child would be forgotten and this only confirmed that.
Then about a week after Mother’s Day I received a card in the mail from a very close friend of mine. She had written a Mother’s Day card for me from my unborn child which I’d like to share with you below.
“Dear Mommy & Daddy,
Happy Mother’s Day and upcoming Father’s Day. I love you very much and I’m praying for you from the Father’s Arms. You are beautiful in God’s eyes, and He will continually bless you … I’ll make sure He does! Until we meet again, God bless you tons!
Your little angel, ❤ Shayne Gabriel
PS – yes, the Heavenly school is so advanced that I can already read and write! 🙂 “
This letter meant the world to me at a very painful time in my life. Yes, I was pregnant again, but much to my surprise, it didn’t take the hurt away. I still look at my family now and it hurts to know that I only have two children driving me crazy every day rather than three. Mother’s day will always be bittersweet.
I’d like to encourage those who know someone who might be in this position right now to not ignore the pain that a friend or family member might be going through this mother’s day. You don’t necessarily have to write them a letter, and for many, that wouldn’t be the right response. That was something I needed, and my friend knew that it would help. If you don’t know what to do or what to say, simply letting them know that you’re thinking of them, or keeping them in your prayers is enough. Just as you would do for someone who lost their own mother and is dealing with grief, acknowledging to them that you understand that it’s a difficult time is enough.
So for all those mothers out there, whether you have miscarried, had a stillbirth, or lost a child, happy Mother’s day. May the Blessed Mother enfold you in her arms and give you strength. She lost her son too and knows your pain. Like her, we will be reunited with the children we’ve lost, the ones we never got to hold, on that blessed day of Resurrection.
Posted on May 8, 2012, in Catholic, faith, family, Love, marriage, miscarriage, Music, Parenting, pro-life, sex and tagged Catholic, family, Grief, Miscarriage, Mother's Day, motherhood, mourning, natalie grant. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.