As I write this, 2020 is certainly a different year. One that has brought many changes. One in particular that taken away the sense of family to an extent. As we celebrate women and mothers, let it be a reminder that no matter where you are, who you are with or not with, you are still celebrated. You are beautiful and you have a purpose. Each women needs support, love, encouragement, and joy. As you know, we are going to be celebrating Mother's day May 10th. What an exciting time in May when everything is starting to sprout up and you go get your flowers to put in front of your house! It's a time to share with your family, children, spouses, significant others, etc. You are honored on that day as a mother for raising children, being a loving mother, being a wife, daughter, sister, and being super mom for years. It's an honor to be called a mother, to be celebrated, and loved. For all women, this is the message we should be spreading. All women should be honored, loved, and celebrated on this day, including those who you might not consider as mothers.
There's another subset of moms for whom this holiday of brunches and appreciation opens up an emotional wound that never really healed — and that certainly doesn't fit in with the traditional Mother's Day narrative. Many times our world paints the picture of happiness during Mother's Day while only celebrating those with children. Those without or who have experienced loss, get forgotten. Last weekend we celebrated Bereaved Mother's Day on May 3rd. It's both a celebration and a memorial. Although many will feel surrounded by their family and children, many mothers feel alone. Many have lost a child or baby. Many think about the grief or heartache they have as Mother's Day reminds them of their pain. Many feel unworthy, unimportant, unloved, or forgotten. They are mothers too and should be honored. Women who have lost a child, a baby, have struggled with infertility, or have other situations where they have been told they cannot have a child, this day is for you. You matter and so does your baby/child. I share this because I want all mothers to feel honored. For them to know that they are loved, they are not alone, that they are honored on this day also.
This is not easy for me to share, but this is a step in my own healing process. I share this because I am a mother. I am a mother to a girl who would have been turning 2 years old this month, and a boy who would be turning 1 year old, next February 2021. I've lost and I've felt the pain of a mother. I've felt the reminder as other mothers get to enjoy mother's day and feel as though it's not a joyful day for me. I've felt the fear, anxiety, sadness, and pain as many others do. I'm still on my journey, and everyone's processing of grief is difference. It's still painful, but i am reminded of the beauty that will come from the ashes.
As women, it is easy for us to compare. To compare who's situation is worse, to compare whose loss is more painful. Don't try to compare on the grief-o-meter. Whether you have miscarried, had a still birth, lost a baby after birth, or lost a child, it is still hard. Each anniversary, each mother's day, I'm reminded of the little ones I have in heaven. I remember that my motherhood matters. So does yours. I grieve with the mothers who feel the pain, who are reminded of the fear and grief they experience. I stand with the mothers who have not yet been able to enjoy the journey of even getting pregnant. You are still a mother. You still have that nurturing spirit within you. For those without children who have pets, you are a mother as well. You have a mother's heart. You care and nurture. You find healing in it.
To those hurting right now, I say to you, it's okay. It's okay to cry, to mourn, to not understand, to feel those emotions, to honor your baby or child. The start of a healing process is letting it out, and it will continue. It's okay when you have good days and bad days. Everyone's journey is different. You can let yourself take the time to heal, you need that. Don't listen to those who say to get over it, or move on. Your journey is special and no one can take that away from you.
I write this, not for sympathy, but for recognizing and helping to honor all those with a Mother's heart. I write this to share a piece of my raw story (more to come at a later date), that you are NOT alone. Many times, losses like these are not shared, talked about, or honored. I share my experience to hopefully encourage you that you are worthy to be honored on this day. To know, it's okay to grieve, it's okay to feel what you are feeling, to see that there is importance in your life. As a believer, I know God has instilled in each of us the power to love others, to encourage, and to lift up. I'm not asking you to feel what they feel, as those who never go through it will never know how it feels. I'm saying, sometimes its just remembering, honoring, or encouraging. Take time this week, this weekend, and this month to honor "mothers" around you who might not feel worthy to be honored. To send an encouraging message, call, card, or gift. To know that they are supported and loved.
There is so much more to my story, but that is for another time. I hope I leave you with a new perspective. One that doesn't need to be full of sadness, but that can be shared with those who need some joy or encouragement during this time. I hope each woman reading this can share love with those around them, however that looks to them because it's different for everyone. Happy Mother's Day to you, and remember, you are celebrated.