Mother’s Day: Advice for Bereaved Parents and Those That Love Them

Everyone knows that Mother’s Day is in May, but did you know that Sunday May 6th 2012 is International Bereaved Mother’s Day?

This special day was created by Carly Marie to honor and celebrate mothers who carry some, if not all, of their children in their hearts rather than their arms.  In our modern day society, mothers who are grieving the death of their babies and children are usually forgotten. The traditional Mother’s Day has proven to be an emotionally difficult day for so many mothers around the world.  Mother’s Day is usually a day of celebration, but for many parents who have lost a child it is a day of heartache, pain, and tears thinking about our sweet angels.

To help raise awareness for this beautiful day take some flowers from the flower gallery on Carly Marie’s page.  Post them as your profile image on your favorite social network.  Post them on your friends’ walls on Facebook and let them know they are beautiful mothers.  You can also visit thisfacebook page to join the community honoring this day.

Anticipating and facing Mother’s Day after the loss of your baby can be challenging.  A time when you should be celebrating, becomes a time of remembering and thinking about all the “what ifs” and “should have beens” instead.  Not only is your precious baby not here with you, but witnessing the celebration and joy in other families can make it even more heartbreaking.

Many parents have found that the lead up to certain special dates is worse than on the actual day.  We almost fear that day, not knowing how we will cope; not wanting to feel more pain than we already are.  Through planning the day though, Mother’s Day can also be a beautiful one. Planning ways to get through these special dates may provide comfort and healing to your hurting soul, by giving you some tangible purpose in your day.  Whether you are on your own, or are surrounded by family & friends, this is a time for you and your baby.  Here are some ideas taken from the Bears of Hope Newsletter that  you might like to think about to help you get through Mother’s Day.

  • Release a balloon – perhaps inscribe a message on it before doing so
  • Light a candle throughout the day
  • Write a poem or a letter to your baby
  • Visit the cemetery – place fresh flowers
  • Have a special place to go to for breakfast, lunch or dinner each year
  • Go for a walk – drawing on the beauty of nature to soothe your soul
  • Plant a special flower or plant
  • Buy or create a special piece of jewelry to wear
  • Create a scrapbook page
  • Listen to some music that will offer comfort and hope

If you have not experienced the loss of a baby yourself, but know someone close who has, you may be wondering how you can acknowledge that woman on Mother’s Day.  Here are some ideas:

  • Recognize that they are a mother:  Offer a hug and a “Happy Mother’s Day”.
  • Acknowledge that even if the mother has other living children, she may still be missing the one who’s not with her to celebrate Mother’s Day.
  • Send a card to let them know you remember they are a mother even though their child is not with them physically.
  • Acknowledge they have had a loss by saying, “I know this might be a difficult day for you. I want you to know that I am thinking about you.”
  • Use their child’s name in conversation.
  • Plant a living memorial, like a tree or flower in memory of their baby.
  • Light a candle and let the mother know you will light a candle in memory of their child on Mother’s Day.
  • Share a memory or pictures of the child.
  • Send a gift of remembrance:  Suggestions include an angel statue, jewelry, a picture frame, a library book or toy donation in the child’s name or anything personalized.
  • Don’t try to minimize the loss: Avoid using any clichés that attempt to explain the death of a child. (“God needed another angel.”) Secondly, don’t try to find anything positive about the loss (“You still have two healthy children”).
  • Encourage self-care by encouraging the mother to take care of herself. Give her a gift certificate to a day spa or any place where she can be pampered.

You Knit Me Together in My Mother’s Womb ~ Psalm 139:13

By Dawn Siegrist Waltman. taken from her book, A Rose in Heaven

Mother’s Day.  A day of so many mixed emotions.  A day that takes so much effort to hang onto the hope of heaven, lest I become swallowed in the emptiness of the present.  The emptiness of the day is so consuming I can’t get away from it. It’s everywhere!  Women with newborns in their arms on TV, pictured in store flyers, strolling into church-everywhere!  And whose arms are aching and empty?  Mine.  I should have been one of those women, with an infant in my arms today.  Somehow though, I feel as if the reality of having a baby slipped right through my arms, almost like a vapor.  One day she was a part of me, the next day she was gone.  I want to cuddle that little life, but there is nothing, absolutely nothing to cuddle.  There is a feeling of desperateness in my heart, but it is at this point that I realize I must focus on what I do have.  And I do have something! I may not be strolling into church or appearing in a family picture with a newborn in my arms, but, nevertheless, I do have a child.  I am a mother. The moment conception took place, I was blessed with the gift of a child and the title, “Mommy.”  As Psalm 139 clearly states: “You knit me together in my mother’s womb.”  I am a mother of a “little rose in heaven”, and nothing-absolutely nothing will change that. And although I don’t have “my little rose” in my arms today, I do have the comfort of knowing that a glorious day is coming when I will meet her and together as a family, we will spend eternity with Jesus.”

Dear Friend, This is one of the hardest days to face with empty arms and an aching heart. It is normal to feel overwhelming grief and sorrow on Mother’s Day. My prayer, though, is that you will not become swallowed in emptiness to the extent that you miss the hope of spending eternity with your child and the honor of being a Mother today