|From Mother's Day, 2013|
Welcome again, Mother's Day... A time of year for celebrating all the wondrous love of moms.
Yet, Mother's Day can be an excruciating experience for mothers whose children have died.
Instead of braiding her daughter's hair, the bereaved mother strokes her once-used blanket that still smells of her little girl.
Instead of going to her son's soccer game, the bereaved mother brings flowers to his grave and brushes away the dirt caked into the capital "B" for Brandon.
Instead of saying, "I'll see you later," she says, "I miss you so much."
Instead of washing her children's clothes and helping them with homework and cooking their meals and giving baths, she spends her days wishing for one more moment, one more memory, one more touch, one more chance to whisper, "I love you."
Like other mothers she thinks of her child, worries about her child, talks to her child, and walks with her child. She recognizes, like all mothers, the boundlessness of her love, only she sees it at a much deeper level, one that extends beyond the material realm. She welcomes when others ask about her child, compassionately, and when others remember her child.
But the bereaved mother does all of this with an unrelenting pain and longing in her heart that is unimaginable, unfathomable to most. And this makes being a bereaved mother the hardest job of all.
Still, she is a mother. Then, now, and always.
And she is as worthy as any other mother, if not more, of recognition this Mother's Day. Sadly, many will overlook her or be too fearful to tell her that the love she holds so close to her broken heart is seen and revered by others.
Please, take time to send a card, some flowers, or even just a simple email to a grieving mother you know this Mother's Day.
I wish all our bereaved families a gentle Mother's Day, recognizing the agony and the pain, the beauty and the love, the unique and irreplaceable relationship between you and your child/children. My mother's heart to yours...