Mother's Day can be beautiful and heartwarming, and also trying with processing difficult emotions.
When it is appropriate to honor your mom, or a mother figure, here are a few ways to give tribute:
Write a letter, even if your mom is deceased
Adopt something in her honor - something that creates meaning
Put it in a jar - writing things you love or loved about mom
Donate to moms in need - think about which organization connects with your mom
Plant a garden of her favorite flower, plants, herbs etc.
What is Bereaved Mothers Day?
Carly Marie Dudley "originally created this special day in 2010 to honour and celebrate the mothers who carry some, if not all, of their children in their hearts rather than their arms".
Carly says there is no way anyone can make a mother, parent or family member feel better or make their grief easier, but what they do need is for us to send them a sign that we acknowledge them and support them.
Here are a few ways to acknowledge a bereaved mother:
Mention my Childs name
Remember my child with me
Donate in memory of my child
Send me a mess of support
Celebrate us as a mother (or father)
Let me know that you are thinking of me
Light a candle in memory of my child
For those mothers that are grieving, please know that grief is a natural, normal process, and there are those that can support and guide you through this journey.
Several flowers have different meanings associated with them, which can make a floral arrangement as special and unique as the women in our lives.
Carnations - signify purity, faith, love, beauty and charity
Gerber Daisies - symbolize innocence, purity, beauty and cheerfulness
Tulips - comfort, coziness and happiness
Azaleas - a Chinese symbol for womanhood, beauty and love
Day Lillies - Asian emblem for mothers for it's beautiful appearance and motherhood
Bluebells - calm and soothing traits of a mother, humility and constancy
Camelias - light, delicate fragrance that represents longevity and gratitude
Roses - traditional mother
lighter red or deep pink for gratitude and appreciation
yellow - caring nature
white - purity and brightness
Coping With Mother's Day Grief
For a lot of us, Mother's Day is a happy, joyous event where we celebrate mom, or the special women our lives.
But for others, MD is difficult but can also be a way to honor and celebrate the death of a mom or child.
Bereavement and grief is hard, but finding meaning on MD, after a death, can help to ease some of the suffering.
The articles suggests a few ways to cope with Mother's Day Grief, such as:
Face your grief
If you are grieving the loss of a child or pregnancy on Mother's Day, the article hopes the following areas might help to explore:
Finding identity as a parent
Social expectations and awkward encounters
Coping strategies for Mother's Day Grief:
Treat yourself with kindness
Give kindness to others
Plan the Day Intentionally
Mother's Day is approaching and its helpful to be mindful of all the women that have experiences a life-changing experience of losing a baby, either through miscarriage or stillbirth.
There can still be a taboo linked to this worldwide experience, and often women do not receive the appropriate care and respect when their baby dies.
Often people, not knowing what to say, often share antidotes of.....things happen for a reason, God wanted your baby, your baby wouldn't have survived, etc. These words often do not help the mother, in fact, they may even cause more harm by not validating the emotions and grief the mom may be experiencing.
As Kimberly Van Der Beek shared "I’ve had three miscarriages, all around 10 weeks gestation. I let them all happen naturally. I had a loving husband, a compassionate birthing team and I felt spiritually grounded about them. And even in the best of circumstances, I was devastated every single time. After one of them I sat in the shower crying for almost five hours. What I find disheartening is that not all women, or fathers for that matter, are treated with the same compassion or have support during this gut wrenching time".
This article states that although many women have access to the best healthcare, they often receive inadequate care of a death of a baby.
For the mother and the family, it is important to have the experience of health care providers showing empathy, care and support, while acknowledging how parents feel and providing clear information and support for the family.
Be sensitive when someone loses a baby in pregnancy.
Show empathy and provide support for them to talk about how they feel.
Don't try to fix how the situation or how they are feeling, just listen.
If you have experienced a pregnancy loss, Mother's Day might be very difficult.
This holiday, like the others, can bring up conflicting emotions, and are often hard to verbalize or to share.
Grief of a child, whether it happened as a stillbirth or miscarriage, is often not recognized and honored in society. This deeply personal experience is yours, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve.
The article attached shares some ways to cope on Mother's Day, such as:
Letting go of feelings of guilt or self blame.
Seek help from a professional
Join a support group
But above all, be kind to yourself, and understand these emotions are normal and you have the right to your feelings.
The History of Mother's Day
Mother's Day is a holiday honoring mothers and it is observed in different ways throughout the world.
in 1908, Mother's Day was created by Anna Jarvis, but didn't become a national holiday until 1914. This day was created as a way to honor the sacrifices mothers make for their children, while Jarvis argued that American holidays were biased toward male achievements.
Later on, Jarvis tried to denounce this day because it had become so commercialized and she felt, had lost its true meaning.
Read more to learn more about the history of this day.