Mother's Day Feels Empty
by Clara Hinton | Apr 23, 2007
are no words to completely describe what a mother feels
when her child has died. She feels lost, abandoned, afraid,
lonely, forgotten, and most of all empty. The emptiness
is like none other because it is an emptiness of the heart.
When a child dies, part of a mother’s heart also dies.
Day is a traditional holiday that has grown bigger and bigger
throughout the years. We are bombarded with advertisements
to take out mothers for a special dinner or buy Mother’s
Day flowers. For more than a month before Mother’s
Day, reminders are placed everywhere. It’s impossible
to pick up a newspaper, listen to the radio, or turn on
the television without some kind of reminder of Mother’s
are Mother’s Day banquets, Mother’s Day baby
dedications at church, and special family gatherings to
honor mothers. All of this is wonderful except for the mother
that is grieving the loss of her child. For the grieving
mother, every reminder of Mother’s Day is like another
wound to the heart. The hole in her heart caused by grief
grows larger and larger with each reminder, and the emptiness
feels darker and colder than she ever imagined possible.
What is a grieving mother to do when there are so many reminders
of the precious child she has lost?
Day is the only holiday that specifically uses the word
mother, so there is no real way of avoiding this day. A
grieving mother can, however, prepare for Mother’s
Day well in advance so that she knows how to avoid placing
additional pain in her life.
that Mother’s Day is not a holiday that has to be
celebrated. If a grieving mother does not want to attend
a banquet, or watch baby dedications at church, or see special
family gatherings at restaurants, then she has the right
to choose not to participate in these events without feeling
guilty. Many mothers choose to stay home and do nothing
special at all on Mother’s Day, and that is fine.
Grief follows no rules and there is no right or wrong way
to others that this day is painful. Giving yourself permission
to grieve in your own way is very healing and helpful, especially
during such a difficult day as Mother’s Day.
what feels right for you. Maybe that means taking a mini
trip away where nobody knows you. Maybe it is staying at
home. Perhaps a walk in the woods or a walk along the sandy
beach would help you during this empty time. Journal your
thoughts. Release a balloon. Or, maybe you want to avoid
Mother’s Day altogether. You know what feels best
for your heart, and giving yourself permission to do what
is right for you can be the most healing thing of all.
remind yourself often that you will not always feel this
empty. With each passing day new hope will enter your empty
heart until one day you will wake up to realize that the
empty hole is beginning to fill with some joy. Mother’s
Day is only one day. With a little bit of preparation you
can make it through, and you will have walked one more step
in your journey of healing!