Mother’s Day While Grieving

For mothers who haven’t endured the profound loss following the death of a child, Mother’s Day is often celebrated as a joyous occasion. It’s a time when mothers receive recognition for their tireless efforts in nurturing their children, often marked by gestures like flowers, brunches, and thoughtful gifts. So many people do not know that there is also an International Bereaved Mother’s Day on the first Sunday of May. To those who unfortunately know this day, know the grief that comes with this time of year.  

Mother’s Day is for all mothers. International Bereaved Mother’s Day was founded to acknowledge the mothers who have lost a child or children. A day to open our eyes, ears, and hearts to mothers who are heartbroken over the loss of their child. It is also a reminder, that grief is not linear or on a timeline and we should be reaching out to bereaved mothers more than one day a year.  

 

“A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but  

by the love she holds in her heart.” -Francesca Cox 

Grievers can often feel forgotten after the thoughtful train of flowers, dinners, and community thoughts and prayers die down. Faith’s Lodge child loss retreats prioritize building hope and finding connection. We offer Bereaved Mother’s retreats throughout the year, to offer the opportunity to connect no matter the type of loss. No one is alone in their grief.  

 We would like to share some of the ways you can embrace Bereaved Mother’s Day as a grieving mother or as a friend or family member of a grieving mother.  

Some reminders for Grieving Mothers 

  • Honor your feelings: You know your grief better than anyone. No matter how much time has passed, there is no wrong emotion because there is no getting over grief. You have so much love for your child and love needs an outlet, sometimes that is tears but sometimes it is smiling and laughing. All are valid. 
  • Set Boundaries: You can set boundaries that align with where you are now. If you want to stay home and do nothing that is okay. If you want to go out, that’s okay too. 
  • Some Ideas to Honor your child: Light a candle in remembrance, plan a craft project like painting a rock with their name and placing it in your garden (known as ‘Heart Stones’ at Faith’s

    Heart Stones at Faith’s Lodge

    Lodge), prepare their favorite meal, write a heartfelt letter to them, or carry out a random act of kindness in their honor. These ideas are just the beginning; there are countless other meaningful ways to pay tribute. If you have a special idea, we invite you to share it in the comments below! 

Ideas for Friends & Family of a Grieving Mother 

  • Acknowledge She is a Mother: Call, text, meet face to face and tell her “I am thinking of you today. I am sure this day is incredibly hard. You are a mother, and I am so proud of you. I am here for you” 

What meant the most to me when people would reach out to me and say you will always be a mother and thinking about you and Brandon…. The worst was when nothing was said at all.  When your child is gone sometimes people forget.  That is a hard pill to swallow when people forget about your child. Not saying anything gives you the feeling they were forgotten.” -Kari Elias, Brandon’s Mom, Past Guest of Faith’s Lodge and Current Board Member 

  • Check In: Reach out no matter how many years have passed since her child’s death. Ask how she is doing and let her know you are thinking about her. Listen without judgement, this is her time to share. 
  • Ask or Talk About their Child: There is so much importance in keeping their child’s name alive and showing that they are not forgotten. No matter how much time has passed, say their name.  
  • Gift/Memorial Item: If you are interested in purchasing a gift, consider these ideas… 
    • Flowers- Brighten up her day with this Mother’s Day staple!  
    • Jewelry- A beautiful piece of jewelry can mean so much. There are some wonderful options for adding a child’s name or birthstones.  
    • Memorial Item 
      • Faith’s Lodge offers memorial wall stones, bricks, trees, benches, or inspirational signs. Each option gives you an opportunity to write a tribute. See memorial options here.. 
    • Memorial Wall Stones in the Front Entry of the Lodge.

As you consider ways to support grieving mothers, remember that even the smallest gestures can make a meaningful difference in their journey. Whether it’s acknowledging their motherhood, checking in regularly, or honoring their child’s memory with a thoughtful gift, every act of compassion helps to provide comfort and reassurance. 

In grief, each journey is as unique as the individual experiencing it, and similarly, the way grieving mothers navigate Bereaved Mother’s Day varies greatly. There is no predetermined right or wrong way to observe this day; instead, it serves as a poignant reminder to honor your own emotions and follow the path that feels true to you. These suggestions are just a starting point for connecting, honoring, and cherishing bereaved mothers. We invite you to share additional ideas in the comments below, fostering a supportive community where grieving mothers can find solace and solidarity. Our collective aim is to unite grieving mothers, affirming that they are not alone in their journey of healing. 

 

RETREAT AVAILABLE 

Faith’s Lodge is hosting a Bereaved Mother Retreat July 18th- 21st, 2024. This retreat is designated mothers who are grieving the death of a child at any age. Interested in attending? Reserve a room here   

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