This post may contain affiliate links.
9 Ways to Recognize the Grieving Mother on Mother’s Day
It’s no secret that Mother’s Day is a hard day for many women, but no woman should have to feel alone. She may have had a miscarriage, a stillbirth, a termination for medical reasons, she may have lost a living infant or child or she may be trying to conceive without success. All of these women are still mothers in my eyes and they deserve to be honored alongside mothers of living children.
I think it’s easy for people to think the holiday is too painful for grieving mothers and they don’t want to “remind” them of what they lost. But let me explain one thing, you can never remind us of something we carry with us and think about every second of everyday. The acknowledgment means more than you know, staying silent is what hurts. Avoidance is what makes us feel lonelier than ever, especially on a holiday meant to celebrate the very thing we are grieving.
Bereaved Mother’s Day this year is Sunday May 3rd, you can honor your friend or family member on this day, or if you miss it you can still honor her on regular Mother’s Day. Even if she is trying to distance herself from the holiday there are still ways you can let her know you’re thinking of her and provide comfort. Believe me, even the simplest text speaks volumes.
How to Recognize the Grieving Mother on Mother’s Day
Basically you just want to let her know you’re thinking about her, here are some of my suggestions.
1. Talk About Their Baby
Mentioning a mother’s child will never hurt them. It’s ok and good to acknowledge them, especially by name if they have a name. You can let them know that you are so sorry their baby isn’t here, that you know they are missing them and you can’t imagine the pain. That their child is so loved and so missed. However you choose to reach out, make sure you mention their baby or child who died.
For infertility moms you can mention that you know how much they are longing for a child. But if I may, I would suggest not offering empty promises like, “I know you will be a mother one day.” No one in this world can make that promise to them. Instead I would offer to sit in their pain with them, acknowledge their grief and how hard they are struggling and offer to pray or keep them in your thoughts.
2. Tell Them They are a Wonderful Mother
Whether a mom has had a miscarriage, stillbirth, tfmr, infant loss, child loss, failed IVF and IUI, they are still mothers and deserve to be honored as such, even if they have zero living children.
The mother who is grieving is defying all known rules of love and expectations, she is loving and longing for a child she cannot or can no longer touch. She may be parenting her living children while also parenting her invisible babies. Whichever way she is grieving it’s a tough job and she deserves recognition.
3. Send Her a Quote/Article/Book on Grief
One of the most meaningful things a friend sent me was a quote from the book, You Are The Mother of All Mothers, by Angela Miller. I ended up purchasing the book and it has been the most comforting piece of literature I’ve ever read. Read an excerpt HERE.
Another friend sent me the quote below and again, I can’t tell you how profoundly it touched me. Not only the words of the quote but that my friend thought of me when she saw it and thought to tell me.
“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” -Jamie Anderson
4. Do Something in Their Child’s Name
There are so many different acts of kindness you can perform in the name of someone you wish to honor. This is a great idea to honor mothers and their lost babies and children. You can even leave a note in a coffee shop or dressing room celebrating all the remarkable mothers you know, sharing your act of kindness with them and showing them what wonderful things their motherhood inspires.
You can also donate to a charity that holds meaning for the mother in the child’s name, there are so many great ones out there for pregnancy loss, child loss and infertility.
5. Send a Text Message or Email
Sometimes those simple three-word texts mean the absolute world to people in grief. It’s extremely comforting to know friends are thinking of you or prayer for you or simply that they love you during your hardest times. It could even just be a couple emojis. Hearing from loved ones can make the loneliest days so much lighter and brighter for the grieving mom.
6. Send a Card
There are many card options specifically for bereaved mothers, I found some really beautiful ones on this Etsy page. Even a blank card is a great place to start if you don’t find one with an appropriate message, sometimes physically writing your words out is one of the most thoughtful gestures.
These two pieces of art are now some of my most prized possessions and bring me so much comfort.
7. Send Flowers or a Small Gift
Flower delivery services have made it super easy to get flowers to your loved ones quickly, my favorites are Urban Stems and Farm Girl Flowers. Or of course stop by your local florist or flower truck and hand deliver and hand wrapped bouquet with a personal touch.
A small gift is always an appreciated and meaningful gesture too if you can swing it – a necklace or piece of jewelry with their child’s initial or birthstone, maybe a set of energy healing crystals, a plant, a piece of art, or a comforting figurine like the Japanese bodhisattva for baby loss, Jizo.
8. Invite Them to do Something
This one is tricky, there is a very good chance they will say no, they could be wanting the solace of physically being alone. But there is also a chance they will say yes, they might welcome the opportunity to leave the house, not having wanted to do it alone, even just to grab a coffee.
Either way this is one of those cases of, “It’s the thought that counts,” and whatever their answer, they will surely be grateful to have been considered.
9. Be Their Advocate
Chances are, if you are reading articles like this, you care very much about the grieving mother you know. It is also very possible that you know others who care about this mother too. In addition to reaching out to the mother, reach out to their other friends and family. Encourage them to honor their loved one and remember her on Mother’s Day.
However you choose to reach out this Mother’s Day, please know that you are doing something very important.
You are taking a moment to acknowledge the motherhood of a mother who is often forgotten. It’s important that even the mother who is missing their child is never made to feel alone.
Thank you for reading, leave me a comment below about ways you’ve recognized a grieving mother!
For more of my posts on baby loss, click here.