A Few Thoughts on Mother’s Day

Hello and happy Friday.  I typically post on Thursday but the fact that I did not yesterday was not an error, an internet malfunction or simply a too-busy schedule on my part.  I purposely wanted to wait until today in order to schedule this post.  I wanted to share just a couple encouragements for anyone who might be struggling with Mother’s Day.  Truthfully, I am surprised how much I tend to struggle with this holiday.  Not exactly sure I would call it a holiday – but, this special day.  There are so many emotions, memories and relationship nuances that spill into any potential celebration of a day specifically for mothers.

For me, of course, the absence of my youngest son is always extra heavy on my heart at Mother’s Day.  The relationship I had with my own mom also comes to mind – bringing both sweet memories but some that are emotionally draining as well.  There are current relationships that are also difficult. As blessed and grateful as I am to be a mother, Sunday can quickly become a day I want to rush through and move on to Monday!  And, as I talk to others, I know I am not alone.  It can be a difficult day for many.  For lots of different reasons.

If you are one of those moms (or simply celebrating your own mom), I have three simple thoughts or suggestions as you decide how to approach Mother’s Day.  They coming primarily from a grieving mother’s heart but, I hope, will be helpful for many situations.

ONE – There is no rule book.  There is no rule book for grieving.  Nor is there one for just the right way to celebrate Mother’s Day (or any other special day, for that matter.)  Trust me, there has many a time I wished for a rule book.  Not only am I a rule-follower but I am a rule-loving girl.  Rules give me order.  They establish boundaries, balance, and give me the sense of stability I can groping for on the really difficult days.  But I have also learned that rules, self-imposed or not, can be the very things that not only drain my joy and energy but also simply make the day more difficult.

For several years right after Tyler died, we participated in a butterfly release organized by the local Compassionate Friends grief group I was attending.  It was what “all the grieving parents” did on Mother’s Day.  It was both beautiful and comforting – for awhile.  For a variety of reasons, it eventually became draining but I was reluctant to stop attending.  Would others think I didn’t grieve – or miss – my boy any more?  So many of the other parents really looked forward to seeing all the butterflies each year.  But there was (and is) no rule that butterflies (or balloons – I tried that too) had to be released in order to acknowledge my son’s love on Mother’s Day.  We stopped participating.  Actually, I soon stopped attending the support meetings  – and that’s okay because there really are no rules.

TWO – Everyone grieves differently.  And we can celebrate special days differently.  Um, maybe because there are no rules. 🙂  I will admit, in the early years of grief, this one was hard for me to learn.  Everyone is unique.  Men and woman, of course.  But also children, teenagers, siblings and friends.  Everyone processes grief differently and everyone expresses grief differently.  The same applies with acknowledging special days.  What works for my brother (as we remember our mom) just might not be helpful for me.  Or vice-versa.  As a rules-follower, I can struggle with imposing “my rules” on those  around me.  This is not fair.  Nor does it rarely work.

Take suggestions from others.  Not necessarily all “the others” on social media but from trusted friends and family. But, at the end of the day, decide what works best for you and for your family.  Mother’s Day, and most other special days, should bring you some joy…or, at the very least, some comfort.

THREE – This last one may just be for me…but I will include it.  I cannot depend on others, or circumstances, to comfort me or to ease my grief.  It is unrealistic for me to expect family, friends – or anyone else! –  to know exactly what my heart needs.   However, I have a Heavenly Father who does my heart.  He cares for me, comforts me and is so kind.  Many times throughtout the years since Tyler died, God has used someone (or several someones) to say or do just what my heart needed.  In ways that I could not have pre-planned or imagined.  He cares about my grief.

He cares about your grief as well.  He also knows every emotion that might threaten your heart on Mother’s Day.  Allow Him to work and to care tenderly for you.  Make time to get alone with Him and allow Him to speak to your heart.  It will give you more peace and genunine joy than any card, pretty flowers or breakfast in bed could ever do.

Perhaps Sunday is a favorite day of yours.  A chance to surround yourself with those you love so much.  Don’t take that for granted.  Whatever your day looks like this weekend….however your heart might feel, I pray God will meet you right where you are and will send you an extra blessing on Mother’s Day.  Hugs my friends –

13 thoughts on “A Few Thoughts on Mother’s Day

  1. I don’t know the right things to say or how to bring comfort but I do pray God provides you with strength and peace as you navigate another Mother’s Day without your sweet boy, who is currently resting in the arms of Jesus. I can’t imagine the pain, but I am here for you, praying for you. You’re right, grief hits differently for all and there’s no right or wrong way. Blessings!

    1. Thank you, Dawn. I appreciate your kind comment as well as your prayers. It is amazing to know how many friends lift us up in prayer…friends we have never met in person. So humbling and very much appreciated.

  2. Very well said (written, but you know what I mean). I have notta to add except that I agree with you. Never having lost a child but having lost my mom at a young age (I was a very young adult when she became sick), I felt grief´s sting along with several bouts of ¨this is NOT fair¨ (after all, I lost my dad when I was 13) but throughout my entire life, I have felt the hand of God showing his mercy and love to me. Happy Mother´s Day!

    1. Thanks, Maria. So grateful for the God’s mercy and love – which has helped me every step of the way. Through grief and much more:) Praying you have a sweet day on Sunday, my friend!

  3. Hi Jennifer! I pray you have a wonderful, peaceful Mother’s Day tomorrow! I know this Mother’s Day will be different for me not having my mom here to celebrate, but I have peace in knowing she’s happy and healthy again and smiling down on me. I look forward to celebrating the day with my husband and daughter as they will take me out to brunch tomorrow. The weather is warm and sunny this weekend and I have so much to be thankful for!

  4. Well written, thoughtful post. Mother’s Day is not my favorite. There is so much pressure to acknowledge your mom, acknowledge your kids who made you a mom, acknowledge everyone you know who is a good mom. But I have several women close to me for whom this day is sad because they never were able to have children. I know they are hurting during this annual reminder that they aren’t moms. And my sister lost her second son and is somewhat estranged from her first son, they talk but every conversation is a fight that doesn’t end well. A lot of hard feelings both ways. I am terribly close to my girls but she doesn’t have that same relationship at all with her son. And I feel bad for her. Then there’s the pressure for our kids to acknowledge what a ‘terrific’ mom we were. I tried hard but yelled a lot. And made loads of mistakes. I know my daughters love me but I wasn’t Mary Poppins. I would just as soon we skipped Mother’s Day!!

    How you did something for YOU today.

  5. Just letting you know I love you…I know, without a doubt, you are and were the BEST Mom ever…and that’s what he’d tell you, if he could. I know he’s always with you.

  6. Hey Jennifer,
    After I read your post, I went to your testimony to learn more about your journey with Tyler. Oh my, your mother’s heart… I am sorry for your heartache, yet grateful for your steadfast faith. May you know how much you are blessing us with your honest stories, your sweet encouragements, your beautiful writing. Thank you. I am sending hugs.

    1. Karen, thanks for reading my testimony. I pray it was a blessing to you and that, in some small way, God will continue to use it as folks come by the blog. So glad that we have connected here on our blogs and am always blessed when you stop by!

  7. It must be so dreadfully hard to deal with Mother’s Day when your son is not there to celebrate with. Not to mention being bombarded on social media with post of those whose families have remained complete.
    I always lay flowers on my mum’s grave on Mother’s Day but that doesn’t mean I miss her more on that day compared to any other. When you have lost someone you do not need a special date on which to remember them. You miss them the same amount every day, not just once or twice a year.
    Sending hugs x

    1. Deb – thanks so much for your kind comment. So glad you stopped by this afternoon! Hope you are having a good week….

  8. Jennifer, thank you for this heartfelt post. I’m sorry that I am just now getting to it but I was away from blogging for a bit again. You are so blessed to realize that there are no rules included when it comes to grief and the way we grieve. Sending you much love, my friend. xx

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