Letters to a Grieving Mom: Mother’s Day after Miscarriage and Loss
This is part of a series called Letters to a Grieving Mom to help women navigate significant milestones after miscarriage and pregnancy loss.
Mother’s Day. It’s hard isn’t it? I know.
Because I grew up in a healthy home with a mother I adored and a life relatively free of heartbreak, I never understood the pain many women experience on Mother’s Day. When I had my own children, I quickly formed ideas about what I deserved when Mother’s Day rolled around. I needed a day off, a massage, and fresh flowers to remind me that my sleepless nights and repetitive days meant something. Of course, I knew my mothering mattered to my children. I knew it mattered to God and to my husband as well. But I sometimes still felt unrecognized in the sacrifice—the push and pull and demand and responsibility of it all.
A few years of motherhood taught me that it’s pretty common to feel this way.
But what of women who grew up without a mother or with a mother who left them? What of those who lost a beloved mom to disease? And what of those who longed to become a mother but were holding out for the right husband? Or the wife who endures charts and pokes and tests and every month hopes for a result she’s never seen before?
Mother’s Day can be hard. Nothing has taught me this more than experiencing the loss of our babies.
You may not have other little ones in your home to give you kisses and help daddy make you a card covered with X’s and O’s like I did. But regardless if you’ve ever had children in your home losing a baby can turn Mother’s Day on its head.
For me, when Mother’s Day rolls around I always miss my babies again. I’m thankful for those I have (and realize many women don’t share that same kind of joy), but as much as I love my three sons, they will never replace the three babies I’ve lost. I’ll always miss them and miss what could have been.
I remember the Mother’s Day after losing our first baby to miscarriage. I was six weeks fresh in my grief and I dreaded facing that day without our baby. It felt wrong to celebrate motherhood when mine had been so marred by loss. I felt alone and disappointed. I felt hesitant, vulnerable, disoriented.
That day came and went and of course I survived. My husband thoughtfully included our baby in his card to me and he acknowledged our loss, validating all of my complicated emotions. But it doesn’t mean it was easy.
Each year since, I’ve learned to adjust my expectations for Mother’s Day and to do things that help me address the things within myownheart that no one else can see. For me this means considering other moms who may be hurting. It means doing something to serve women in need, not because I can save them, but because I amthem. Sometimes it means buying myself flowers, or stealing away to get really honest in my journal. Mostly it means slowly learning to count my blessings, even in the midst of my pain, and knowing that neither cancels the other out.
Dear mama, how are you feeling this Mother’s Day? Do you feel forgotten? Invisible? Lonely? Do you feel sad? Angry? Hurt? Please know that there’s room for all of you today. So you be you.
Some of you have not had any children other than the ones you’ve lost. You may even be wondering what this day means for you—do you count? Whether society sees you as a mother or not, let me speak this truth into your heart as clearly and directly as I can: You count. You’re a mother too. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your fertility and pregnancy, your mother’s heart cracked open when you got pregnant and lost your baby. You’re in pain today because you’re a childless mother and that just hurts.
You may feel let down by your husband or friends or church or support network. They may not have recognized the significance or sensitivity of this day in the ways you had hoped. For that, I am sorry. It’s okay that you’re disappointed. In your disappointment, know this: God sees. He sees your pain and he cares how you feel. He will draw near to you in times of heartache—receive his comfort, surrender to his grace, ask for his healing, look to the hope he offers.
You are not alone. You count. I see you. God sees you.
He sees you.
He sees you.
He sees you.
Others in the Letters to a Grieving Mom series (links will be added as these go live):
- Open when you your period returns
- Open on your original due date
- Open when you’re invited to a baby shower
- Open on a holiday or special occasion
- Open on Mother’s Day
- Open during a post-miscarriage pregnancy
For further resources to navigate grief after miscarriage and pregnancy loss, or to learn how to best support a friend experiencing loss, please visit my Miscarriage Stories and Resources page.
Whether your miscarriage is fresh and you’re still reeling in grief, or it has long since been buried, considering picking up a copy of Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss as a gift for your soul this Mother’s Day (or pick up a copy for a thoughtful, sensitive gift for a friend to help say “I see you and I’m with you”).