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When Mother’s Day brings sadness along with joy

May 07, 2014

My mom died seven years ago. We were very close. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her about a hundred times. To be honest, I miss her more than words can even express. As a result of this, Mother’s Day is always a strange day for me. I am a mom, but I don’t have a Mom anymore. Year after year, my Mother’s Days are filled with sentimental joy when I read my son’s homemade cards and aches of sorrow when all I want to do is be able to call my own Mom and tell her I love her.

I share this not to bring anyone down, but to remind us all that we all have our “stuff.” Heartbreak, loss, grief, sorrow. We all struggle with our own feelings and our own experiences every day. It is never easy, but for those of us with “Mom Struggles,” Mother’s Day is particularly challenging. I encourage us all to celebrate in whatever ways we see fit, but to remember that there may be people around us that could have a hard time this weekend. It’s not unusual to be right next to someone who smiles through their pain, and no one knows what they go through.

If you do know of someone who is hurting this weekend, please remember them in your thoughts. Please be there for them if they need you. Use kind and sensitive words. Please know that it is easy to say something that can be hurtful, even if you don’t intend it that way. I can’t tell you how many times over the past seven years I have smiled and nodded along with a friend, family member, or acquaintance as they laughingly groan about having to make time to call Mom this weekend, or drive across town to take her to dinner, or how they forgot to buy her a card. These people shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells for me; they aren’t doing anything wrong. That is why I don’t say anything, but my heart aches just the same because I would give anything to be able to do those things.

It’s not just loss of a mother that can make Mother’s Day difficult. Last night, I read an update from a childhood friend. In her ninth month of pregnancy, she lost her baby. The son that she lost was her first baby, and Mother’s Day is this weekend. The situation is truly heartbreaking. There are people that grow up in abusive situations or unloving families. There are people who are still fortunate enough to have their Mom, but perhaps she is ill or suffering. There are those of us that want nothing more than to be a mom, and aren’t. Grief, abuse, and infertility are traumatic and painful. The sadness from those issues is always there, but Mother’s Day just seems to magnify it.

In my experience, most of us do our best. Those of us that suffer seem to put on a brave face and get through the day. Many, like me, walk the line of happiness and sadness all through the day, but there are those among us that may feel that they have nothing to smile about all day long.

Many of us were or still are fortunate to have Moms that love unconditionally, cheer for us, and take care of us whenever we need them. I suggest that on this Mother’s Day, we reach out not only to our own Moms and Mom-like figures, but to anyone hurting and treat them just how a loving Mom might treat us. We all need love and support, and this is a perfect weekend to share that with others.