Mother’s Day Without My Child

I marked the date on my calendar months ago.  I’m feeling the pressing ache in my heart more and more with each passing day.  Mother’s Day used to be such a day of celebration, but not any more.

This is the second Mother’s Day without my son, and the pain has grown increasingly worse with each passing day.  I keep telling myself that this is just another day, but that’s a lie.  This is Mother’s Day, a day is is supposed to be celebrated.  Instead, I’m facing it with a brokenness that is unable to be fixed!

I don’t even know how to get through Mother’s Day this year.  Nothing seems to fit the agenda for a mother whose son has died.  I’m tired.  I’m tired of trying to convince myself that it’s going to be okay.  I’m tired of putting on a happy face during times when my heart is throbbing so bad that it feels like it’s going to explode inside my chest.  I’m just plain tired of the thought of facing one more day that should be happy without my son.

So, what am I going to do?  I don’t know yet.  Last year, the first Mother’s Day without Mike, I stumbled and bumbled my way through the day.  I was in a thick fog and didn’t feel much of anything.  Flat line.  Emotionless.  No tears. No smiles.  Just zombie-like.  I really didn’t care.  But, this year?  This year is different.  Why?  Because my grief is real.  It has been 713 days since Mike died.  It has been 713 days since I heard Mike’s voice.  It has been 713 days since death became part of my life, and I hate it.  I hate this feeling of emptiness.  I hate this feeling of being incomplete.  I hate knowing that Mike’s children don’t have a dad with them.  I hate knowing that Mike’s wife has suffered so much pain every day since his death.  I hate knowing my other children lost a brother.

I hate everything about child loss.

I haven’t figured how Mother’s Day will play out this year.  I’m not sure I’ll feel like being around people that day.  Or, maybe I will feel like being surrounded by people.  I don’t know and it’s about to drive me crazy.  Grief is so unpredictable that there’s no sense in making plans.  How do I know how bad my heart will be hurting that day?  The only thing I know with certainty is that my heart is broken and there is no super glue that can fix this kind of brokenness.

Maybe I’ll buy some plants to place in Mike’s memorial garden.  Maybe I’ll sit on the bench by his garden and remember.  Maybe I’ll spend a few hours looking at pictures.  Maybe I’ll just empty some of this pain that is building up and cry buckets of tears.

I don’t know what I’ll do on Mother’s Day because my grief is just too unpredictable.

heartbreak

I do know one thing, though.  On Mother’s Day I will feel pain as I haven’t felt in a long time.  I love being a mother, and since my oldest son is gone, I don’t feel complete.  I’ll never feel complete.  I want to feel the pain.  I need to feel the pain.  Others don’t understand, but I do.  I need to feel the raw pain of loss because when I do Mike becomes real to me again.  I want him to be real to me.

People say that with time the pain fades.  Maybe.  Maybe I just haven’t had enough time without my son yet for the pain to begin to fade.  Maybe in another year.  Maybe next Mother’s Day the pain won’t be squeezing in on me from every side.

Maybe.  We’ll see, but nothing is ever certain when traveling this journey of child loss except…………….

nothing is ever certain except the love I have for my child.

A mother’s love never changes.  I will love my son the same today as I did yesterday.  In fact, I think with each passing day that we are apart, I love him more.

What will I do this Mother’s Day?  I will remember my son with love.  I will hold him close to me even through death.  I will tell him how much I love him and how proud I am of him.  I will tell him how thankful I am that he is my son.  I will tell him how blessed I was to have him on earth with me for forty-two years.

I will say “I love you” a thousand times and more.  I am a mother. Yes, that’s what I’ll do on Mother’s Day.  I will pull memories of my son close to my heart and hold him there forever and ever and ever.  That’s exactly what I’ll do.

Love,

Clara

Author of Child Loss – the Heartbreak and the Hope

Author of Hope 365 – Daily Meditations for the Grieving Heart

Author of Silent Grief

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14 Comments

  1. This will be my first mother’s day without my only 21 month old daughter Alissa, the love of my life, my everything. Really dreading it. Hate this person I am and the life I now have to life without her. a life filled with torture and pain. Hugs to you all through this terrible time.

    1. Lisa, I’m so very, very sorry. Sometimes there simply are no words that will help to take away this kind of pain, and this is one of those times. Facing a holiday such as Mother’s Day is one of the most difficult, painful things we will ever have to do.

      My special love to you. I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet Alissa.

    2. It will be my 10th Mother’s Day without Mike and my 3rd without Steven. The boys were 31 and 37. Those first Mother’s day were a blurr. Putting on a brave face took a toll. Days leading up to and after were horrible. The last years have been spent with my remaining child, Melissa. From out of my darkest I have come to realise her Mother’s day has been affected by the loss of her brothers. The mum she knew growing up is no longer here. But for the love of Her, I will be present on the day for her. ❣

  2. This will be my 20th. without my son. He was robbed and shot to death at the age of 21. The first was the hardest trying to go out to eat with my other 2 sons. I remember trying to hold back the tears but having them flow anyway. I couldn’t eat because of the lump in my throat. It does get easier as the years pass but it’s always there with me silently running through my mind. Bryan was and will always be my baby boy. I’ll hold him in my heart until I see him in Heaven.

  3. This story is my story,only two things different, his name is Justin and he was 38. This is my second Mothers Day without my son. He always called me early (6am) to tell me Happy Mothers Day, I remember thinking on Mothers Day 2015 this will probably be the last time I hear him say, Happy Mothers Day and it was. I miss hearing his voice so much💙

  4. I lost two children Nathan was still born many years ago I thought that was bad then almost 6 years ago my son Johnny who was the light of my life my only son was an executive was coming out of work just a few weeks after me and his two children and him just came home from a vacation in Hawaii and he was shot and killed…by two men plotted by the mother of his two children… I am crying as I write this and my heart aches!!! She was a RN… never expected this of her…How could she do this??? To him? To her children? To all of us??? I still cry every day…My heart is forever broken… His children no longer talk to me since the trial… why I don’t know… they live with her mom…

  5. My second mothers day without my son, who died at the age of 35. Impending heartache hovers over me. At the same time, I celebrate my other three children, his siblings, and remember, it’s not just my loss. It’s been a rough road. It’s a life long learning curve.

  6. Last year was my first mothers day without my son Andre, Sept 21 was the first birthday both days were almost unbearable, harder than I could of imagined! I waited so long to be a mom, I never thought I would be, I had 11 miscarriage’s before my baby was born I was 32 years old at the time. I endured much loss & sorrow so to finally become a mom was so amazing only to lose him at the age of 27. I’m still in a fog, just feel so empty.

  7. I am so sorry for your pain.

    This will be my first Mother’s Day without my son mike. He was 25 and with every ounce of my heart I feel every word you just described

    Life goes on but will never be the same

  8. I am writing this not as a parent that has lost a child but as a sibling/ daughter of someone who has lost a brother/son. How long is does it take for you to realize that you have other children and that their lives are suffering in the hands of the choices their sibling did? How is that fair to those left behind that because of his death we too have to suffer and not only loose our sibling but our mother/ grandmother as well.

    I have three children and I cannot in any way fathom losing one of my children and the idea of someone saying but you have 2 other ones is completely absurd. But where do you draw the line?. When does the time come where you listen to your mind more than your heart and understand the pain you are inflicting on your other children and grandchildren by your meer absence and hate of life.

  9. Thank you, Clara. I love this post. You express so poignantly exactly how I often feel. Today marks five years that my son was ushered into glory. The day of his death and Mother’s Day usually fall in the same week and I am undone. I know I’ll rise again. It won’t be like this next week or throughout most of the year. As each year passes the pain is there, but it becomes less intense. So, I thank God for these days of rawness. They are a gift. They make me feel very close to my son and also draw me closer to the Father. We may change, we have changed, but God never changes. Truly my soul finds rest in God, my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation. He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62. God bless you and I hope you feel the presence of the Lord this week, on Mother’s Day, and every day of your journey through grief. Blessings, Ellen

  10. I am a mother who has lost 2 sons. My first passed on May 1 2012 and my second son passed on May 7 2014 they were twins. I still can’t get over the fact that they are gone. I just hate Mothers Day that I just refuse to go to church on that day and instead go to there grave site. I feel that guilt of putting my sons first before God. I have your book Child Loss finding that very helpful. Also have your other book Hope 365 haven’t gotten to read that yet. But soon. I will also try to follow you on Facebook. Thank you

  11. My dear, sweet son, Brandon Michael Pittarelli, I love you and miss you with all my heart and soul. My heart is broken so deeply since your death, I feel like I’m losing my mind at times. It’s been almost 9 months since your passing and the pain gets worse. What keeps me going is I know I’ll see you again. Also, when you were 10 years old you wrote me a Christmas letter and in that letter you said, “If one of us passed away, I know we will always be together through our love.” You were wise beyond your years.

  12. This was my first Mother’s Day without my Gary! He passed away on November 23, 2016. I thought it was going to be as bad as Easter was. Easter was a mess. I was so angry. But to my surprise! I had a peace and comfort like no other. I actually felt as if he was right by my side. Like he came to visit me and spoke right to my heart and said “Happy Mother’s Day”. It was the strangest thing I ever experienced since he passed. But I enjoyed every moment of it. I thank God for moments like this because I know it it ONLY by HIS grace that HE allows these things. Have you ever experienced anything like this before?