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.
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.
Author of Child Loss – the Heartbreak and the Hope
Author of Silent Grief