This Sunday is International Bereaved Mother’s Day (first Sunday in May every year). In honour of bereaved mothers everywhere, I want to acknowledge the different kinds of bereaved mothers in our communities.
The mothers who had a child or children and lost them.
The mothers of stillborn babies.
The mothers who lost pregnancies to miscarriage.
The mothers who have tried to conceive.
The mothers with infertility issues.
The mothers of IVF embryos.
The mothers who dreamed of their children, named their children, planned for their children, and never had a chance to try.
The mothers locked out of motherhood by illness or circumstance.
The mothers who never got to be mothers.
The spiritual mothers who have lost spiritual children, or whose children have lost their way.
To all the bereaved mothers: society may say your grief is not real, or not as legitimate as other kinds of grief. You may have felt your grief was disenfranchised. But today we see you, we acknowledge your loss of children, and we mourn with you.
This Sunday, if you know a mourning mother, please reach out to them. Send a text, give flowers, give them a hug. Let them know you are thinking of them and you love them. Even if they don’t want company, that’s OK. They will know they are not alone.
Have you lost a child, or the hope of a child? How do you remember them or grieve for them? Do you know bereaved mothers in your family or church? How can you reach out to them this Sunday? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.