Coping with Mother's Day After Loss

In my experience, Mother’s Day is often trying for mothers who have had losses.  In fact, the national organization RESOLVE, which supports women struggling with infertility, suggests sending a card to women who aren’t able to conceive or have had pregnancy losses. A parent’s love needs to be acknowledged and celebrated even after the death of a child.  Every Mother’s Day, I am reminded of the death of my daughter to SIDS in 2003, my ectopic pregnancy in 2004, and my secondary infertility ever since.  However, not many people will celebrate me as a mother or acknowledge my losses.  But, my love for my daughter didn’t end when she died;  I am still a mother to her, but very few people see me in this way.  I can imagine many other mothers who have lost children also feel ignored on that day.  That’s why this holiday has been particularly important to me this time around, because the book I edited, “Joy, Interrupted: An Anthology on Motherhood Loss” has come out just before Mother’s Day.  I wish I had the book the first Mother’s Day after my daughter’s death, and every one that I have been faced with while struggling with infertility.  Seeing the many losses of other mothers and realizing that love goes on even with the interruptions of our joy in mothering would have made me feel less alone.  Now I hope that the book can give this comfort to other mothers who have losses and are about to face a Mother’s Day even while grieving.  Maybe acknowledging their pain on this day will lessen that pain.

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