Help For When Mother's Day Isn't Happy

BlogHer Original Post

Next Sunday is Mother’s Day in the States. For some this is a time to celebrate and fawn, thank and praise. For others it is a day that highlights their lack, or shines a spotlight on their sorrow. A complicated day then – and not at all as simple as the row of supermarket greeting cards seems to attest.

In 1997 my first child, Simeon, arrived stillborn and a I passed through a Mother’s Day in a queer state of being. I felt I had become a mother, yet I had no one to mother. People kept saying that I had “lost” a baby. The terminology troubled me and I struggled to find better words to describe what I was experiencing.

This year a dear friend is mourning the loss of her first child, who’s heart stopped beating midway through her second trimester. As I try to be a good traveling companion to her on the journey, memories and feelings from Simeon’s pregnancy and birth have come rushing back. Now I have so many more resources at my fingertips. Now help is a hand.

So on this Mother’s Day I offer these resources to you – for yourself, for a friend. And I hope that in the midst of the complicated emotions Mother’s Day might bring you may find among them, hope.

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If you need a gift to memorialize a child turn to Stacy, the soulful artist at Bella Wish. Stacy makes personalized pendants which make a lovely traditional Mother’s Day gift. She can also help you find a way to support and remember someone on a more difficult journey. (She’s making my friend a set of pendants that say “carry” and “hope.” What words might help someone you know through their trying time?)

If you or someone you know are mourning the unexpected end of a pregnancy or trying to survive a child’s death, Jenny Schroedel’s new book “Naming the Child: Hope-filled reflections on miscarriage, still birth and child loss offers heartfelt stories and suggestions for both mourning and remembering. I’m honored that Jenny included Simeon’s story in her book. She handled our story with respect and care, as she does all the stories on her beautiful and helpful website.

At Surviving Baby there’s an excellent list of practical to “do’s and don’ts” in the post What to do When Her Baby Dies.

If you are on a journey through fertility Melissa Ford has a fantastic website, Stirrup Queens, and has recently published all her findings in her new book Navigating the Land of If: Understanding Infertility and Exploring your Options.

If you need to follow the story of ‘someone like you’ I highly recommend the poetic Kate at Sweet Salty, who writes about the loss of one of her twin sons, and the joy of mothering the two boys who are still with her. 

Also on my list of recommendations is Jennell Paris at the Paris Project who writes frankly and thoughtfully about the loss of her triplets and her journey through pregnancy and parenthood. Jennell’s article When Mother’s Day is Hard is especially timely.

Rachelle Mee-Chapman is an alt.minster, mom, write, and American ex-pat in Denmark. You can find her at Magpie Girl, follow her on Twitter, and friend her on Facebook. Thank you for reading!

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