in your 6 months of life you changed everything
you made a girl into a mother
a man into a father,
you turned two into three,
you showed me life,
you showed me death,
you are as close to me as you are far
with only one infuriating inch of space that separates us
and even though I am a mother who has to understand
that your journey in this life was a short one,
I can’t help but wish that you were in my life
instead of all around it.
Today is Mother’s day. And for me, about 95% of today is filled with honouring of the mothers of my life.
The 5% is the part that is filled with sadness. A trigger to the loss of my first child. And that is what this blog post is about. Writing has always been a way for me to process life as it happens to me, with me, within me.
And friends, this path of grief is so very difficult. And unpredictable. And deep.
My heart has been etched with deep flowing rivers made from my tears.
A few weeks ago, I made a new friend on Instagram. A sister, a fellow mother of loss. She wrote a beautiful letter addressed to all mothers, and I would like to share it with you today:
“Happy mother’s day to all mothers this weekend,
To the mothers without their babies. To the mothers who bore a child but never changed a nappy, who arranged a funeral but never a birthday party. To the mothers who said hello and goodbye all at once, to the mothers who grew angels and carry them not in their arms, but in their heart.
Happy mother’s day to all the mothers-in-waiting.
To those hoping and trying to grow their own miracle. To those who carry the weight of infertility when they long to carry the weight of a baby. To the the mothers who are yet to be crowned with the ultimate title but have long been qualified for the role.
Happy mother’s day to all the mothers of poorly and premature babies, stealing touches through glass. To the mothers who sit patient and loving, praying simply for survival, where life is measured in minutes, not years.
And of course, Happy mother’s day to all the mothers with full wombs and full arms.
To the mothers who hit the jackpot and care so wonderfully for their prize.
Wear that mother badge with the greatest of pride, feel every cuddle, see every smile, give all of the kisses, and hear that little voice that calls you “mommy.” When you are tired and frustrated, remember that you are the luckiest mothers of all.
Happy mother’s day to all mothers this weekend.”
If you would like to hear more of her story check out her instagram @life_of_pea and blog
Since I have lost my daughter, I have come across so many women who are walking this unimaginable path with me. They have welcomed me into their hearts. This is a community I never knew existed. A club I never imagined myself a part of. But there is so much strength and beauty here. So much so that I am proud to be here. I am proud to be one of these women.
My sadness transforms as the weeks pass. I can’t say there is any less of it. In fact, at times I feel like there is more of it. But it’s different. Lighter, thinner, but more everywhere.
But my sadness changes shape and it changes me.
And it comes in layers. The outer most layer is the sadness that says “I am so heartbroken that my hopes for a family have been broken. I am so sad that I will never get to spend a day with my child.”
And then there is a sadness that comes from such a deep place that I can’t touch it. That sadness says “My daughter died. My child is dead.”
I can’t write a mother’s day post without writing about my mother.
Without you, there is no me. Thank you for the greatest gift of all. Life.
I have come to understand that mother is energy. And I have been mothered by many women. Mothers who have healed me, shaped me, grew me, understood me, inspired me, guided me, believed in me, caught me.
And there is mother in all of us. We all help raise the children of the world. I have been blessed to have a life touched by many children. Children are the future. It’s an honour to be part of their life, even if it’s in a small way. It is a great joy and privilege to just play with them.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY