When you’re a grieving mom, celebrations of any kind feel a little less celebratory. Especially when you’re a grieving mom on Mother’s Day.
I know that in some ways, I am one of the lucky ones. I had very little trouble conceiving both of my pregnancies. When 1 in 8 women struggle with infertility and 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage, I understood that I was a lucky one. The pain and heartache these mothers feel on Mother’s Day must be immense. And for those who have gone on to have successful pregnancies, the pain is not forgotten, but rather replaced with empathy.
My Mother’s Day is bright and sunny because I have two beautiful girls to share it with.
But my pain lingers.
I have two happy, healthy, smiling faces to stare at and two squirming, wiggling little bodies to hold and hug.
But my heart hurts.
I have two perfect princesses to dress in tutus and walk with as they push their babies in strollers.
But the tears flow.
My pain lingers, my heart hurts and the tears flow because one of my babies, born too premature and too weak to survive in the physical world, lives only in my heart. I think of her every day. There is not one day that goes by that I don’t miss her. But Mother’s Day is an extra reminder of the face I can’t see, the hand I can’t hold, the baby I had to bury.
Because of this, for me Mother’s Day is not just a celebration of the babies that have made me a mom, but the reminder that as a grieving mom with living children, there is no day about me anymore. I am torn between celebrating and grieving.
So on Mother’s Day, I smile and I laugh and I grieve silently. While my girls will always know Mommy and Daddy are sad because Ilana lives in heaven, I never want them to think they are not enough, that they do not completely fill my heart. They are what makes me stronger that the pain. —Julie