Mothering Cut Short
It’s that day when Americans sing the praises of mothers, past, present, and mothers-to-be. Celebrating mothers is a fine thing. Celebrations are a fine thing.
However, it is not so fine a thing that amid the chorus of “Happy Mother’s Day!” are far too many silenced voices. Those are the voices of children lost. It’s a bittersweet day for women who long to hear those voices. Bittersweet because they are mothers, but there will be no mothering of their child today. Bittersweet because mothering their child made them who they are, shaped them, taught them a love like no other. They wouldn’t trade that love for the earth’s finest riches, but they would give away the pain of loss without a second thought—if they could. They cannot.
So, today, they will have a day—but not the Mother’s Day of cards, chocolate, and peanut butter on toast served on a tray, wildflowers in a vase nearby.
They might say, “Yes, I was.” Or they might say, “Yes, I am.” They might stumble through the day with lead feet. They might walk as if on air. They might pull the covers over their heads and decide that, today, they will not walk at all.
One thing they will do today is miss their child—aged sixteen days or sixty years. Mother’s Day isn’t different in that respect; mothers who have lost miss their child every day.
Some days it’s harder. Today, it’s harder. What can you do? Love them. Love them more today. It won’t change the day. It won’t change the loss. Love might make the loss a bit lighter to carry—not only on Mother’s Day but every day.