Loved Mum & Dad of Elsie and Bertie
As mother’s day comes closer I once again find myself with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes wishing I was a miracle Mum who could save her children. As I write this I’m holding Bertie in my arms, imaging what it would be like if I could cuddle all three of my children together. Something I know will forever be a dream and never a reality. So although I will never be a miracle Mummy, thinking positively I thought I would share the miracles Alfie, Elsie and Bertie have given to me, and what I think is the real magic of motherhood.I won’t get a card with his hand print or a cup of tea in bed from Alfie but he gave me the best gift of all; enlightening me to the world of being a Mummy for the first time. I may not be able to hold his little hands, but I will hold them in my heart forever. For many Mums like me, this Sunday is a precious reminder of the fragility of life. For these mums I wish you peace and love.
As I have grown through grief so have I grown in strength. Not in the physical way…I can hardly lift the 11kg that is Elsie… but she has given me the strength to accomplish anything, including overcoming my fears. Being profoundly deaf and only hearing with cochlears this past year, she constantly reminds me that with passion and hard work you can achieve your dreams and goals. Just hearing her sign and say ‘Mummy’ melts my heart. She is thriving as a beautiful young toddler who is my little miracle. I am in awe of Elsie and how she has grown up so happy despite several surgeries, two life support machines, a stoma bag and cochlears.
Like Elsie and Alfie, Bertie has shared the miracle of love with me. A love that a Mum can hold anywhere, even in a hospital that he has never left. Bertie has yet to feel the sun on his skin and the wind in his hair, a dream that will become reality soon because I will make it so. He’s been cuddled by many but not enough by me; this should break my heart but I’ve been through grief and nothing can compare. Instead I treasure the moments we have together, he makes me want to love more and kiss more because I can, because I’m his Mummy.
I may not be the miracle Mum I want to be, but I have been blessed with three miracle children who I love to the moon and back and I am grateful for that this Mother’s Day.
For all the different types of Mums, enjoy your soggy toast, listen to the magic of your child’s voice and cuddle them as often as you possibly can. And if you can’t be with your child today, you are a still an incredibly special Mum. Happy Mother’s Day.
Many people consider Mother’s Day to be a ‘Hallmark Holiday’ drummed up by greedy retailers. And maybe it is. I read the other day the average Mother’s Day gift is $172.00. But $172.00 won’t bring our beloved children back and Mother’s Day, sans the Hallmark card, becomes a day when we are surrounded with reminders of our loss.
I believe that part of our healing journey is to offer our wisdom and insight into those who have come after us, and those who are just now coming out of the darkness regardless of time. I know for me, I never thought about how I would handle Mother’s Day after losing a child – until I had to. You are such a source of profound healing- pay it forward!
Here are my Top 4 Tips on how to handle Mother’s Day after losing a child
1. Grief is a dynamic process, what worked last year might not work this year and what works this year will change next. Leave yourself open to new ways of approaching where you are. Also, if you have a tough year, don’t get attached to thinking, “that’s how it going to be for the rest of my life!”. Accept it as simply being a tough year and look to find ways to improve it.
2. There is no right or wrong way to do this. You are the only one who can determine what you need. You are as individual as the relationship you had with your loved one. Honour your uniqueness.
3. Know that it’s not just ‘the day’ that makes it hard. Often it’s the days leading up to and following it that weigh on us. The anticipation and the letdown can be very exhausting. Set aside 10 minutes to check in with your self – How’s your energy, your mood, your body, your emotional state?
4. Don’t be afraid to feel like you’re moving forward – We don’t HAVE to stay stuck, we can choose happiness… If for no other reason than you, of all people, deserve it!
Tips & Wisdom From Incredible Mums Who Know
‘In all my grief on the first Mothers’ Day without my daughter, I forgot to call my own mother. Just before bed that night four years ago, I remembered that I still had a mother. A mother who was worried about me. A mother who had lost a granddaughter and was grieving herself. So I guess my tip for newly bereaved mothers would be to call your mom. If your mother is no longer alive, do something in her honour and be happy she didn’t have to go through what you are going through. And then be good to yourself. Because that’s what your kid would be doing on this day. Be kind to yourself FOR your son or daughter who died.’ ~Robin B
Live in the sunshine of your loved one’s life, not the shadow of their death.