Today is International Bereaved Mother’s Day. I was unaware that this day even existed until just recently, but honestly, it makes so much sense. I remember the dread that came on the first Mother’s Day after my mom passed. Those conflicted thoughts between the overwhelming joy of having my own daughter to celebrate making me a mother but also the sorrow that came with not having my mama there. It was awful. I pretty much just wanted to crawl into a ball of tears and skip any mention of Mother’s Day. And then my son died, only 2 years later. I don’t remember much about Mother’s Day last year, except that in the very same way, I wanted to skip it. To fast forward through the day that would so blatantly remind me of the missing baby in our home. Of the hole in my heart that was still oozing with pain. I remember thinking of my friends and acquaintances who were not yet mothers but longed to be. Who had lost babies to miscarriage or still birth. Mother’s Day felt like a kick in the ribs.
I was sitting here this evening and thinking about next Sunday. Adam has been asking what I’d like to do and my answer is always along the lines of I don’t know. He wants so desperately to celebrate me. To acknowledge and honor the fact that we have been blessed with two children, both of whom were made to glorify God; one for only 16 hours. I want that too. It’s wonderful to be a mother. Mama is the title that I wear most proudly. But celebrating my adoption into the sisterhood of mamas feels a bit like a lie. Or at least a half truth. Because there is part of my mama heart that is broken and will never be completely healed.
Thankfully, I serve a God who can, and will, make that big huge scar across my heart brand new one day. He will eliminate all pain and sadness. And thankfully, even in the waiting period before that day comes, He is continually working in that broken heart to show me the completeness I can have in Him.
We didn’t do anything special today, but my heart goes out to my fellow mamas with broken hearts. I want to hug each one of you. I want to cry and curse with you. I want to praise Jesus alongside you when we are reunited with our babies. And I want to remember this day, each year, so that I can cling even tighter to the God that has sustained me through this loss. Through all of the heartache. Through all of the mixed emotions and various disappointments. Through the moments when I felt like giving him the silent treatment. Because loss is part of my story. It’s one of the threads in the pattern God has woven for me. By the grace of God, I will not be defined by the sorrow that comes with loss, but I will always have it and know it. And it will always send me right into His arms.