How do you get through Mother’s Day after losing a child?
Mother’s Day: A day touted everywhere as a more wonderful event for the whole family – a day when children actively make time for their mothers, and mothers quality time spend with their children. But for many, that is not the reality.
Precisely because so many expectations and norms are associated with this day, it can be particularly difficult for people who have broken off their relationship with their mothers, whose mothers are no longer alive, who have had a long unfulfilled desire to have children – or for people who have already once lost a child.
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“We know from grieving families who have experienced the loss of a child that days like Mother’s Day can be very difficult,” says Rowena Pailing, director of bereavement support at the Sands charity, which specializes in bereavement related to stillbirth and childbirth death of newborns.
“Even the lead up to Mother’s Day can be very stressful for mothers, fathers and loved ones who have witnessed the death of a child and they may need help,” Pailing continued.
How to get through Mother’s Day after losing a child?
Also—or because—Mother’s Day can be a day of grief for those who have lost a child, it’s important to be able to let that grief go, if you choose to, the Sands advisory team said. It is therefore particularly important to surround yourself with people you trust, according to the bereaved family.
It can also help to actively feel the connection to the deceased child. “You are still a mother and your bond with your child, whether it is here or not, is something to be proud of,” the Sands grief counselor said. “You may also want to talk about your child or children and name them.”
But maybe you want the exact opposite. In this case, it can be helpful to ask a loved one to share “talking points” with friends and family that you feel comfortable with leading up to and on Mother’s Day itself. If you just want to be left alone on this day, this should also be communicated in advance so that the day of mourning can be successful on your own terms. This also brings us directly to the next point:
How to support friends and family who have lost a baby on Mother’s Day
When a friend or family member has lost a child, it can be difficult to know what to say or do to help. The Sands advisory team believes that even the simplest actions can have an impact. So show your friends that you are there without overwhelming them. How can that succeed?
The team has various tips for this: right at the top: write a card. Because why should you only be able to send a Mother’s Day card to your own mother and not to friends who need a little emotional support on this day? But a distraction offer can also be designed, whether for a walk together, coffee and cake, it can help not to spend this day in isolation while everyone feels like they are with their families. But be sure to ask beforehand if the friend wants company at all.
If you are still unsure, you can also write a WhatsApp in advance. The Sands team advises simply telling the person concerned that you can be reached as a person to talk to on the upcoming Mother’s Day should the grieving person spontaneously feel the need to talk.
In summary, it can be said: a lot can be done, nothing has to be – as long as it is done with caution and forbearance. The only important thing is that anyone who wants to provide support should first clarify the needs of those affected. And the most important thing anyway is to build awareness that Mother’s Day is not a happy occasion for everyone.
This text was made with text passages from our GLAMOR colleagues from the UK.
advice and assistance
If you would like to talk to someone about the loss of your child, or have a friend who needs advice, you can contact the following free counseling and discussion services:
Oskar concern telephone of the Federal Association of Children’s Hospices
Local counseling center finder by postal code via ProFamilia