Mother’s Day by Brandy Lidbeck

posted in: Uncategorized | 13

Mother’s Day is a beautiful day filled with appreciation, love, and adoration. We get to celebrate and spoil the women that brought us into this world and receive the same from our own offspring. It is a day of homemade cards, breakfast in bed, and gifts that say we value the most important relationship a human can have: a relationship with their mom. Sure, some of us think it is simply a Hallmark holiday, but none of us shy away from loving on our moms and making it as special as possible. It is truly a wonderful day!

Unless it isn’t.

Mother’s Day, for me, as a child and young adult, was nothing more than painful reminders that my mom had left this world by choice. While my classmates were making Mother’s Day crafts to present to their moms, I silently read a book, alone, at my desk until they finished their masterpieces. Every commercial and advertisement leading up to that dreadful day were full of moms and kids hugging, kissing, and smiling. I was not smiling. I hated every minute of this stupid holiday. As I got a bit older, I would stay home from church on Mother’s Day because they would hand out a flower to all of the moms and do some sort of special presentation talking about how selfless, caring, and loving moms are. Salt in the wound. I was so angry my mom left us. Why would I want to sit through such a presentation? While my friends were preparing special brunches for their moms, our family visited the cemetery. Mother’s Day was a horrible day each and every year.

Then, one year, it all flipped for me. I became a mom myself and began to count down the days until my child would create their own masterpiece in school and deliver it with smiles, hugs, and devotion. It became one of my absolutely favorite days. Maybe because I am making up for lost time! I treasure those hugs, their creativity, and their innocent love for mom. This is the other side of Mother’s Day: being a mom. For me, after 19 years of hating this holiday, I actually started to anticipate the sweetness of the day.

Unless it isn’t.

I know several moms, this week, who are dreading those stupid Mother’s Day commercials and will not have a handmade card, a gift, or a hug from their own child. It is a day that will bring up pain and sting every year for the rest of their lives. It will not be replaced 19 years later as mine was with my own children. It will only bring about sadness and thoughts of “What if they were still alive?” It will be a day of tremendous sadness and likely guilt, as well, for not being able to save their child. While other moms are enjoying those delicious brunches prepared by their kids, these moms are visiting the gravesites of their own children.

Mother’s Day can be the sweetest and most special day of the year. Unless it isn’t. And, if it isn’t, it is likely, instead, the most painful day. If this is you today, I am so sorry. I know this pain all too well. If this is someone you know, reach out to her. Invite her over for brunch, bring her flowers, send a card, or deliver her a meal. Don’t ignore the elephant in the room. Say her child’s name, don’t pretend he/she never existed. Empathize with this person no longer having their mom to celebrate. One of the greatest pains someone in grief experiences is when others move on, fail to acknowledge the loss in an ongoing manner, or forget the pain they are experiencing daily. 

I wish you the happiest Mother’s Day! And,  if you know someone who likely won’t be experiencing the sweetest of days, I encourage you to acknowledge the pain this day brings for them and do something to show them you care.

 

 

 

13 Responses

  1. Annie Rantz
    | Reply

    Tears. Mother’s Day will forever be less sweet for me, and it will carry a sting because of my missing child. Thank you for writing this and for sharing your experience.

  2. Dee Lindsey
    | Reply

    Brandy, thank you so much for writing this article. Mother’s Day is often the most difficult day of the year for mothers who have experienced the death of a child. I am not a mom; but I see the pain of the moms I walk beside in their grief. May God help us to bring comfort, not insensitivity on this day that has so many facets. You expressed it so well.

  3. Candace hinners
    | Reply

    Missing my son Scott so much. His suicide was 7-11-11. There is a giant hole in our hearts. I’m very grateful I have a wonderful daughter and son-in-law.

  4. Kate
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing this, Brandy. You are so right on with your empathy for women and men who are experiencing loss this Mother’s Day………. The day seems to magnify the grief we walk through.

  5. Diane
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s a very hard week even leading up to Mother’s Day. The question haunts me – am I still a mother when my child is gone? It’s tough for sure. I miss him so much.

    • Tom biddulph
      | Reply

      Diane,
      I’m so sorry for your loss. Absolutely you are still a mom. My mom isn’t around and I still talk to her as if she is. She is still my mom. Your child is with you every day Trust me. I hope you find comfort. God bless.

      Tom

  6. Tom biddulph
    | Reply

    Hi Brandy,
    I actually was just about to blog about Mother’s Day myself…. I found your blog through twitter.
    I lost my mom when I was 18 so I know the pain as well. I’m glad you are finally able to enjoy this day being a mom. Although it still is a said day for me, I turned that sadness into love by enjoying the day with my wife and making phone calls to loved ones who celebrate Mother’s day. Love your blog

    Take care
    Tom

    • brandylidbeck
      | Reply

      Thank you for your kind response, Tom. I am glad you found The Gift of Second and hope you find encouragement here. Since you said you were going to blog, if you are a writer, we would love to have you share with the site. I can send you the writing guidelines if you are interested. You can get in touch with me through the contact section on the site. We would love to have you!

  7. Ann
    | Reply

    Thank you for this article. You have put into words how I have been feeling. The day will be filled with sadness.

  8. carol trinkley
    | Reply

    This will be the 1st year without my son who lost his life to suicide this past august 23, 2016. He was 44 but will always be my baby boy. I am fortunate to have my daughter, but mothers day this year just seems cruel. I have tried 4 x’s to purchase a card for my own Mom and each time I just break down and have to walk away, hope she will understand.

  9. Margaret Greenberg
    | Reply

    Thank you Brandy for capturing the love and pain that comes with Mother’s Day. I, too, hated this day for 15 years after my mother died by suicide. Like you, it all “flipped” when I became a mother. I am so grateful for my girls and husband who have transformed this day. My heart goes out to all the mothers who have lost children to suicide.

  10. Cindy
    | Reply

    Mothers Day always brings tears to my eyes. Although it has been nine years since I lost my boy, the pain is always there. I try to remember him when he was smiling and laughing because he brought so much joy to everyone. Remembering his smile makes me smile, and then sometimes I don’t cry.

    • brandylidbeck
      | Reply

      He was so incredibly funny, Cindy. I remember, at family events, getting up to get something and then coming back to my soda and I would have baby carrots in it. I would look over at him and he would be laughing so hard. So then that became a thing we would do to each other. He was so fun and funny! I miss him.

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