For so many women, Mother’s Day is a reminder of what isn’t there. A mother who has passed away or who is estranged, a child who should be in their arms but isn’t; a yearly reminder of what should have been.
They accept their children’s handmade cards and thoughtful gifts with smiles on their faces and an ache in their hearts that they can’t quite explain. Because while Mother’s Day can be a joyous day of celebration, it can also be a day of grief.
My mom left when I was little. And even though I have an amazing grandmother who raised me and a fantastic mother-in-law, since becoming a mom myself I have learned it’s just not quite the same as having a mom of your own. I grieve the loss of that relationship on holidays, at the birth of every one of my children, and on random Tuesdays when I could really use some help that only a mom can provide.
I dread Mother’s Day because in spite of the fact that it’s a day to celebrate the wonderful mother-like figures in my life and an opportunity to connect with my kids, it’s also a reminder of the mother who isn’t there.
I know I’m not the only one.
So, for all of you mamas out there who have an ache in your heart this week thinking about that extra place at the table that should be filled by someone you have lost, know that you are not alone. And it’s ok to grieve your loss even while you celebrate all you have.