Grieving on Mother’s Day.

A day just for Moms? It may be possible that this is the one time of year when eye rolls are replaced by hugs, cards and homemade gifts.

However, for those of us who have lost children, Mother’s Day is one of hardest days to endure.  It’s actually an excruciating day for a lot of people.

It hits me when spring arrives in Iowa. As much I look forward to and love this time of year, it also serves as a reminder of the events surrounding my son David’s death on June 6, 2010. He took his life that day after smoking a synthetic drug called K2. He was 18.

Cruise control kicks in, chasing away any thoughts I may have. I figure I have plenty of time to be sad during this season. I can put it off awhile and I tend to, but this defensive mechanism can only continue for so long. Eventually the coasting cycle begins, leaving me more vulnerable. The ache that’s been lurking under the surface slowly starts to demand my tears.

We feel pain because we loved. I may be stating the obvious but it’s worth digging into further. The pain we feel is a reflection of the love we have for the person we lost. Our tears are not wasted. Why would we want to avoid showing this emotion? Ultimately our tears honor those we lost. What a personal, intimate way to express our love for them! Let the tears come when you feel the dam giving way. Don’t ever hold back.

If you have other children, guilt can invade during this time too. You may not feel much like celebrating. You may want to crawl in a hole until the day is over. I’ve sure been there, especially that first Mother’s Day, but if we let that happen, we deny our family members the opportunity to express their love and appreciation for us. It’s important for them. They may need this for their healing. They’re hurting too, so we need to let them. More importantly, we need to receive it from them. Don’t deny others the opportunity to make you feel special.

I’m so thankful for God’s protection. He’s holding me together, without a doubt. Even though eight years have passed, I still need Jesus and our family needs each other to get through what will be a lifelong journey-the pain of losing our precious David.

How are you doing? Are you on cruise control, or are you coasting downhill at this point?

I know the emotional scenarios that fall under the umbrella of Mother’s Day are too numerous to count.

We find ourselves in one or more devastating camps; you may have lost your Mom or you never knew your Mom. Maybe you’ve struggled with infertility, are currently in the middle of a lengthy adoption process, or have had to release children whom you temporarily fostered. Maybe this day has you dwelling on what could have been, had you not made the choice you did years ago. Or maybe you’ve lost a child to miscarriage, SIDS, illness, accident, or suicide. I’m sure I’m missing some here.

Whatever your experience, my heart goes out to you. The aftermath from any one of these losses are devastating every day of the year, but there’s something about Mother’s Day…

I don’t have all the answers. I just want you to know you’re not alone. Put one foot in front of the other. Acknowledge what your heart can’t deny, then engage with family and friends who love you.

God is with you.

Psalm 34:18

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

God Bless you and Happy Mother’s Day.