The weight of Mother’s Day

The heaviness felt on this day is challenging for those who have lost a child or a Mother.

The commercials started a couple of weeks ago. Facebook will soon be inundated with celebratory pics and that’s the way it should be. So, how can we navigate our hearts to celebrate with others while also carrying the deep weight of our loss?

This is a question we’re faced with all the time isn’t it? Life goes on and we need to keep up, but this requires balancing our pain in the process. Does it ever go away?

In the movie Rabbit Hole, Nicole Kidman’s character tragically loses her son.  She asks her mother, who’d lost her son 11 years ago the same question, “Does it ever go away?” The mother describes it this way,

“No. I don’t think it does. But it changes though…the weight of it. At some point it becomes bearable.  It turns into something that you can crawl out from under and…carry around like a brick in your pocket. And you, you even forget it, for a while. But then you reach in for whatever reason and – there it is. Oh right, that. Which could be awful – not all the time. Not that you’d like it exactly, but it’s what you’ve got instead of your son. So you carry it around, and it doesn’t go away which is fine actually…”

I’m not sure if the writer wrote this response from personal experience but its stuck with me. Fictional or not, it’s a great word picture.

Mother’s Day will look different for everyone. For me, I will acknowledge the heaviness of the day. I’ll grab the oversized card my son David gave me seven years ago, a month before he died. I’ll read and re-read it. I was loved. He is missed every day. Tears and prayers will follow.

Then, I’ll release my hold on the brick and embrace the joy right in front of me; spending time with my son Daniel who graduates from college this weekend. (There may or may not be a bullhorn involved during the formal ceremony. Just sayin.) Family and friends will gather for BBQ, cake and hugs. Tears and prayers will follow. What better way to spend Mother’s day? Beautiful.

Dear Friend,

Take time for yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling.  Don’t ignore it. Reflect with sweet remembrance of your Mother, son or daughter. I’m praying what follows will shift your focus from the brick in your pocket toward the joy of the day, as you celebrate with the people you love and who love you. Beautiful.