Every one is different. We all have different circumstances when it come to our angel babies. Why and how they died is different. How we grieve is different. The hardest day for you will be different from my hardest day. Mine is Mother's Day, by the way. Our babies were individuals, we are individual and our grief will be individual; but there is something we have in common. We are all Mothers (and Daddies but this is about this weekend).
I wonder if Mother's Day grieves me so because now that I have been blessed with babies after my loss, I have experienced all sides of Mother's Day. There was the one I was pregnant with the daughter I lost. It was my first baby so while I was acknowledged, all parents with living children knew I was so clueless as to what it was like because I was not really a mother yet.
The next Mother's Day, I had delivered Rya. She was dead so those who did not know about her assumed I was not a mother and those who did know about her tip toed around on eggshells making sure not to remind me I had had a baby because that might upset me. I stood by in silent rage while 'mothers' were acknowledged and I realized I was truely an outsider, not fitting any catagory from even the most expansive Hallmark isle.
The next Mother's Day experience was probablly the hardest for me. I had my prize. The baby I had dreamed about since childhood. The physicial evidence of all I ever wanted to be. The grief hit me so hard that year I could hardly stand to my feet as the call to reconize mothers was made in church. I clutched the baby I refused to put down that day and sobbed at the memories of the fight I had come through to be allowed to stand up in church that year. Again I raged, not so silently this time.
There was the Mother's Day I had a newborn and for the first Sunday since delivery was able to wear non-maternaty clothes. A family member was holding the new baby and the toddler was in her little nursery class and as I stood in church that year, a sweet gentleman standing next to me patted my arm and said "Happy Mother's Day to moms-to-be, also". I smiled at him and wondered how it was that once again I felt like I was recieving the concellation prize. The Thanks-for-showing-up-with-your-best-effort-but-you-just-do-not-make-the-grade trophy.
Was I just being overly sensitive and emotional? Did I have unresolved issues or a bitter outlook at life due to the hand I was dealt? Maybe. But then I have had the Mother's Day experiences where I look around at the faces of the women who do not stand at the call to reconize Mothers and I have seen the grief, the loss, the looks that say 'I do not fit anywhere'. There have been the Mother's Days where I could not get the numerous stories of baby loss out of my head. All I could think of were the mothers who had called or emailed and shared with me the gut wrenching pain I was so familiar with. I have had idealystic picture perfect Mother's Day celebrations by the normal standards until I counted heads and felt I had been sucker punched when my count was one short.
I have been around the Mother's Day block and if it were up to me, there would be a Hallmark isle for us, there would be the opportunity to stand without the option of judgement and opinions of how we need to get over it. There would be the grace to express the love and loss. I am working on it. From my little corner of the world, I am doing what I can. For now that may be little more than a prayer and an unread post saying I RECONIZE YOU, MOTHER! I continue my mission to give teddy bears and grief packets to MOTHERS and I continue to remember your baby and mine.
You are not forgotten this year, this Mother's Day. Not only do I remember you, but our Heavenly Father does also. He understands. Seek His face and hear Him call you to stand as He reconizes you for who you are; Mother to one of His precious children. Happy Mother's Day.