International Bereaved Mother's Day
Today is International Bereaved Mother’s Day. It occurs on the Sunday before Mother’s Day and helps to connect women around the world who have lost their children. And yes, there is an International Bereaved Father’s Day. Their loss is just as important.
Before this week I didn’t know about International Bereaved Mother’s Day but now it is a day I am sadly apart of, now it applies to me. I never realised how much everything this time of year is advertising Mother’s Day. It isn’t wrong, mothers deserve to be celebrated. They have created life, they love without condition, they are their children’s nurses, teachers, buyers, organisers, cooks, drivers and so much more. They deserve the world and deserve to be celebrated. But it is hard for us who have lost our children.
I remember growing up, at each special occasion we were told to spare a thought for those who were less fortunate and those who were not having a special day because people they loved weren’t with them. I never thought I would be one of those people. Now every event hits me.
It would have been my second Mother’s Day with Mackenzie. But instead I only got one, one Mother’s Day. I am thankful for the one I got, some people don’t get any. But oh how I wish I had more.
Last year on Mother’s Day we still didn’t know Mackenzie was sick. We were in a blissed our state of no knowledge. It was still just over two weeks before we would know we would lose her.
After we lost Mackenzie, everywhere we looked there were babies and families. We would walk past families on the street and it would cut like a knife. Some had the same blanket as we did or the same pram; those ones hurt just that little bit more than the normal knife. On television there are ads for babies, ads for baby products and ads for happy families, the aisle in the supermarket that have baby products was a minefield – it is everywhere. Now it is two-fold with ads and posters for Mother’s Day. At the shops today, everything screamed Mum.
Yes, I will always be a Mother, I will always be her Mum but she isn’t here to hold. I can still celebrate in some ways of course but it will never be the same.
Sadly, I know I am not alone. I know many other Mother’s who can no longer hold their babies. To all my friends who also share this day I am sending you all love. Be gentle with yourselves.
Despite all this, I need to acknowledge Mother’s Day. Not only because it is coming, it still applies to me, I am proud to be Mackenzie's Mum and ultimately I can’t avoid it but because I need to celebrate my own Mum. My Mum who is beautiful. My Mum who loves me more than anything. My Mum who has stood beside me my whole life, who has held my hand through losing my own child. My Mum who loves Mackenzie and gave her more love and attention than any Grandmother could. My Mum who read Mackenzie books, who gave her massages after her showers, who jumped at the chance to ever change her, who could happily play peek a boo for hours and who excelled in ‘this little piggy’. My Mum who shines love throughout our family. My Mum who is now almost half way through her radiotherapy and who is handling her breast cancer with grace and strength.
I hope I am a good enough Mum to Mackenzie. I learnt from the best.