Sunday, May 6, 2012

International Bereaved Mother's Day

Today (May 6th, 2012) is a day many people have probably never heard of. It is International Bereaved Mother's Day. It was started by Carly Marie and you can read about it here and on facebook. At the post I provided Carly Marie writes,

"This day was created to get people to start talking about the real meaning of Mother’s Day. Do you know who started it? Anna Jarvis founded the traditional Mother’s Day to honour her mother who experienced the death of 7 of her children and somehow through the years it has turned into a commercialized mess that card companies make millions of dollars from, but the worst thing is that bereaved mothers are completely forgotten."
I actually had no idea that's why Mother's Day was started. But knowing our society now and how yes, generally we bereaved mother's are forgotten, I am not surprised it changed so much.

I personally have mixed feelings about International Bereaved Mother's Day. I think it is a great thing. And that there are many moms out there, who unfortunately, are not recognized as mothers by their family and friends. Of course there's the whole society thing too. Have you ever seen a card appropriate for a bereaved mother in the Mother's Day section? Don't think Hallmark is putting out any anytime soon. There is the Lost for Words card line by Carly Marie and Franchesca. There's also the Etsy shop A Loss Remembered that has cards for parents that have lost a child.

But I have to be honest about my mixed feelings on this special day for bereaved mothers. Yes, I want to be acknowledged as a mother, but I want to be acknowledged with all the other mothers out there. I am no less a mom than my mom or sister is. It is true that my son is not here. But I am still his mother.  I personally feel that having a separate day, puts too much emphasis on the fact that Marcellus is gone. I want to be celebrated as a mom with a son, not as a mom with a dead son.

It is true that I won't do some of the traditional things that moms do with their families on Mother's Day. First of all I don't have my children with me to celebrate. We won't be going to church, at least not this year on Mother's Day. We will avoid places bustling with families out for Mother's Day activities and meals. But I will celebrate being Marcellus's mommy. As of right now I have no expectations for the day, but we will try to do something special. We have talked about driving out to Stone Mountain or Hanging Rock to go hiking. When we were in Asheville we felt so close to Marcellus being in the beauty of nature. We went out to a nice dinner tonight. I guess you could say that's what we did for International Bereaved Mother's Day. It would be way to difficult to go out next Sunday, so I'm glad we were able to go tonight.

I'm sure Mike will get me something (well, he better!). He actually always has (note: in case you're new to reading, I have a daughter that I placed for adoption. She is now 9 years old.). I know that I have some amazing friends and family that will not forget about me next Sunday. It is totally okay to tell me "Happy Mother's Day." Of course, I am still hurting and it will be hard day. How could it not? My baby is not here. But I am still happy and thankful to be Marcellus's mommy. And when someone says "Happy Mother's Day" to me, that's how I will take it. I will take it as they are saying you are so lucky to be Marcellus's mommy...because I am!

At first when I had this mixed feelings about International Bereaved Mother's Day I felt like I was disrespecting the baby loss community. I have now come to realize that I'm not. Today is there for those that need/want to celebrate on this day. For some, maybe they do not want to even acknowledge the traditional Mother's Day. And that's okay, everyone grieves differently and everyone is different. For me I am okay with International Bereaved Mother's Day, but I am adamant about being recognized for traditional Mother's Day as well. There's actually a Birth Mother's Day too that I've never celebrated. So I guess I've felt this way about being recognized as a mom on regular Mother's Day regardless of where your children are.

I wish all woman that have lost babies knew they weren't going to be forgotten for Mother's Day. And you know, I'm sure there are people that won't know what to do and won't tell me "Happy Mother's Day" or even acknowledge me as a mom next Sunday. Yes, I'm also sure that it will hurt when people I expect to have said something don't. If Marcellus were here, nobody would hesitate wishing me a happy Mother's Day. But they will since he's gone. I do know I have some amazing support through all of this though and those people won't forget. I will feel like a mom on Mother's Day, not just the mom to a dead baby.

If you know a grieving mother and don't know what to do for her for mothers day, check out What Grieving Moms Want for Mother's Day. You'll see that the very first and most important thing is acknowledgement.

I wish there was no reason for this separate, International Bereaved Mother's Day. That we were all celebrated equally, regardless of carrying our children in our arms or in our hearts. We are all mothers. I became Marcellus's mom the moment I found out I was pregnant with him (which incidentally was on Mother's Day last year). His death did not undo that.

To all mother's out there that have suffered the loss of a child... I remember you today, on Mother's Day, and everyday! Much love to you all.

Marcellus, I am and always will be your mother. Even if no one else in the world (well other than Daddy) acknowledges it, I am your mommy. Luckily I know there are some people that do see me as a mom and will tell me that on Mother's Day. It will be a happy and sad day. Happy because I get to celebrate being your mommy. I get to celebrate that I brought you into this world. I am so very happy to be your mom. But of course it will be sad because you are not here to celebrate with me. And that will be so evident as other mothers are out celebrating with their children. It's evident when in the card section of the store where there is no special card for me. It is evident when my heart aches for you every day. But the sadness will not stop me from celebrating my special role on this earth. A role that no one else has. Yes, there are many other mommies out there. But no one else is YOUR mommy, just me! Oh how I am so very thankful to be the mommy to you my little mister. I love and miss you! xoxox.

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