Think Of Me Next Mother’s Day—My Role As Mom Did Not Die When My Child’s Heart Stopped Beating

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“Mother’s Day looks different for my family than it does for most.

However, it looks similar to more families than you may realize.

This Mother’s Day marks my third Mother’s Day without my son.

son who mom lost in the hospital
Courtesy of Alexandra Hoover

Most don’t realize that a week prior to Mother’s Day, there is a day dedicated to those like me — bereaved mothers.

A day that, in all honesty, I knew nothing about until my first year as a mother without a child.

It’s a day that doesn’t seem to be acknowledged by anyone outside of those who are affected by it.

There is no indication on our smartphone calendars.

No greeting cards on the shelves.

It’s a day that is intended to make us feel recognized.

A day where we are free to share photos and stories of our children who are no longer earthside.

Yet, I find that it makes me feel just as alone as I felt when I left the hospital without my son.

And, quite frankly, it bothers me that society feels as though I need a dedicated day to share about my loss, rather than allowing me to share as I please.

son's grave stone
Courtesy of Alexandra Hoover

Last Sunday, I received no texts or calls.

No flowers or cards.

And that’s okay — to me, it was just another day that reminded me that my son is not here.

Once Bereaved Mother’s Day has passed, mothers like me find themselves anxiously counting down the days to Mother’s Day, just one week later.

A day where, yet again, we are reminded of what we no longer have.

When my son’s heart stopped beating, I remember feeling as though my role as a mother died with him.

I remember saying in between my tears that all I wanted was to be a mom, and thinking that I had failed.

But, I did not fail.

I was still a mother.

I will always be my son’s mother.

mom holding her son close while they are in the hospital
Courtesy of Alexandra Hoover

If you know a mother who has experienced a loss, stand with them next Mother’s Day.

Be gentle in celebration.

Acknowledge their story.

Allow space for them as they navigate what it means to be overcome by tremendous love and unbearable pain.

Say their child’s name.

This year, I spent Mother’s Day with my daughter in my arms, and my son in my heart.

While most families were gathered in celebration, mine sat alongside my son’s grave.

Others smiled about what they have, and I cried about what could have been, what should have been.

And at night I closed my eyes, envisioning my life with both of my children sleeping down the hall.

I will never stop thanking my son for making me the mother that I am today.”

mom holding daughter taking her to sons grave
Courtesy of Alexandra Hoover
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