I never knew there was such a thing as Bereaved Mother’s Day until last month, when I lost my first child before he was even born.
I had searched for any online groups and pages dedicated to losing a child, clinging on to any reminder that I wasn’t alone in this horrible situation, and that I would someday try again.
Eventually I stumbled upon this little-known remembrance day.
Although May 1st, Bereaved Mother’s Day, is not an official holiday, one thing is for certain. With or without a holiday, mothers will never forget the loss of a child, and it can be especially painful around a major holiday — Mother’s Day — that focuses on mothers of living children.
Mothers of angel babies and children, as well as experts, provide some useful coping tips to help during this difficult time:
1) Talk about your deceased children.
Talking about your deceased children and having others remember them can actually be helpful. “It can be particularly difficult to observe Mother's Day when you have no living children, and your losses are glossed over by family or friends,” said Julie Bindeman, a psychologist and bereaved mother.
2) Use objects to honor your lost children.
Using objects such as jewelry with a birthstone or a picture can help you to honor your lost children, Bindeman said.
3) Ask for what you need.
It’s important to ask others for what you need, especially while grieving during the loss of a child, Bindeman said. Women may expect for their emotional needs to be met without communicating to others what is actually needed, which can lead to sadness and frustration.
4) Experience the wide range of emotions that come with holidays and special events.
Special events and holidays may trigger a wide and intense range of emotions. Carrie Krawiec, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Birmingham Maple Clinic, urges you not to tell yourself that you shouldn’t feel any intense emotions.
“Though grief can reduce with time, it can roll in like a tidal wave on these meaningful days,” said Krawiec.
5) Give family and friends a heads up.