Today is apparently Mothers’ Day in most parts of the world. Here in the UK, Mothers’ Day is in March. Who sets the dates for these things?
But that doesn’t matter. Today is also International Bereaved Mothers’ Day.
Today’s Sunday Thought is with the latter in mind. The thought comes from Angela Miller, the author of the wonderful I Am The Mother of All Mothers book that my heart and soul really needed so very much.
It is human nature, I think, to offer advice when someone is hurting. It is a kindness, we may think, to make the pain go away, to make the person better. Sometimes it’s appropriate, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
The bereaved get a lot of well-intentioned, unsolicited advice. I hate being told what I ‘should’, or ‘should not’ do. Too many times I have had someone talk at me. Perhaps they were trying to comfort me. But what I wanted to do was to tell my story, my way, in my own time.
They have assumed they know how I feel – assumptions based on their own experiences, perhaps, or things they have read.
We all grieve differently, in our own time, in our own way.
There is no right or wrong.
No ‘shoulds’ or ‘shouldn’t’.
As a result, I can be reticent to tell my story face-to-face, especially to people I don’t know, or trust.
Mothers who have lost a child suffer enough. Try not to offer advice if it is not asked for, however well-intentioned it may be.
Just be there.
Hold their hand.
Give them a hug.
Send them a note, a message, a text to let them know you are thinking of them.
Because my world ended when Hugo died. My world has been clouded in the world of grief, a miasma of swirling greys.
Thank you to everyone who has been walking with me, helping me to see in colour again.
I imagine other bereaved mothers hold similar sentiments. If you know such a mother, please hold their hand, too.