Something to think about
Mother’s Day is one of the hardest days a bereaved mother will experience, did you know about International Bereaved Mother’s Day?
International Bereaved Mother’s Day is a special day where we remember all those mums who’ve lost their baby at whatever age they were. Did you know there’s a large group of mums who get totally overlooked by others on Mother’s Day? These mums don’t have children to show to the world or they want to say they have six children but only have two on this earth or they’ve tried to conceive but found it difficult.
The question that people ask newlyweds is, “When are you having children?” or the first thing a woman gets asked with people they’ve just been introduced to is, “Are you married?” the follow up question is, “How many children do you have? Or do you have children?” It’s difficult to talk about how many children you have when one or more have died or you can’t conceive at all.
These are very personal questions, don’t you think?
Take a moment to consider mums who have lost one or more babies or want children and can’t have them. Take the time to think about constructing more interesting questions other than asking about children.
History of Bereaved Mother’s Day
International Bereaved Mother’s Day is the first Sunday in May, the week before Mother’s Day. It was started by our very own Carly Marie Dudley in 2010. Her son Christian was stillborn, she knows first-hand what it’s like to grieve a child.
She wanted to let other mums know that they weren’t alone and they too can heal their hearts. Carly Marie has made an immense difference to mums whose babies have died. I’ve been following her on social media for years. The first time I came across her on Facebook she was taking stunning photos at what she called, Christian’s Beach in honour of her son. She is an artist and would write the name of the child in the sand and decorate it with natural things. She’s done so much more for bereaved mums. I encourage you to Google her.
Bereaved Mother’s Day is to honour and celebrate mothers whose children have died and those who’ve been unable to conceive. Let bereaved mothers know you remember they’re grieving.
I know first-hand what it’s like to have children die. The Mother’s Day advertising has started and for some mum’s it’s heartbreaking. For some seeing these ads brings up memories of what could have been. Part of the family is missing and will never be complete.
What you can do for bereaved mother’s
My experience of talking about grief, especially that around the death of a child is intense for other’s. Healthy conversation about grief and loss is needed to help normalise grief and encourage healing. Sharing stories about your child is key to help families turn their pain into joyful reminiscences.
Friends and family want to tiptoe around a bereaved mum about their child that’s no longer on this earth. Here’s some tips to help you.
Tips to help you as a friend
- Acknowledge that she’s still a mother
- Don’t try to fix her
- Mention her child’s name
- Talk about her child
- Let her know that you know she’s grieving
- Share stories of memories of her child/children
- Some mums may not feel like celebrating and that’s okay
- Remind her that you’re there for her
- Do something thoughtful
Tips for bereaved mum’s
- You may not feel like celebrating anything and that’s okay
- Start a new tradition
- Buy yourself something to commemorate your child
- Feel your feelings, it’s not healthy to keep them bottled up
- Don’t try to numb your feelings with alcohol or drugs
- Ask for support
The wrap up
There are so many bereaved mums out there, let’s get comfortable with starting the conversation on how they’re day is going. Let’s talk about grief because in Australia alone, there is a 1 in 4 chance of miscarriage; 6 babies die of stillbirth each day, 700 neonatal deaths per year.
This adds up to a lot of families whose baby/babies have died, we need to find a way to talk about how we are grieving, naturally. After all death is a part of life and everybody has to die at some stage.
On that note, I hope you can start a conversation with a mum who’s grieving this International Bereaved Mother’s Day.
To all the bereaved mums out there, I don’t remember who said this “A mother is not defined by the children you see, but by the love she holds in her heart.”
Sending you love, strength and joy