Mother’s Day Thoughts 2021
Mother’s Day is a wonderful, lovely, complicated and sometimes heartbreaking day. There are absolutely so many reasons to celebrate motherhood. I am not disputing that. I am saying that it is not the whole story. I know some would say, “Susan, stop sucking the fun out of it!” or “Susan, just because it’s painful for some… just stop talking about that part!” Well, to that I say, “Sorry, not sorry.” When we brush difficult emotions aside and pretend, it is disingenuous at best, and damaging at worst. For many people who have lost children or their own mothers or have strained relationships with them, Mother’s Day is painful and sad. We must honor ALL of our emotions, not just the ones that feel nice. It is up to everyone to give each other space to feel, to be heard, to be human.
I love my mother and am fortunate to still have her in my life. I love my living son and am grateful for him every. Single. Day. I also grieve for and love my son, Henry who died at birth and the two other babies that were miscarried. Mother’s Day is complicated for me. It is a day of great joy and great sorrow, and yes, it is possible to feel all of that at the same time. I remember all of the times spent with my mom and I get to talk to her in real time. I remember fighting for my life as I held my lifeless infant. I remember holding my living son the day he was born and countless other times since then. Joy and Sorrow. It’s complicated.
“Just focus on the joy, Susan.”, some of you say. “We don’t think about those sad things.”, others say. I say, “Maybe you don’t, but I do and not just on Mother’s Day. It is part of my living reality. I realize that is uncomfortable for you. It’s uncomfortable for me, too. However, it is real and true and to put anything else out there is a lie and invalidates Henry’s existence. I won’t do that.”
I feel it all, sometimes at the exact same time. Mother’s Day is messy for me but I lean into the mess. All that I ask is for those around me to support me in the mess. At the very least, I ask that you do not tell me how I am “supposed” to deal with the mess. It is my hope that by embracing all of my emotions it will give others permission to do the same. I much prefer the mess to the constricted, numbed-out place of pretending the mess doesn’t exist. Your mess is up to you, but I promise you if you need a friend to sit next to you while you embrace your mess, I’m your gal.