What Kind of Mother Has No Child?

Annah Elizabeth Child Loss, Grief, Loss, Grief, and Healing, Parenting, The Five Facets of Healing ™ 6 Comments

Tulip Walkway w April Showers Quote

Two of my cards are in the mail, the third is filled out and waiting for Warren to read.

Radio stations are running contests while television commercials are packed with everything from flowers to chocolate to fine jewelry.

Everyone wants us to remember our mothers, to pay tribute to women everywhere, females who know what that classroom is all about…

…from diaper changes and colic and singalongs and all things Gerber Baby…

…from the heartbreaking and the celebratory to the fond memories and the misguided

…from first steps and first smiles to graduations and grand babies…

and everything in between…

The years are changing for me, as they do for all of us; Fave now lives several states away and I secretly hope he remembers his mama on this special day. Beauty has some things to tend to having freshly graduated on Saturday and will be spending this Mother’s Day with someone else’s mom. And Big Guy, well, he and Warren and I will probably find some last minute place to dine…

And my oldest? Gavin? He’s turning twenty-five years old on Monday… TWENTY-FIVE, JOURNEYER!!

That just sounds so mysterious and mature and exciting!

I don’t really wonder what he’ll be doing because I don’t know what the options are.

You see, for those of you who don’t know us, my Gavin will mark his quarter-century celebration in heaven.

What I do know is that he will be with me, if not all day, at least for a portion of it. He’ll send me a sign, a hummingbird, maybe, an unusual smell, a warm unexpected breeze or possibly a glimpse of his long-legged self.

This Mother’s Day, May 10, also marks my twenty-fifth Mother’s Day, all of which haven’t been celebrated.

Gavin was born two days before this annual commemoration.

I remember weeping as I read the two Mother’s Day cards friends had sent.

What kind of mother has no child?

There are so, so many of us who have lived this truth, this nagging question.

This is the kind of mother I was and am, that you and our other grieving mothers are:

We are the women who longed for a child since we were young ourselves…

We are the women who swore we wanted no part of parenting and somehow found ourselves with child; some of us embraced this new life while others of us lament…something…

We are the women whose bodies bulged early or late, whose breasts swelled and ached in preparation and then spilled over when there was no mouth to release the stored up nourishment…

We are the women who laughed when we saw our friend’s infant smile as he passed gas and we dreamed when we spotted a toddler taking her first steps…

Some of us plotted and planned a nursery while others plugged away, bellies bulging, in the day-to-day grind…

We are the women whose children left their physical, earthly form far earlier than we expected…

…the humans who plead with Gods to reveal the Why’s even after we realize that sometimes the only explanation is simply Because it is

…the beings who beg for forgiveness even when there is nothing to forgive…

…and the souls who love, as I used to say to my three living children: “Always, forever, and no matter what.”

We love, Journeyer; we love so fully our bodies split with pride and shame and joy and fear and hope…

Split wide open, sometimes…

Not too long ago I came across a quote that I cannot find now…I thought I’d shared it on one of my social media sites but I can’t find it…so sorry I’m not able to credit the source or able to repeat it verbatim…it went something like this: Where there is great pain, there was great love.

Mother Child w Quote Where there is great pain there is an even greater love Instagram

I’m pretty sure the quote said “there was great love,” but I prefer to leave it in the present tense for I don’t believe our love ever dies, it just takes on different forms.

One of the cornerstones of The Five Facets of Healing is built on this premise: The level of our grief is not determined by what we’ve lost, but rather it is about our attachment to what has gone missing from our lives.

The more we love, the greater our loss, and in the end, when we finally reach the place where we can be okay in the face of adversity, the greater our individual growth and our healing…

Journeyer, if you are struggling with this day, please know that you are not alone, you have neighbors all over the world who are experiencing similar feelings and circumstances and you also have countless allies in healing, those who share similar pain, similar experiences, hopes, and dreams, and who believe fully in the power of the human spirit to heal…

We are here, Journeyer. Please reach out. Tell us what kind of mother you are now or the kind of mother you want to be…share your story, your need…allow us to share in your celebrations and your sorrows…

Leave a comment below or e-mail me privately. If you can’t do either, please trust that you are the kind of mother who cares, simply because you are here and you are the kind of mother who loves, simply because you hurt…

Until we meet again, yours in hope, healing, and happiness,

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p.s. Gavin’s 24th birthday fell on Mother’s Day last year!

Surprisingly, yet again not surprisingly, I reflected on this same subject

Comments 6

  1. Pingback: I Remember | The Five Facets

  2. Oh Annah…I believe you – love lives on. It may take a different form, but it lives on. And I’m certain that they’re all with us – all of our children – for Mother’s Day.

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  3. Pingback: Healing and the Two Sides of Flight | The Five Facets

  4. I have had my mum pass in 2009 my dad pass in 2012 and I have a lot of Sexual Abuse etc that I have been dealing with in healing from and now my doctor has told me that I am in pre or perimenopause and I have never been with a man so I have no children at all of my own my doctor told me this 2 days ago this has hit me hard as I have always wanted children and now cant. There is no man in the picture at all either. I would like to know more about what kind of a mother has no child please.

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      Dearest journeyer, Julie,

      First, let me apologize for the delay in responding to your message. Thank you for reading and for your courage to reach out.

      You have many losses you are dealing with right now and I can tell how heavy your heart is. Please know that you can heal this grief, Julie. But first you must grieve those losses…give them space and try to understand what each one means to you.

      As for your parents, ask yourself if you have any unresolved conflicts with them and know that it is never to late to tell someone you love them, it is never too late to say I’m sorry, it’s never too late to say I appreciate you. Though their physical bodies are no longer here on earth, their spirits will always hear your messages, so whatever it is you want to say to them, say it…

      And to your bigger question about being a mom… Sometimes we have to change our expectations about how we want something to happen. For example, we grow up thinking that we have to marry and then give birth to a baby to be a mom. What I have learned is that there are countless ways we can fulfill this desire, if we are willing to rethink and reshape what that dream looks like.

      There are so many options available to you, Julie…adoption…foster parenting…and if those aren’t viable options, there are many outreach programs that are looking for mentors for youth. Check with your local schools, your mental health departments, or contact a local social worker and ask them what resources are in your area. There are so, so many children that need a mother figure or a positive female role model… Once you’ve addressed your grief and have a better idea what conflicts you want to heal, then you can begin considering the other options that will help you fill that loving place in your heart…

      As far as “what kind of mother has no child,” you are her. That mother is a woman who sees herself as a mom, someone who desires to nurture and love a child but hasn’t yet found the way that she can do that… That mother is one who loves even when her arms are empty… There are so many of us who experience that twist of fate, Julie, and yet, so many who have also gone on to live their best lives and fulfill those motherhood roles in ways that are different, yet no less fulfilling…

      All my best to you, Journeyer…
      Yours in hope, healing, and happiness,
      ~AE

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