Mother's Day is no doubt a joyous occasion for many, but it can be a day of incredible pain for the mother who has experienced pregnancy or infant loss. What greater pain is there than walking this earth without your child?
While there is no way to fix the heartache she has endured, you can support her in other ways. By recognizing that she is still a mother to her child who is gone, you validate her grief and the magnitude of her loss, while making her feel seen. Here are ten ways to to do just that.
1. Personalized Art
We've worked with A Beautiful Remembrance multiple times, and have been blessed by Lisa's kindness and compassion. As a loss mom herself, she has a huge heart for the loss community and offers a variety of personalized print designs for families who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. What a beautiful way to honor the life of a gone-too-soon baby.
2. Book Basket
Grieving the loss of a baby can feel incredibly lonely. This type of pain is often invisible and the grief of pregnancy and infant loss can often go unnoticed. Let a loss mom know that she isn't alone in her grief by putting together a book basket. Collect a few books around the topic of pregnancy and infant loss that she can read when she has the energy. And as a bonus, she would be blessed if you read some of these books too, in order to better understand the complexities of loss and how to better support her through it. Some of our favorites are: It's OK That You're Not OK by Megan Devine, I Had a Miscarriage: A Memoir, A Movement by Jessica Zucker, Loved Baby by Sarah Philpott, and Three Minus One: Stories of Parents' Love & Loss by Sean Hanish and Brooke Warner.
3. Handwritten Note or Card
It might not sound like much, but taking the time to write a note that personally honors a loss mom's baby means more than you know. When applicable, be sure to use her baby's name. Acknowledge the life of her child as well as the magnitude of the loss. A note with her baby's name, along with the validation of her grief is something tangible that she can keep. This is a small way to love her big.
4. Personalized Jewelry
A personalized piece of jewelry with her baby's name and/or memorial date allows a grieving mother to wear the memory of her child, keeping her baby close to her heart.
5. Donate to a Meaningful Organization
There are a number of organizations that serve women and families who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. If you know of one that is special to the loss mom you're supporting, make a contribution in memory of her baby who died. If you are unsure of which organizations are reputable, a few suggestions are: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, M.E.N.D., and Star Legacy Foundation.
6. Personalized Coloring Pages
Help a loss mom create meaningful art with coloring pages that are specific to her baby. We've worked with Stevie Doodle's and love the adult coloring designs she has created for us that are specific to loss. These are also great if the mother has young living children as they can also honor their sibling in heaven through art.
7. Beautify Her Garden or Yard
Consider helping a loss mom create a special place in her yard where she can reflect on her loss. This can be done by planting a tree, flowers, or any other type of beautiful plant. As it grows, the tree can mark the passing of time and she can remember her child as it grows. Adding a pretty bench, wind chimes or a memorial stone can make her garden or yard even more special.
8. Willow Tree Remembrance Angel
Express sympathy with a Willow Tree Remembrance Angel. This angel comes with a sentiment that says ”Memories… hold each one safely in your heart.” A loss mom can display this angel anywhere and take comfort in knowing that the memory of her precious baby is always with her.
9. Just show up
We know it doesn’t sound like much, but just making yourself available will mean so much to a grieving mother. Text her and let her know your are thinking of her. Serve her brunch or deliver another treat worthy of a special occasion. Invite her to go on a walk or out to lunch. Show up with fresh flowers or groceries or simply a hug. Let her cry freely or scream if she needs to. Encourage her to "let it all out" and recognize that the emotions surrounding loss can be powerful and complicated.
10. But Give Her Permission to Do What's Best For Her
Every grieving mother is different. There's not just one way to navigate Mother's Day after experiencing loss. Some may want to be alone—that's okay. Some may want to get out and do something, ANYTHING—also okay. Some may want to be with people, and some may just want to stay home because triggers from the outside world can be so hard to manage. Offer your support. Invite her out. Ask to spend time with her. Validate her grief. But be sure to let her know that the most important thing is that she does what is best for her heart, even if that means saying 'no' to you. Let her know that you are ready and willing to listen if and when she is ready to talk.
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