I love transforming our office into a special place of support. Today that was for a luncheon to honor moms who have had a child die. However, I have learned that I receive so much more back than I could ever give. I love these ladies so much. Wendy, we really want you to travel from Canada to join us!
By Renee Wood
Over half of the mothers surveyed who had a child die considered Mother's Day to be their most difficult holiday.
In response to the heartfelt answers given by the survey participants, the Comfort Company has issued a list of the ten things grieving mothers want most for Mother's Day:
1. Recognize that they are a Mother: Offer a hug and a "Happy Mother's Day". Send a simple Mother's Day card to let them know you remember that they are a mother even though their child is not with them physically.
2. Acknowledge that they have had a loss: Express the message, "I know this might be a difficult day for you. I want you to know that I am thinking about you today." Removing the wall of silence gives a grieving mother permission to talk about her child.
3. Use their child's name in conversation: Saying the name of a child who has died is like music to a grieving mothers ears. One mother suggested, "Say his name and ask me my fondest memory of him from past Mother's Days".
4. Plant a living memorial: This is a wonderful day to plant a tree or flower bulbs in memory of the child. This is something that will live on as a beautiful reminder in the years to come.
5. Visit the Gravesite: Many mothers felt that it was "extremely thoughtful" when others visited their child's gravesite and left flowers or a small pebble near the headstone.
6. Light a Candle: Let the mother know you will light a candle in memory of their child on Mother's Day.
7. Share a Memory or Pictures of the Child: Give the precious gift of a memory. One mother wrote that the "greatest gift you can give is a heartfelt letter about my child and your most lovely moments with them".
8. Send a Gift of Remembrance: Many mothers suggested appropriate gifts of remembrance that would bring them comfort. These items included: an angel statue, a piece of jewelry, a memory box, a memorial candle, a picture frame, a library book donation, an ornament, memorial poetry, anything personalized with the child's name or a date, books on grief, a garden stone or a toy donation in the child's name.
9. Don't try to minimize their loss: Avoid using any cliches that attempt to explain the death of a child. ( "God needed another angel.") Secondly, don't try to find anything positive about the loss ( "You still have two healthy children" or "She's in a better place").
10. Encourage Self-Care: Self-care is an important aspect of the "healing the mind and spirit effort" according to several mothers. Encourage a grieving mother to take care of herself. Give her a gift certificate to a day spa or any place where she can be pampered.