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May 5, 2020

Mother’s Day: A Blessing or a Curse?

There is NOT an easy way to start this post especially since Mother’s Day is around the corner. However, I find myself at odds over the stupid day. Actually, I’m questioning a lot these days about the idea of motherhood, but for now let’s focus on the idea of MOTHER’S DAY AND Bereaved Mother’s Day!!!

I don’t need yet another reminder that my son isn’t here with me and my husband. I should be enjoying quarantine with my newborn son. I should be adjusting to motherhood and all the milestones that come with it. I should have my son here with me.  Now because of his battle with Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC), he was taken from me at 15 days. WHY is this important? 

My son made me a mother whether we were ready for his arrival or not. As a matter of fact, because I had such early onset preeclampsia, my body was still healing from it long after I’d given birth and the person who made me a mother passed away.  His passing meant I went from “new mommy” to “bereaved mother.”

May 3rd is International Bereaved Mother’s Day, so am I supposed to allow myself to ONLY be recognized as a bereaved mother? May 10th is both Mexican & American Mother’s day, so am I supposed to shy away since I’m a mother to an angel?


What am I supposed to feel and do about these upcoming holidays? Honor me on both – notice the word honor NOT celebrate. Acknowledge that I am a mother, even if you can’t see my child. Please don’t tell me “Happy Mother’s Day” because as long as my son is missing from my arms, I’m not going to be happy about celebrating things without him.

Parenting (mothering) looks different when you’ve lost a child. Today, I honored my son at his burial site because his headstone was installed instead of celebrating having a 6 month old. It is asking my son to watch over his father and his “grumpa” every time they are on their motorcycles, instead of them making motorcycle sounds with him in their arms. It is talking to my son about my day instead of rocking him in my arms. It’s motherhood on a spiritual level.

So as a mother who lost her only child, is motherhood a blessing or a curse? Both! I will forever mother my DavidLee Joseph even though his physical being isn’t here for me “smother.” Imagine one of the first decisions you make as a new parent is electing risky exploratory surgery for your son, only hours later to be making end of life decisions… And no matter what feeling comes across your emotional spectrum, I guarantee you – it isn’t even close to what it actually feels like to make those decisions.

When you hold your son as he takes his last breath, you realize that even in the worst possible moment of your life that you helped create the joy that will forever be your child. Here’s to my first Bereaved Mother’s Day and my first “regular” mother’s day – a blessing AND a curse.

“‘Any woman who’d ever lost a child knew of the hollowness that remained within the soul.”Brittainy C. Cherry, Disgrace

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