Dear Loved One,
I know you are fighting back anger as you walk through the store and see all of the greeting cards and gifts for Mothers Day. Your instinct is to walk over and pick the perfect item that captures your feelings beautifully, but you have to remind yourself this year is different. I know you are holding back the tears that are forcefully trying to escape and the smile you have on is a mask to conceal all the pain you are feeling inside. I know you wander around day-to-day waiting to be woken up from possibly the worst dream you’ve ever had and I so deeply wish that I could save you from it. I wish I could shake you awake and back into the comfortable normal you always knew and where your heart was whole. Unfortunately, this is not a dream and I can’t shake you out of your pain….
People will try their best to relate to the misery you feel and to convince you things will begin to feel normal again. “Just give it time…time heals all wounds”. They will carry on with their own traditions and thoughtlessly say “Happy Mother’s Day” to you not knowing the ever-lasting sting that will forever remain on your heart. I’m not going to say those things to you because the reality is there are no magical words or actions that someone can say or do to repair the brokenness you feel every day. There is no “sugar coat” for days like today that were extra special and held deeper meaning to you. Those days will always be the hardest to push through. Maybe it will become a little lighter as time goes on but no one expects you to live through those days as if nothing has changed.
I can’t promise that feeling of emptiness will go away or that you will ever feel whole again. So on a day that I imagine to be so painfully unbearable, I want you to know that you are not alone. Your grief and pain is justified and definitely not overlooked. You are allowed to cry, scream, be angry and ask “why”. You are allowed to not want to celebrate right now and take time for yourself. Your heart is not healed and you may not be ready to replace your existing memories with new ones. I have watched you walk through the days throughout this transition… some are decent but other days you are doing well to just breathe. My mind is constantly and desperately seeking a way to take the pain away. I know I can’t take away the hurt you feel but what I can do is love you. I can offer you a safe place to cry and scream without judgement. I can be someone to lean on when you feel as though you may fall. I will carry you in any way that I possibly can. Whatever I can do, I will because I know your grief is bigger than you right now and that is ok.
My prayer for you is that the chains of grief will steadily release you so the happiest of memories can take over and find a safe harbor in your heart. May you stop thinking of “all the things” you did wrong, how you would do it over if ever given the chance and that you stop blaming yourself for something that was far beyond your control. My prayer is that you will see the goodness that lies within the memories you have and find peace in knowing that as much as you love them, they love you too. Maybe you are not ready to celebrate the special days just yet, but when you are, you can celebrate in a new way that honors your loved one and keeps their precious memory alive.
I know it feels as though you are never going to surface from the all-consuming grief and at any moment you are going to explode from the pressure of trying to do so. But please hear me when I say that you are not alone and you are so unconditionally loved.
Someone who loves you more than you know
I chose to write an open letter to everyone who is hurting on Mother’s Day because I have watched my mom deal with a broken heart for the past 9 months. I’ve watched her try to make her way through the darkest time of her life after losing her sweet, one-of-a-kind mother last July. Like most, I never know what to say or what to do to make sure she knows her pain and grief is normal and understood. Sometimes the words I choose sound thoughtless, but by the time I realize it, it is already too late. My mouth works faster than my brain 99% of the time and I drown in the embarrassment of what comes flying out. I feel that writing letters like this speaks volumes over the awkward, verbal comfort I try to give.
For everyone out there hurting, you are not forgotten. There is absolutely no card or gift in this world that will fill the emptiness you may feel, and for those of us who have never suffered such a loss, we can’t relate as much as we will try. What we can do is be your shoulder and carry you through your toughest days. In the depth of the pain, no matter the circumstance, please remember there are people who are praying for those of you with a broken heart.
While I am so gratefully blessed to still have my incredible mother to celebrate with on Mothers Day and every day, I know there are individuals in the world that just feel plain lost because they are missing theirs. If anything, losing my precious Granny and observing how heartbreaking and earth-shattering a loss like this was for my mom, it has made me SO appreciative of the time I get to spend with loved ones. We are not promised tomorrow (as cliche as it sounds…it is true). If you are still blessed with a living mom, hug her a little tighter this Mother’s Day and vow to cherish every moment with her…and everyone else you love.
On this Mothers Day, whether it be a child who lost their mother or a mother who has lost their child, my heart goes out to you. People you don’t even know remember you on days like today. My hope is that you will find some comfort and peace not only on the holidays, but everyday as your navigate your way through finding a “new normal”.
In Memory of Granny (Minnie Pearl Kinson)
and all those we are missing on this Mothers Day.
A wonderful Mother to her children and
anyone she crossed paths with! My mom had
the privilege of being raised by an angel!