International Bereaved Mother’s Day is today, May 5th, 2019. Every year, this day falls one week before “regular” Mother’s Day.
This is my 3rd year being a bereaved mother on this day. It’s surreal that it’s been that long, but here I am. In my first year, just 4 months or so after having Jonah, I remember looking at mamas who were 3+ years into their grief and thinking hey, that’ll be me some day. I’ll get to that spot where I’ll be able to function like a real person again, rather than just a griever.
Turns out that was true, for the most part. I’m able to go about my day-to-day life without being so weighed down by grief.
This year, though, there’s something new thrown into my feelings about this day and “regular” Mother’s Day: my rainbow baby. I like this day because it’s a chance to recognize my motherhood to Jonah. In a way, though, it’s even harder this year, because I now understand everything that I’m missing that I should have had with Jonah. Being a bereaved mother feels a little deeper, a little denser.
Bereaved motherhood with a rainbow baby is just a crazy juxtaposition of feelings. Halley injects so much joy into my life on a daily basis, but also reminds me of what I’m missing out on with my son. When Halley acts like a total goofball, I wonder if Jonah would have had the same tendencies. When she reaches her arms out to me to be held, I wonder how Jonah would have looked doing the same thing.
I’m embracing International Bereaved Mother’s Day this year as a day to be seen, and for my often invisible motherhood to Jonah to be widely acknowledged. And I’m holding my rainbow baby just a little tighter.
If you’re a fellow loss mama reading this, I’m digitally holding your hand today and every day. I see your pain, and I feel it alongside you. I’m glad we have this day to be acknowledged as mothers to our babies gone too soon, because as the quote above states, we are the strongest kind of mother. I know we all have mixed feelings about being called “strong”, but for today at least, I’m going to embrace it.