What a Grieving Mother Needs From You

I often contemplate death. I think about the one-way threshold, and how no one wants to talk about it. An even more avoided conversation is the grief following losing a loved one. Before you assume I am macabre, I often think about death and grief because my 2-year-old son passed away, and the experience flipped my life on its head.

Before my son died, I had a normal response to death and grief. I acknowledged it. I showed up in the appropriate ways. I attended funerals, viewings, celebrations of life, sent flowers, etc., etc. But beyond that, I tiptoed around the delicate nature of death and its bedfellow, grief. 

Yes, death is uncomfortable. The aftermath is complicated. And losing a child upsets life’s natural order and the idea of safety and security. 

This Mother’s Day will be two years, four months, and 12 days since my son’s passing. Time hasn’t diminished the pain, but has allowed me to sit in that discomfort and realize what I need. 

A post shared by Rawr for Kian! (@rawrforkian)

Do give and receive all the grace.

If you remember nothing else, try to give yourself and others the grace to make mistakes. You might not be able to show up for a friend who has lost a child for many reasons. You may have forgotten to call, or your discomfort on a particular day clouded your compassion. Treat yourself with kindness when you don’t hit the mark. 

I missed the first anniversary of a friend’s child’s passing. I felt awful. I woke up in a cold sweat at 2 a.m., ruminating over what to do and cursing myself silently until it was an appropriate time to call. My first thought was to hide in shame, as the truth was I simply forgot. When I did call, my friend was gracious and kind. She shared a sweet story of her child. We laughed and cried. Her grace allowed me to show up and be present. Giving it to yourself is equally necessary.

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