Sorry to disappoint if you were hoping for a post about why everyday is mother’s day and how we should celebrate all the amazing things our mothers do for us daily. Cue sunshine, rainbows & silver linings around any clouds in the sky. Rather, according to the Huffington Post, I was told of the importance of International Day of Bereaved Mothers, one week before Mother’s Day. So I write this to humans everywhere who give a shit about living and loving in this crazy fucked up world.
Becoming a mother has been the most profound experience and rite of passage in my life so far. I am fortunate to have 3 living children to snuggle & teach me about everything that I am too busy to notice on my own. I am equally grateful to my non breathing children who have taught me to wake up to love, grief and compassion daily.
When I first birthed my babes, I remember feeling so raw and vulnerable that I could not listen to the news for fear of feeling crushed by the overwhelming injustices of living in this world and felt consumed with the guilt of responsibility and privilege. I quickly learned habits of disconnecting and avoiding situations that might be too painful for my new mother’s heart to bear. If I am really being honest, I would take this opportunity to send an apology to the humans in my life that I have hurt unintentionally in my quest to distract myself from my living wounds.
It has only been through connection with other women in their struggles that I am able to live in a way that feels halfway honorable of being human. I am not talking about sharing a meme, or an article about loss but sharing space with people, looking in their eyes, being brave enough to ask and patient enough to listen with my heart and to hear how they are really doing. This, alongside remembering and returning to a consistent daily practice of sitting my ass down to feel breath move through me, is how I am learning to embody the suffering and beauty involved in being alive.
Well isn’t it important to open a dialogue so bereaved mothers can have the opportunity to share their experience and express their grief? And I ask: for whom is it important to? Bereaved mothers walk the tightrope of heartache and joy every single day and learn to navigate, then balance within these waters that can without warning, take them out at the knees and topple them over. Or it can lift them up and carry them through one more day.
I’ve known mothers who feel a pressure to perform leading up to these days. Like they’ve been placed on some kind of pedestal, naked and vulnerable, for others to stare, poke and prod about how their experience of creating life and death in their body can enlighten others. And still others, who long for you to be open to them not being fine or better or over it.
So if Mother’s Day isn’t strong or vast enough to hold both the pain and joy that comes with creating, carrying and connecting to our dead and our living, then I’m out. So you can keep those spring flowers in the ground, let them wither away on their own and re-nourish the land that made them. And if you can’t find the right words to ask, say or write, then sit down with that and just breathe.