Thursday, May 7, 2015

It's ok to celebrate Mother's Day...

Ava and Mommy
It's ok to enjoy Mother's Day. If you enjoy it and celebrate it and relish in the good things in your life outside of the death of your child, it is OK. It is ok to look at your other children with wonder and amazement, with thanksgiving and gratitude and it not offend the one who is no longer here. You can be mother to ALL of your children. You can celebrate being a mom if you only carried your baby for 6 weeks before he/she was called to heaven. You could have lost your child later on in their life, but you were left on this earth without them. You could have had a few months or years with your little and life will never be the same. Yet, you can still LIVE, LOVE and REJOICE.

The first mother's day after Noah died I was fragile. It had only been a little over 2 months since he passed and I was still in the trenches of grief. I so longed to hold him still and have him in our life. (I still do, don't get me wrong) That time in my grief journey was tender, raw and it was VERY hard for me to be around other children, other mothers and other people in general. I was very immature in many ways and I would compare, question and argue with God over why certain people got to raise their babies
Noah and Mommy
and I didn't. How did I get chosen to be the one who lost a child? What I have found out through it all, is that more often than I realized, someone has said goodbye to a child sooner than they wished. I try to not say lost so often, because in my reality, I know he is not lost. It is certainly a loss though. So many people in this world have walked through infant loss, child loss, miscarriage... I was not the only mom who was dealing with or had ever dealt with death in this way. It was humbling to realize that the world didn't revolve around my loss, my grief, my hurt. I was expecting people to understand or try to when they had no idea. I would never wish it upon anyone, but I wanted them to understand how privileged they were and blessed they were to have their children living. I was so ungracious. I had to realize that it wasn't my job to make sure the world doesn't take their children for granted as I rubbed in their face that my son was gone. It just wasn't how God was asking me to walk through my grief. I came to that conclusion and it was hard to swallow.
My mom, sister and PawPaw(We miss our Mimi very much) 

 I left family events early that Mother's day 2013. I hid from the crowd of family so I could hide my tears. I didn't want to be a burden, but I just couldn't handle watching everyone enjoy their kids while I missed mine so desperately. No one mentioned him and part of me wished someone would have, but in that same moment, I didn't need a reminder. Grief can be so up and down, so emotionally tormenting that you don't know what you really want, other than to see, hold and raise that child. I'll never understand why I was chosen to be a mom to a heart baby who finished his race at 5 months old. I wasn't meant to understand it. I do know that major events, friends and family gatherings, baby dedications at church, etc were all hard places to be. I am blessed to be surrounded by gracious friends and family who loved me through my hard times, but also reminded me of God's plan and goodness. Find ways to prepare yourself or take yourself out of those equations just to give yourself some peace, but at the same time, each time you take risks and make it a point to grow through hard experiences you gain wisdom and power. Just make sure you have some support!

It is ok to take time to grieve. We all know that the pain will never actually go away. There are times I will still find a piece of Noah's life, our journey and I'll just sit and weep. There are times when I will come across a picture of him in one of the staff's office or even walking in my own hallway at home and his eyes meet mine. There are days when trying to relive our experience is the closest I feel to him. Sometimes being in the middle of worship at church is when I feel closest. Wherever you are in your grief, it is ok to be there. It is ok to struggle with holidays and big events.

What I am learning in my season right now is that it is ok to REJOICE and ENJOY life again as well. I'm not offending or forgetting Noah's life because I am enjoying and relishing in the life we are in now.

I have not lost my mother. I do not understand what it is like to lose a mother. I am thankful I do not know what it is like, but I am very close to a number of women who have and I can say that I see you and I know it is hard to celebrate mother's day when yours is not here. I know it is difficult to watch your own children grow without her here. It must hurt to go through life changes and big new seasons and want to call her on the phone and tell her all about it only to be reminded that she won't pick up. There is something special about mothers and daughters and this message is still for you.

ENJOY MOTHER'S DAY! Celebrate your mother in any way you feel would be best! Maybe you go get a pedicure and just remember her as you relax and take that moment.  Maybe you take flowers to her graveside or just buy yourself a bouquet of flowers in her memory. Put them on your table and enjoy them!

You can celebrate your child in the same way, those of you who have laid to rest, a little one. Take your other children to Chuck E Cheese or the zoo and just talk about and celebrate the little life you miss so much. Buy some balloons and release them to heaven. Make cookies and take them to someone or just sit and enjoy them all together. I truly believe that the last thing to do on Mother's Day is to not do anything at all.

If I can encourage you in any way in this, please email me. There is a link on the top of the blog page. You can message me and I can try to share and encourage you. Give yourself space to have a hard time, but also give yourself permission to enjoy this day, celebrate with joy and live in thanksgiving for all the blessings in the past and present that God has given us!

MaMaw and Sharon (my grandmother in law and mother in law)
Have peace, moms and daughters. Mothers of those who have gone before, I am so sorry you have to go through another year of missing him or her. I wish that none of us had to go through this, but find empowerment, encouragement and joy again by celebrating you as you celebrate them. Pamper yourself a bit, indulge your self some, give yourself some space and ability to enjoy something because you have endured. Honor your child by honoring yourself. It may sound selfish, but I've found that sometimes it is healing. Daughters, enjoy Mother's Day for your mom. Celebrate her, her life, her legacy, her beauty by doing something in honor of her, maybe for yourself, maybe for others, for your family... You're all loved, seen and recognized in this holiday weekend. You are not far from my thoughts. You are close to my heart. If I can support you in some way, please let me know.
Before she was a momma, but she's one of my favorites! 

If you do something in honor of your child or your mother this weekend, share it with me! I would love to see what y'all come up with!

Happy Mother's Day,
Noah's AND Ava's Mommy