Dear Grieving Mothers ~

Dear Grieving Mothers ~ March 26, 2014

I had the honor of attending a memorial Mass today.  The precious firstborn son of a sweet couple in our Parish was laid to rest.  His birth was greatly anticipated.  His death was not.  Our Parish was full of loving friends and family.  Tears flowed freely as his tiny little casket was wheeled into the Church.  There should never, ever, be a need for a casket so small.  Death is hard enough, but the death of an innocent child is almost too much for anyone to bear.  And the tiny casket is like a dagger to all our hearts.  As I stood there, my hands shook and my chest started to hurt like hell.  The lump in my throat came on quickly, and so I closed my eyes, dropped to my knees and prayed.  Lord have mercy on them.  Lord have mercy.

Stricken with grief, the mother and grandmother could barely walk.  I wanted to run to them and just grab both women in my arms and hug them tightly.  I wanted to tell them it would be ok.

I wanted to say, just keep breathing.  I know it is hard, but just breathe.  Your life is full of darkness and confusion and despair.  Everything is upside down.  You want to just rewind and go back and fix that one thing which would make everything different, that would give you a healthy little baby in your arms.  But you can’t.  So just breathe.  Beg God for His mercy and breath.

You are not alone.  Other brave women have walked this path before you.  We are here for you.  The days and months to come will be very hard.  You will wonder if you are going crazy, if you will ever live a normal life, if you will survive all this sadness.  You will.  Give yourself permission to feel sad.  You aren’t crazy, you are in deep grief.  It takes a long time, but it will get better.  I used to look in the mirror every morning and wonder if the girl I used to be would stare back at me.  I asked God to see her again.  But she died with my baby.  Instead, I soon saw a different and better woman in that mirror.  A woman full of compassion and love.  A broken woman who had suffered and survived.  A woman who eventually found God’s peace.  You will see these same things, but it takes time.

Keep talking to God.  Even if it is just to tell him how angry and sad you feel, pray every day.  God can handle your anger and your sadness.  Be honest with Him.  His power is made perfect in your weakness.

Keep talking to your husband.  He will heal far faster than you.  Love him through it.  Give each other space and support.  Men and women are different and handle grief differently.  Be gentle with each other and don’t judge differences.

Remember your baby.  Mark his anniversary months and years with times to grieve and remember.  Someday it may feel like others have forgotten him, but they haven’t.  In the beginning, let those supporting you know you want to remember him on special days.  As time passes, do something for others on his special days.  Your baby is not finished working for God’s kingdom.  He will do it through you. Allow him to do so.

Time is your friend.  Take things slowly, one day, one hour, one minute at a time.  Sometimes, the grief will come when you least expect it.  That’s ok.  You are moving forward ~ one breath at a time.

In Memory of Daniel Gregory, Lucy Rose, Anastasia Rose, Vivian, Gabriel, Brendan, McKayla, Mara, Emerson, Therese Joy and all the precious babies who have left their mother’s arms too soon.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • What a cross

    I want to give this post to a friend who just lost two of her daughters in a terrible car accident. The funeral was heartbreaking.. I can’t stop crying about it and it isn’t even my children.. I don’t think she’s ready for advice like this…. maybe some day.. Losing a child is the worst suffering…

  • Mary

    I was thinking of them too! I’m so glad that all these grieving mothers have wonderful friends thinking and praying for them.

  • Katrina

    Kellie, this is beautiful and every word rings true. Thank you so much for writing this reflection. I’m glad that I’m not wearing mascara today, the tears are falling!
    Thank you for mentioning Annie and Lucy…

  • I do not know them but have been praying for them. So much heartbreak. I am so sorry for their loss. Just to clarify, I did not say any of these things to the grief stricken family today. They are not ready for such words from me right now. I do hope my post will be a help to them and others, when they are ready. May God have mercy on all grieving families and those who are supporting them. Jesus We Trust in You!

  • Juris Mater

    Kellie, thank you for this beautiful post and for your courageous outreach to grieving mothers. It seems there have been so many losses lately.

  • Mary Alice

    I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love and duty but as a profession that was fully as interesting and challenging as any honorable profession in the world and one that demanded the best that I could bring to it.

    Rose Kennedy

  • Bethany

    We are all lifting up your friends in their time of terrible loss and grief. Their news has traveled and we are all so devastated by it. Please assure them they are surrounded by prayers from complete strangers. God is with them.

  • Bethany

    Wow, Kel, this is incredibly powerful, written by a mother who knows and can write from the heart. Thank you for these words. Fresh tears here. xo

  • Queen B

    Thank you, Kellie, for this insight into grieving motherhood. Heart wrenching.