Friday, May 11, 2018

The Motherless Mother's Day

Anyone who has lost their mother will tell you that Mother's Day is a truly bittersweet event. It serves as a dual reminder of the loss (losing them in death) and gain (how you benefited from having them as the most significant and irreplaceable person in your life).

For them, Mother's Day is both motherless and painful.

I'm one of them. I feel that pain, like all members of what I refer to as the "motherless club" do. The motherless club is one club that no loving child with deep respect, admiration, and appreciation for their mother wants to belong to. Unfortunately, accepting membership is not voluntary.

Once a member, you will inevitably encounter other members of the motherless club, who like yourself, lost their mothers and are adjusting to life without them. It will be an instantaneous bond because only members who cross this threshold of pain have real, intimate knowledge of how you feel inside. When it comes to receiving and experiencing true empathy regarding feelings surrounding the loss of your mother, it's a members only event.

Which brings us to Mother's Day. Since members of the motherless club are forced to have motherless Mother's Days, we are confronted with two choices every year: celebrate the memories of our beloved mothers through memorialization in the form of an activity or event, or (for those with children of their own) sublimate the pain by celebrating in the joys of motherhood that our offspring are experiencing.

It helps. A little. And it also explains why coping with the death of one's mother is only second to coping with the death of one's child; they are delicately intertwined, share a symbiotic existence, and speak to the unique, unparalleled bond that mother and child share.

This makes the Motherless Mother's Day a challenge, but offers an opportunity to encourage those who are not in the motherless club to celebrate their lack of membership, and firmly embrace the abundance of opportunity they have to cherish the moments, not just the day, that they get with their moms.