Mother's Day and Suicide
Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group - Madison, NJ
Posted: May 8, 2019
Mother's Day and Suicide
The elephant in the room for this week is Mothers Day. It is one of those Hallmark card days that cause such grief and stress to those who have lost a mother or lost a child. Cards the read "Happy Mother's Day" are so difficult to read. I doubt that most survivors are "Happy" about much after the death of their mom or child. May 5th was "International Bereaved Mother's Day". Who even knew that such "days" existed?
The elephant in June will be Father's Day. While you may be grieving the loss of a mother, a father, a child, everyone feels the loss of a suicide. Each person we lost played a part in the family structure that can not be replaced. Families are forever altered after the suicide of a loved one and the roles of the surviving family members often change as we find our "new normal".
Many family members stumble through their first round of "holidays" after the death. For some ideas about how you can generally deal with holidays visit our website . Here are a few articles specifically about understanding and surviving Mother's Day after a suicide
Three years ago I posted a note on my Facebook page on Mother's Day:
"This Mother’s Day I would to talk about the strongest women I know, the moms that have lost a child. To quote Erma Bombeck “Mother’s Day is a day of appreciation and respect. I can think of no mothers who deserve it more than those who had to give a child back. “
The loss of a child is something no parent should ever have to experience, but sadly, many do. It is not the natural order of life for a child to die before their parents, but it happens. The moms who have lost their children have also lost a part of their heart and soul that day. It is not a hole that can be filled; it is and it always will be there for the child that they love so dearly.
Sure, many people reach out in the early days to show their love and support, but as time goes on, many people get back to their own lives and don’t think about these special moms. Folks see the surviving moms put on their makeup and get back to their lives in the public eye. The mask these moms put on every morning is just that, there is always a missing part of their lives that they will forever miss. They do a wonderful job hiding their grief from the public. It gets hard for them to mention their children in conversation. Society just does a poor job dealing with grief.
Days like today can be overpowering for these moms with both love and grief. Some are lucky enough to have other children, but no child can be replaced. These moms often cry their tears today in the shower, in their pillows or just keep it in. Most people will not mention their deceased child’s name to them. Trust me, they would love to hear you mention their child’s name or share a story about their children. After all, all they have left are the memories of their missing children.
So today, reach out to a mom you may know who has lost a child and let them know you are thinking about them and mention their child by name. The tears they may share with you are tears of joy and for the lovely memories they have of their children. There is so much more we can do in this world besides sending a Hallmark card.
So let me start by telling the following moms, Happy Mothers Day and that I am thinking and praying for them and their missing children today. Please feel free to add to the list."
I went on to list my wife and a long list of mom's we have come to know who have lost their children to both suicide and other causes. I was overwhelmed with how many people lovingly responded and how many also added names to the list. It was a simple way to help these "angel moms" through the day. It got people telling loving stories about their missing children. People often don't know how to react around you, consider giving them the chance to help you by opening up about how you are doing.
For all of those missing their mom or their child, I wish you a peaceful Mother's day this year. I am hoping that you can see beyond their suicide to remember the perfect moments that you once shared.