What Grieving Moms Want for Mother’s Day

Acknowledgement is what grieving mother’s want most for Mother’s Day, suggests a survey by a website that specializes in meaningful sympathy gifts. The online survey asked, “What can others do to ease your pain on Mother’s Day?” Over 80 percent of the 200 respondents answered, “Recognize that I am a mother.”

“While Mother’s Day is generally considered to be a day of celebration, for many women it is a day of pain and loss,” says Renee Wood, former social worker and founder of the Comfort Company. “It’s important to remember those moms who have had a failed pregnancy or who have lost a child at any age.”

In response to the survey result, The Comfort Company has issued a list of ten simple ways to reach out to a grieving mother on this difficult holiday.

  • Recognize that they are a mother. Offer a hug and a “Happy Mother’s Day.” Send a card to let them know you remember they are a mother even though their child is not with them physically.
  • Acknowledge they have had a loss. Express the message, “I know this might be a difficult day for you. I want to know that I am thinking you.”
  • Use their child’s name in conversation. One mother responded, “People rarely speak his name anymore, but when they do it’s like music to my ears.”
  • Visit the grave site. Many a mother felt it was extremely thoughtful when others visited their child’s grave site and left flowers or a small pebble near the headstone.
  • Light a candle. Let the mother know you will light a candle in memory of her child on Mother’s Day.
  • Share a memory of a picture of the child. Give the gift of a memory. One mother wrote that the “greatest gift you can give is a heartfelt letter about my child and a favorite memory with them.
  • Send a gift of remembrance. Many mothers felt a small gift would be comforting. Suggestions included an angel statue, jewelry, a picture frame or a library book donated in the child’s name.
  • Don’t try to minimize the loss. Avoid using any clichés that attempt to explain the death of a child (“God needed another angel.”) Secondly, don’t try to find anything positive about the loss (“You still have two other healthy children”)
  • Encourage self-care. Self-care is an important aspect of the “healing the mind and spirit effort” according to several mothers. Encourage a grieving mother to take care of herself. Give her gift certificate to a day spa or any place where she can be pampered.

—Renee Wood

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