Grief AND Joy for the Brokenhearted on Mother's Day

Grief AND Joy for the Brokenhearted on Mother's Day

Bleeding hearts have always meant Mothers Day to me, long before it became a day of heartbreak for us. My mom would always give one to my grandma and I remember being so entranced by this magical plant that could be so beautiful yet so sad at the same time.

That's Mothers Day to me.

Mother's Day falls in that no man's land on the calendar-those short hours in between the day mom died and the day my son Maxson was born. I love being a Mom. Motherhood came to me like a reason to exhale after 13 months of holding my breath while caring for our dying Mom.

But Mother's Day is complicated.  

It is a reminder of the Mom I have lost.  It is a reminder of the Mom I used to have. It is a reminder of the Mom I get to be.  It is a reminder of the Grandma my kids haven't met.  It is Grief AND It is Joy.  

But that is the beauty of Joy.  Joy does not require an either/or.  Joy comes alongside the feelings we experience with that beautiful "and." For that I am so thankful.  It allows me to hold the grief and celebrate simultaneously.  How sad it would be if I had to choose one or the other.  The grief I feel on Mother's Day is real, and to pretend it is not part of that day would be inauthentic.  Similarly it is good to celebrate the Mom I get to be and the wonderful Mom I had. To deny myself and my family that celebration would also be inauthentic.   

But, JOY.   Joy comes along with space for grief AND celebration. 

If your Mother's Day is brokenhearted may I encourage you to embrace the AND.  Be true to the grief you are experiencing but look for the moments of Joy and celebration too.  They are so much the sweeter when we allow them to exist together. 

I am so thankful for a Mom worthy of such grief and thankful for the tremendous honor of being a Mom myself, thankful for the woman who so gracefully stands in the gap for me and thankful for the momma friends that have been a wonderful and unexpected gift.

Happy Mother's Day!