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Bittersweet Mother's Day

Conception dates, anniversary dates and due dates are hard enough to bare after the loss of a child, but Mother's Day is the most bittersweet day of all.

The following poem has been placed here particuarly for those of us who have empty arms this Mother's Day.

Mother & Child AM I NOT A MOTHER?

Am I not a mother
on this Mother's Day?
I had a baby, but she's gone.
Death took her away.

Hopes and dreams have vanished
a happy time turned cold.
My motherhood-where is it now?
Gone? Or put on hold?

Am I not a mother
even though my child died?
Does anyone know my heartbreak
or the anguish felt inside?

Special gifts and flowers
but who'll remember me?
As I stand and shed some tears
at your graveside where I'll be.

Mother's Day-so painful
but I will make it through.
Yes, I am a mother!!
But God takes care of you.

written by Gail Fasolo


Do not judge me for what I have done
For you have not walked in my shoes
She was not your daughter
You did not love her and long for her
As I did and do and always will

You did not feel her and plan for her
and know her and promise her that
You would always take care of her
As I did
She was my daughter

You did not hear the doctors say
That she would be sick
That she already was sick
And that she would be sick until
The day she died

You did not pray to God that the
Second ultrasound would confirm
Your hopes that she would be healthy
You did not see the tear
In the doctor's eyes when he
Confirmed the diagnosis

You did not pray to God for
Her to never have to suffer
For him to take her to heaven
Where there is no pain
You did not feel her pain
I did
I am her mother

When you simply said to me
That I don't have the right
To take her life
I know you did not feel my struggle
When you simply said to me
That I have to take her life
For her to be happy
I know you did not feel my struggle

I do not know what God wanted for her
I do not have his wisdom
And neither do you
I do know that He loves me
I felt his love through the people He gave me
I know that God did feel my struggle

All I ask from you now
Is that you pray for my daughter
And do not judge me for what I have done
For you have not walked in my shoes
I am her mother

Written by Joan Vander Male

Remembering You On Mother's Day

No little hugs or kisses
to wake me up this morn.
No special card or roses sent my way.
Bittersweet feelings, at least a thousand tears;
Quietly, I celebrated you this day.

I am not like the others,
Though I still wear the name.
I cannot hold you in my arms,
But I love you just the same.

I knelt beside your resting place,
Though I knew you were not there.
I prayed to God in Heaven:
A peace I found in knowing,
sweet child, you're in his care.

To see a mother with her baby -
Now my heart breaks in two;
But never would I trade this pain
If it meant there had not been you

At times I feel I cannot go on -
Living this life without you.
Yet hidden behind my deepest grief
There is joy unexplainably true.

For my daughter, you will always be a
blessing from above.
Your brief existence has bestowed on me
a name I cherish dear.
And although this day is not what I
imagined it to be,
I will treasure it because of you -
My First Mother's Day.

Written by Jana Spigener
In loving remembrance of
Mercedes Ruth Spigener
Stillborn at 39 weeks
September 21, 1995 <

Tips On Handling Mother's Day and Father's Day

by Joanne Cacciatore

Survival isn't instinctive anymore. Sometimes, after the death of our child, apathy takes over. Coupled with celebration of motherhood or fatherhood in the absence of our child, and it can be a slap in the face. Here are some helpful ideas for parents enduring their first, or yet another Mother's Day and Father's Day:


  • T - Take care of yourself! Go the extra mile to make yourself happy. Surround yourself with people who make you feel comfortable in your grief. Exercise is also a great outlet for grief. Sometimes, a hike alone or with your partner is a nice way to spend the day. Take a bubble bath with your favorite music playing in the background. If you have other children, dedicate half the day to a Mother's or Father's Day celebration with them and the other half alone or with your partner. Some parents will find a visit to the cemetery therapeutic. Cry, cry, cry- tears have a healing affect and you have definetely earned these tears.
  • E - Embrace the memories by looking at photographs, watching video tapes, sharing poetry and making a special cassette tape of songs which remind you of your child. At first it may seem overwhelming, however, many couples say that those times of sharing bring healing to the family. It is a gentle reminder to the entire family that this child will always be your child.
  • A - Acknowledge feelings of grief and doubt. You may wonder if you should "celebrate" without your child. It may seem pointless. Give yourself permission to have these feelings and accept them. Prepare for the likeliness that the 'day' will be difficult. However, also remember that many parents say the days before the actual holiday were much worse than the holiday itself. If you do have feelings of joy and happiness, try not to feel guilty. The grieving process allows for room to breathe in between the waves of grief.
  • R - Routines can be changed! If you typically spend Father's Day with a large family group but this year, it seems awkward without your child, excuse yourself from the routine and establish new traditions which are more accommodating to your grief. Sometimes, more intimate and personal gatherings make grieving parents feel more comfortable sharing their honest feelings about the special event and the death of their child. Consider a gathering with other bereaved parents you may have met through a support group.
  • S - Seek out ways to memorialize your child. Some ideas are: Lighting a candle at a specified time every year on this special day. Lighting luminaries in your yard. Creating a collage or special book of photographs of your child Planting a tree or flowers. Buy something that reminds you of your child. Having a specific theme is helpful, like: angels, butterflies, Disney characters or other themes.
  • Another suggestion for partners, family members and friends is to send a greeting card on the special day acknowledging the child. This is very important to parents and it reassures them you have not forgotten - they certainly have not either. The Kindness Project would be another wonderful new tradition to adopt on special events every year. Reaching out to others on a special day honors the memory of your child.

    Special Thanks to Jodi for providing the content for this page!

    "I've been struggling with the idea that I really am a mother even though my baby is in heaven. In fact someone asked the other day if I had any kids. I responded "Yes, but she's in heaven." I think I caught him off guard, but I want people to realize that I am a mother even if I don't physically take care of my child every day."

    The theme song to the movie Titanic, "My Heart Will Go On" plays on this page in memory of Jodi's sweet Angel in Heaven, Madison.


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