What Grieving Moms Want for Mothers
By J Carol Pereyra
Acknowledgment is what grieving mother's want most for
Mother's Day. When we asked grieving moms "What can
others do to comfort you on Mother's Day" over 80
percent of the 2000 respondents answered, "Recognize
that I am a mother." Mother's Day is normally a day for
celebrating, but for women who have lost a child, it can
be a very difficult holiday to get through.
With Mother's Day approaching, here are ten simple ways
to comfort a grieving mother on this difficult holiday.
1. 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.
2. Acknowledge they have had a loss: Express the
message, "I know this might be a difficult day for you.
I want you to know that I am thinking about you."
3. 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."
4. Plant a living memorial: A tree or rose bush, like
memories, will grow in beauty as the years pass.
5. Visit the grave site: Many mothers felt that it was
"extremely thoughtful" when others visited their child's
grave site and left flowers or a small pebble near the
6. Light a candle: Let the mother know you will light a
candle in memory of their child on Mother's Day.
7. Share a memory or pictures of the child: Give the
gift of a memory. One mother wrote that the "greatest
gift you can give is a heart felt letter about my child
and a favorite memory you have of them."
8. Send a gift of remembrance: Many mothers felt a small
gift would be comforting. Suggestions included: an angel
statue, a special piece of jewelry, a picture frame, or
donate a library book or toy in the child's name.
9. Don't try to minimize the loss: Avoid using any
clichés' that attempt to explain the death of a child,
like "God needed another angel." Also, don't try to find
anything positive about the loss like "You still have
two healthy children".
10. 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. A gift certificate to a
day spa or any place where she can be pampered would be