How I am choosing to celebrate Mother’s day when all I have done is miscarry

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Miscarriage is really common in my family.

For me, no baby I conceived lived beyond 8 weeks. So Mother’s Day has been a very tender day for me. I have walked with this tender spot for years now, watching how the week before Mother’s Day, I feel fine, only to be sideswiped by the feelings of grief and loss by Friday night. I then spiral into a lonely, depressive state until Sunday night, only to resurrect somehow intake for work Monday morning. This year has started no different.

Every year around this time, I would see all of the school children, my nieces and nephews bring handmade gifts and poems to their moms, some of whom would throw the thing away only days after receiving it. I would watch their children’s faces light up as they would hand their mom yet another macaroni bracelet or sloppy painted flower vase or adorably written poem, knowing that the children had worked on these things for days, maybe even weeks and were so excited to give them to the woman of their lives.

I ache, knowing that my own could never do that and how, if given the chance, I would treasure that mother’s day macaroni bracelet like a tennis bracelet or frame and display that finger-painted art like a Mattise, and wrap my arms around them in sincere appreciation.

My story isn’t all sad. I still have my very own wonderful mom, aunt, and grandmothers to celebrate. Three of my sisters are moms, and a slew of my cousins are moms. Over half of my line sisters are moms. Three of my very close friends are moms. Each and every one of them is wonderful, whether they would agree to it or not, in her own unique way. So, I have plenty of people to celebrate.

I had the opportunity to watch my younger sister walk through her first pregnancy. A little background; my sister is well over a year sober. She has lived through things most fo us can only imagine. But when she got pregnant, so much changed about her. I watched how she didn’t have cravings, had energy, was active and attentive and joyful despite people trying to prepare her for the worst. She dove into motherhood, head first in a way no one could have predicted but everyone admired. Now, she’s actively mothering my beautiful, sweet niece.

Walking with my sister so closely during her pregnancy and now in early motherhood, while it doesn’t negate the motherly ache within myself, it has shown me the strength of the human heart, and the absolutely undefinable depth of a mother’s love for someone they have yet to meet. I am certain that this ache within me is only a precursor of the deeper love I will feel for my own once God grants me them.

So, instead of falling down the proverbial rabbit hole of depression that I typically lose myself in around this time of year, I am choosing to identify what I feel as love, love for someone I couldn’t meet, and lost too early. I am choosing to see that the grief I feel for this loss as only a taste of the deep love that I will one day get to lavish on them, God willing. I am choosing to draw on that love as strength. I am choosing not to suffer silently, but rather feel what I feel while at the same time taking the opportunity to lift up the moms that I am so blessed to know.

This is how I will be celebrating Mother’s day. I hope this helps someone else who is feeling the way I am, who is right there, back against the wall, heart breaking, feeling the ache that is causing the lump in my throat as I type all of this. I hope you find that the grief you feel isa sign that you love, and that you know that you have loved so deeply, it filled your heart to the breaking point. I hope that you see your grief as a telling truth that you cared for someone you never has the chance to know, and that care and love comes back to console you, even now. I pray this for you and for myself and I pray that you can celebrate your Mother’s Day as well.

This post was originally posted on The Reclaimed Blog.

Whitney Alese is a writer, podcaster and cultural commentator. Featured in WIRED Magazine (September 2020). She is based in Philadelphia.

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