Every Mother’s Day is tough. It is the one enormous reminder of my losses. It’s difficult to explain, but my new book addresses the lifelong grief associated with being involuntarily childless. I think it does a better job that I can here in capturing the depth of feeling associated with losing two babies and with them my chance at becoming a mother.
I remember Mother’s Day in 2010. I was in deep, deep anguish over losing my precious IVF baby. I had just had surgery for breast cancer and was scheduled for more surgery that week because they didn’t get all the tumour. I was simultaneously coming to terms with the cancer diagnosis and also the loss of my wee precious miracle.
It’s funny in a way because sometimes people have actually made it clear to me that my cancer was pretty banal (for those who have not yet read the book, A Year of Medical Thinking, it was stage 1). And in many respects this is possibly not far from something resembling reasonable – although those particular people who had chosen this stance with respect to my experience have not themselves experienced the terror of the words, “You have cancer.”
But what added depth to my pain were the losses: the baby before the diagnosis, and then the terror of my Dad’s melanoma diagnosis the week my treatment finished. He was dead within the year. Not to mention the longer-term consequence of childlessness that resulted as an indirect consequence of the cancer has only added to the anguish.
This Mother’s Day spare a thought for women in your life for whom this day is difficult.
This post is not about me. I do not write about difficult topics to get sympathy. Ever.
But I am driven to write to shed light on the complexity of the human experience that lies just beyond ‘line of sight’.
And so I send my love to everyone who finds Mother’s Day a difficult time.
Those whose mother is no longer here.
And to my sisters who know the eternal pain of wanting children but being without child.
May you find peace and strength from honouring your grief this Mother’s Day, not hiding your truth in the dark. For in this honouring is a form of sacred acknowledgement of your Inner Mother and your sleeping babies who walk forever in your heart and by your side.
And to the Mother’s everywhere, especially my own beautiful Mother, may this Mother’s Day be one filled with grace and love.
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