Grief Journey Q & A, Pt. VIII
Compiled by Kota Discussion Group

In Honor and Loving Memory of Our Children

Editor's Intro:
The creator of this Grief Journey Q & A was Stephanie Marrotek; the current coordinator is Poppy Hullings who posts questions once a day or week or month and invites all members of our online discussion & support group to post answers. Some answer only to the group, some members have elected to share their insights in a more public way through this column as well. Our hope is that you will find some spark of inspiration or comfort or help here. These words are not offered as prescription for the ways we "should" handle grief. These are just insights into how others are managing day by day after the death of a child.

The Q & A

Q: Mother's Day and Father's Day can be such sad times for grieving parents.  How many Mother's Days or Father's Days have you been without your child?


Christine: 3

Kara : Wow.  I hadn't thought about it.  This will be the sixth. 

Katie: This will be my 5th Mother's Day as a bereaved parent to Charles.  It does not seem like five years of loss will be here this November.

Andrea: 0, this will be the first

Q: Do you honor your child on Mothers and/or Fathers day?  If so, how?


Christine: Yes. This is a very bittersweet day for me, I have two living children and 4 in heaven. The normal mothers day rituals done by my living children are done first which are bittersweet because
there are cards missing and it hurts. Though my husband always includes Nora and my little angels in the gifts, and the kids always make me a card and include Nora. Usually late morning, afternoon , I
go up to Nora's grave , take flowers and a book and read to her, just spend some time by myself remembering my little ones and remembering the time I spent with Nora.

Kara: Honestly, every year, I have high hopes of what I want to do.  But most of the time, we end up renting a ton of movies, getting lots of junk food, and just hiding away.  This year, I have some friends gathering at a local temple, to spend a few hours working on our prayer books.  They asked me again today if I would come, offered to do an opening and closing circle, light candles, etc.  It sounds nice.  In my head, I think, "oh that would be nice, be in a sacred space, with good people, doing art".  But in my heart, I know how it goes.  The night before, I'll be awake till the wee hours, unable to sleep, feeling lousy, etc.  I won't want to get out of bed that day, etc.  Plus I think this year will be additionally hard for Hawk because his mom just passed away last Christmas.  All in all, I think Hallmark can stuff their whole commercialized Sunday for moms.   

Katie: Yes, I do honor Charles on Mother's Day.  My Mom and I attend the annual blessing of the roses in the "Garden of Angels" Memorial Rose Garden at St. Francis South Hospital.  The garden is so beautiful and sacred.  It is enclosed within a white picket fence and decorated with such peace of angel sculptures and loving stepping stones with quotes on them.  There's even a water fountain that people throw pennies of wishes in for their children in Heaven.  The hospital has a garden crew that maintains this area with such love and care.  I planted the Peace rose bush there a couple of years ago and it is still thriving with life.  There is a beautiful service in this rose garden on Mother's Day usually with music, poem readings, some kind and well thought out words from the RTS coordinator as well as a nondenominational prayer by a staff member from the hospital chaiplancy.  After the ceremony that recognizes both bereaved moms and dads, a reception is held at the hospital's hotel/inn, so parents can have a time of gathering and sharing.  Mom and I usually don't make any other pertinent plans other then that.  Sometimes, we'll go see a movie or do some shopping.  I will honor my own Mom as well by treating her to dinner. 

Andrea: I haven't really thought about it, however I would like to do something special in her memory. Here in town every year between mothers and fathers day they have a memorial for all the babies that have passed on, with music, speakers, poems, flowers for each baby, and a balloon release. I think this is going to be very healing for me. I just hope my hubby will come...


Q: If you lost your child due to miscarriage or stillbirth, do your family and friends recognize you as a grieving mother or father?


Christine: I have to say sadly no. My extended family doesn't even know I named my three littlest angels. I don't think people realize how hard mothers day and fathers day is for greiving parents. A parent should have all their children around them, and for this day especially, it is so hard to have children in heaven. its hard every day not to have your children with you..I think what I meant to say is that with all the ads, etc it really magnifies it on mothers and fathers day... tired and not thinking... sorry about that...

Kara: My mom remembers.  My mimi remember.  I have a few friends who get it -- this came in large part due to them having their own kids finally and then looking at their kids and then looking at me and being like, "Oh my gawd, this sucks! And now I get it." But others simply don't get it.  They would never even think to recognize me.  But I don't plan to be with any of them on mom's day anyway!  So there. :)

Katie:My son, Charles, was stillborn.  My Mom's first born died at the age of 16.  She is recognized as a grieving mother even after ten years.  I have never been recognized as a grieving mother by other family except my Mom.  My friends know I am a grieving mom, but they do not recognize me on Mother's Day unless they have also had a loss.   

Andrea: Most of my family does, and some of my friends, but not alot.


We'll have more Q & A next month...

About the Kota Discussion Group
This is a discussion and support group held online thru the free services of Yahoo Groups. Stephanie Marrotek is the host of the Grief Journey Q & A. The full group is moderated by the staff of KotaPress. The answers given in this Q & A were offered by the generous hearts of the members of our online group. We cannot thank you enough for your candor and honesty.

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