Updated: May 6
Honour a Bereaved Mama this Mother's Day
As I write these words the four year anniversary of my own son Braedon's passing is quickly approaching. It seems utterly impossible that it's been almost four years already. At the same time though, it feels like a thousand years since I relished in the comfort of home that I could so easily find in Braedon's bright brown and sometimes hazel eyes.
Child loss is ugly and it's uncomfortable; I get it, I'm living it everyday. Nobody wants to talk about it so it might feel easier to just keep your distance from that grieving mama this Mother’s Day. Maybe you'r not even sure what to say or how to help so saying and doing nothing feels like your best option.
The truth is being a good friend to someone grieving isn't about coming up with the perfect thing to say. It's about seeking to understand their journey and supporting them along the way. It’s about being there for them and reminding them that you care and that you haven’t forgotten about their sweet child.
That the world will keep spinning and people will forget them…
That’s one of the greatest fears of bereaved mothers. We worry that as the days, weeks, months and eventually years pile up that our sweet child will be forgotten.
Taking a few minutes out of your day to honour and support a bereaved Mama can really make all the difference and it doesn't have to be hard or complicated. Whether it’s a couple minutes or a couple of hours you can help that Mama feel heard and seen and remind her that her precious child hasn’t been forgotten.
7 Ways To Support & Honour a Grieving Mom on Mother’s Day
Send her a text or message: Send a simple text or a message. Take it a step further by sharing your favourite picture of her child and tell her it’s your fav. Or you could share your favourite memory of her child or something you loved about them.
Call her: I know old school; phones are scary right? Seriously they're not. Pick up the phone and give her the opportunity to talk about her child. In a world that is really uncomfortable talking about grief it can be nice to have the opportunity to just talk about your kid without people getting uncomfortable or telling you it's time to "move on."
Send a card or flowers: It's pretty traditional but it's a classic that works. Write a special message and send a card or flowers to let her know that you are thinking of her and her child.
Do an act of kindness: Do a random act of kindness in memory of her child and tell her about it.
Make a donation in their memory: Make a donation in her child's memory to a foundation or organization that would meaningful to her and tell her about it.
Spend quality time with her. Plan an activity together in memory of her child. You could plant a tree or some flowers. Eat at her child’s favourite restaurant, do something you think her child would have liked or simply have coffee and talk.
Give a thoughtful & personalized memorial gift. Make it extra special by giving her something meaningful like: memorial jewelry or candle, a framed picture or a memory journal or box.
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Being a good friend to a grieving mom can be confusing because so often us grievers have a hard time articulating what we’re experiencing and what we need.
It doesn't have to be hard though. Just be there, be patient with her fragile heart and don’t give up on her. Your words and actions matter & simply confirming her identity as a mother can be incredibly meaningful.
My son may live in heaven but I care for him just as much as you care for your children and I love him just as much too.
We never stop being mamas even if our child dies. And as bereaved mother's we walk through life with pieces of our hearts missing, longing that never dissipates and gut wrenching pain- that kind of courage and bravery deserves recognition.
Tiffany Agnew's son Braedon died in 2018 just four months after his 18th birthday and three days after Mother's Day that year. His short life transformed every part of who she is and he continues to guide her from afar. She has found healing through writing, speaking, coaching and the work she does with with The Braedon Foundation which she founded in his memory the following month after he passed.