International Bereaved Mother’s Day: An Open Letter to my Fellow Sisters in Loss

Dear Mama,

I know that you never-in your wildest imagination-thought that you would need a day set aside for your broken heart and your empty arms.  

Who thinks when they learn a new life is growing inside that this same life might be cut short?  What heart is brave enough to consider the possibility? 

Yet here you are.  

I’m so, so sorry.  

But there are a few things I want you to know.  There are some important truths to remember on this broken road-truths that can help you hold onto hope and finish strong.

You are not a failure.  I don’t care about those silly social media memes that are tossed around like candy from a Mardi Gras float.  You kept your baby or your child as safe as you knew how.  You are not omnipotent nor omniscient.  You did the best you could.  That’s all ANYONE can do.

no way to be a perfect mother child in arms

You are a mother even if you don’t have a single child to hold on earth. You have a child-just not one that others can see.  When people ask how many children you have, answer boldly and count the one (or more!) that wait for you in eternity.

love she holds in her heart

Your love is valid and worthy of expression.  Love for your missing child may look different than love for a child still walking the earth with you.  That’s OK.  Grief is love with no place to go.  Tears are fine.  Laughter is fine.  Speaking his name is your privilege.  Carrying her legacy is your honor.  No one gets to tell you how or when to express your heart.

mothers grow love intl bereaved mothers day

You are brave.  Bereaved mothers are not the only brave ones on this planet but they are some of the bravest ones I know.  You have received the heaviest blow a mama’s heart can know and you are still standing.  You get up every day and carry on.  You continue to love the people in your life and serve your family.  You have not given up although giving up would be the easiest thing to do.  Don’t discount your own courage.

You are strong-not because you want to be but because you have to be.  Other people depend on you and you are trying your best not to let them down.  It’s no compliment when someone says, “I just wouldn’t be able to survive.”  Because, really-what choice do we have? We bear up under the burden because the alternative is to further burden our families.

you are amazing strong and brave

You are beautiful.  Every time you look in the mirror and notice the circles under your eyes or the lines around your mouth, don’t think that makes you ugly.  They are scars-scars of love and sacrifice.  They bear witness to the fact that you choose to carry on and carry your child’s legacy even though it costs every ounce of energy and will you can muster.  You may not like the way you look in pictures, but trust me, you are beautiful.

beautiful mother bereaved moms day

You are a living legacy for your missing child.  You carry his light.  You honor her memory.  You keep it fresh and alive and present and refuse to let others forget or ignore it.

ill be your legacyYou have a story to tell so tell it.  Your story may be the key to unlock another mom’s prison.  We cannot do this alone.  We need one another.  Don’t let fear of being dismissed or misunderstood silence you.  Speak up.  Stand out.  Shout your truth for others to hear.


This day is for YOU.

It is set aside for all the mothers who love a child they can no longer hold. 

Observe it however is meaningful and healing for YOU. 

There’s no right way or wrong way to grieve.  

grief as timeless as love


Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

21 thoughts on “International Bereaved Mother’s Day: An Open Letter to my Fellow Sisters in Loss”

  1. Thanks so much for this post. I read it a couple years ago when I did an event for child loss group I run just before Mother’s Day. Do you mind if I make up a card with this on it this year as long as I have your blog listed as the source clearly?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your article is uplifting and I always gain something from your writings. Our son died suddenly, too. The road since then has been full of potholes. My only problem with this day is that it gives no recognition to father’s who also grieve. I know you aren’t the decision person on this issue, but Dads grieve, too. One can’t live with a child for years and not grieve the loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely agree! I acknowledge grieving dads on Father’s Day with a post of their own but there should also be a Bereaved Father’s Day too. Maybe one day. ❤


    2. I too was feeling the same way for fathers. This year is the 30th year without our Princess, and the first I am hearing of this day. Shocking!


  3. So that was “bereaved Mother’s Day”? Ryan’s funeral was the day before…May 10…Some thought I was crazy to have Ry’s funeral that weekend, but no matter the day, it wouldn’t have changed anything. My heart longed for this post, Melanie. Thank you for putting words to my pain…it was only 11 weeks ago… Some days I hurt so bad I cannot keep food inside…some days I want to sob out of control but cannot get a tear to fall because “for now” my doctor knows I need 2 meds to make life bearable (mostly for those around me). Now I will work on remembering who I am…and my son always told me I was beautiful…Thank you so much for reposting because each day, many parents are forced to join this exclusive club that no one ever thought they ‘d join!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a long process Pam. I pray that the Lord gives you the strength and courage to face each day and that He overwhelms your broken heart with His grace, mercy and love. I am so, so sorry for your pain and your loss. ❤


  4. I totally missed the bereaved day but thats every day for me. We all have our good days and then there are the ones that keep me in a zombie feeling. I lost my daughter 5 years ago to brain cancer. I was her hospice as she had asked. And to sit back and not be able to help her was the hardest thing I ever had to do. To watch my daughter literally die right before my eyes, little at a time. The last 3 days of her life were the worst, and the day she passed was so overwelming. We were alone together and all I could do was scream her name. After telling her that night before, that its ok. Its ok if you need to go, and so the next morning after checking up on her, my beautiful daughter was gone. She loved Anime’. She made the outfits for conventions that she competed in and wrote childrens stories for anime’ lovers. She actually did the art work herself. Very talented. I miss her laugh, her phone calls to me. I miss our long talks driving to and from chemo together. She was a wonderful, loving, and humble young lady. Never complained about how bad things were for her. Shes my hero.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My sweet Hannah 💜🦋. I love you and miss you every second the day!! It’s not fair that you left so young. We miss you! But we are trying to #livehappyforHannah and it’s hard sometimes especially since your graduation is coming up and then your 18th birthday. I love u. And miss you with all my 💜.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My beautiful Brandi with you don’t have it with the Lord Jesus and I have a Lee family your sister your family and I love you well then we could ever say you live in Ohio tomorrow so I will be your mom ever and ever till we meet again my pretty girl and love you mom I love you mom 🌹😘😘🌹💜🌈💙💙🍼🧚🏼‍♂️💚🧡😇Thank you Lord Jesus that I have my firstborn daughter Dina Contri 🌹My son my son-in-law Thomas CONTRI 💙 my beautiful grandson Trey😇 and my little girl to come still in mommy‘s belly 🧚🏼‍♂️🙏🏼🌈 what a blessing thank you Jesus protect them all the days of their lives🌹🌈😇🧚🏼‍♂️💜💚🧡💙❤️💛❤️


  7. Thank you for sharing this touching article. It was good to read it. I lost my son, Michael, almost 9 years ago and am still healing.

    Liked by 1 person

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