Do you know this grief?

You are not alone. We honor you, too.

In the midst of all the (well deserved) cheer and hype for mothers on Mother’s Day there is another truth too often hidden because it is painful and pain makes us uncomfortable (so we pretend it isn’t there and keep mostly silent). This post is a small attempt to say “Open your eyes. Open your hearts. Share your love.”

Open your eyes and hearts to women like “…your cousin in Houston whose fertility treatments are failing, your next-door neighbor who had a stillbirth three years ago, or your grandmother who lost a child but could never bring herself to tell anyone about it. For all these women, their hoped-for child comes regularly to mind, and each one will cry on [Mother’s Day] in a way that surprises her.” —Serena Jones, a woman who remembers a longed-for child on every Mother’s Day. She begins her remarks this way:

This Sunday morning, my daughter will make her annual bedside delivery of a “For Mom” greeting card. What fun to guess what sort of handwritten promises she might include: an always-clean bedroom, perhaps, or 365 kisses? Whatever she says or does, I know I’ll give her a big hug, and get misty-eyed.

Fifteen years ago, however, my tears were bitter. In fact, I woke up on Mother’s Day of 1995 and couldn’t get out of bed. I hated the thought of motherhood. In fact, I probably hated all mothers.

My wretched state back then had nothing to do with my own mother. Rather, it was caused by a feeling of personal failure, and a sense that my own body had betrayed me. Only four days earlier I had miscarried a much-wanted, seventeen-week pregnancy. Just as I’d begun to grasp and even revel in the reality of new life, this thrilling possibility ended. Suddenly, I wasn’t “expecting” anymore. The grief felt unbearable.

Worst Expectations by Serena Jones

If you, or someone you love, someone you know, someone you work with, play with, or worship with are touched by this unique loss, this ‘unbearable grief,’ please read the rest of Serena’s (2010) post,Worst Expectations. Her’s is the compelling voice of experience … and hope.

An Additional Online Resource

Saying Goodbye (SG): “Saying Goodbye is a charity offering Support & Services, for anyone who has lost a baby in pregnancy, at birth or in early years.” It’s Mission is “To offer support to all those who need it – whether they have personally lost a baby or are supporting someone who has lost.”

Finally: A Saying Goodbye Film | Every Baby Matters | Spoken Word —

Let us pray for, and love, ALL Mother’s, especially those who are grieving, on Mother’s Day.

Father’s Day, Without Dad

This is from the Hospice Foundation of America. While it is aimed at Father’s Day (now past) the tips offered are timely for any holiday (July 4th, for example), anniversary, birthday, or special event in your life or the life of those you love. So, as you read “Father’s Day” substitute the special day that is ‘tender’ for you, for your family, friend, or loved one.

Actually, Father’s Day can be a difficult time for someone grieving the loss of either parent. It also can be awkward for friends and family wondering what to do with – or say to – the grieving person on this special day. We hope that you will join those who have found the following suggestions to be helpful in similar circumstances.

Read the entire post.

Download the complete tipsheet for you or for someone you love, including Support for you and Support for a friend who has lost a father. Reminder: substitute, as necessary, mother, aunt, child, sister, brother, for the word father in the tip sheet knowing that the advice given for father’s on Father’s Day will serve you well.

For even more support and information check the “See Also” links in the right column.

Grief and the holidays

GrievingIf you are grieving the loss of a loved one, you are keenly aware that the holidays are fast approaching. You may wonder how you will make it through them. If you live in the Coachella Valley there is a support group forming that may help you.

I want to alert you to a 3-session Support Group that will meet for the first time on Sunday, October 31, 2010 at my parish church, St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, CA. Each session will be facilitated by Kathleen Dale, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

If you are grieving a recent loss or anticipate the holiday season bringing up grief from past losses, please join us for this three-part series. The purpose of the group is to provide you with a context to develop your personal plan and a supportive place to reflect and review. There are no requirements around type of loss or time frame of such losses. Read more about this opportunity.

The article cited above will give you the contact information you will need. As Kathleen states in her description: “consider our Grief Group your personal ‘bridge over troubled waters.’”

Kathleen also maintains a website for the benefit of those seeking information or help: Peace comes from within