the mother's day ache.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday. This year it also falls on my 50th birthday, which is kind of wild because I was also born on Mother’s Day. This upcoming Sunday is a happy day for a lot of women. Breakfast in bed, no chores, flowers, handmade cards. I never want to dismiss the awesomeness of mothers and that they get a day of extra-special love for all their hard work day in and day out. For me, with 5 kids,  I always get some more-than-usual-sweetness and am so grateful for it; but both Jose’s mom and my mom live close so we are caring for them too.

But over the years I’ve come to have a whole new perspective on this holiday. Mother’s Day can be a really hard day for so many women and men, too.

I can feel it in the air right now around here–the bracing for impact, the making-a-plan-to-make-it-through-the-day, here-we-are-again-and-all-the-feelings-are-surfacing, the damn-I-hate-this-holiday for all kinds of different reasons.

I’ve written about it in previous years, in the same vein as when christmas is hard and when easter is hard, and wanted to take a little time to again acknowledge the pain and reality and weirdness of this Sunday for so many before this weekend starts.

For those of you who: 

Suffered the devastating loss of a child

Lost your mother or grandmother and ache for her touch, her hug, her voice, her comfort. 

Were neglected or abandoned or abused by your mother and ache for the touch, hug, voice and comfort of the mom you dreamed of. 

Know intellectually there are lots of ways to mother but it definitely doesn’t feel like enough. 

Know the emptiness and ache of miscarriages. 

Desperately long for a child but have been unable to have one.

Desperately long for not just a child but a partner to make one with. 

Are reminded of the trauma and drama and pain of a past abortion. 

Are remembering the child you placed for adoption who you ache-for and dream-for and wonder-about.

Are yet-again reminded of the collateral damage of divorce and what it feels like to mother alone.

Have broken relationship with your children and are up-all-night-worrying-about-them-still or wish-they-would-call or are on-your-knees-daily-praying-for-sobriety-or-healing-or-hope for struggling daughters and sons.

Have broken relationship with your mother and wish she’d know how much you want things to be better.

Can’t stand to be on facebook or at churches-where-all-the-moms-stand-up or anywhere else that reminds you of your loss. 

Wish you could skip over this day completely.

Feel needy, desperate, lonely, confused, sad, angry, empty, weird, off, weepy this Mother’s Day.

I just wanted to say that even though I don’t know exactly what you’re feeling, I know this:

Your loss is real and your ache isn’t crazy.

You’re not alone in the pain; there are a lot of others experiencing the same thing, even if you might not know them.

Thinking of you all this weekend, praying for peace and hope as you grieve and feel whatever you need to feel this Mother’s Day. 

Your loss is real and your ache isn’t crazy. 

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Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar is dedicated to creating safe and brave spaces for transformation and healing in real life, online, and outside. She co-pastors at The Refuge, a hub for healing community, social action, and creative collaboration in North Denver, co-directs #communityheals, a non-profit organization dedicated to making spaces for transformation accessible for all, and is the author of Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World, Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

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