crawling through mother’s day

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything here, and I haven’t had much room for social media, either, as I transitioned back from a 3 month sabbatical April 1st. My focus has been on The Refuge and practicing some of the things I learned from my time off.  But today, I just felt like writing. I really am looking forward to writing about things other than grief again in 2021, but I am also committed to always writing about what’s most pressing on my soul. 

And, yeah, tomorrow’s is Mother’s Day.

Last Mother’s Day, 2020, I prepared myself for a hard day, but I truly didn’t realize the magnitude of how hard it was until I woke up that morning and felt the rush of reality sink into the deepest places of my soul–Jared is no longer on this earth. My baby, who I birthed and nursed and fed and held and raised into a wild and beautiful human, no.longer.on.this.earth.

Even though I had been writing about Mother’s Day pain for many years before, I had always shared that I personally hadn’t felt it myself. With five healthy kids, my mom and mother-in-law still living, and a husband who’s good at holiday stuff, I usually had a good day. Yet, so many people I know truly suffer every Mother’s Day, and I wrote to honor that sometimes Mother’s Day is hard, that so many ache this weekend, that there are lots of ways to mother, that the world could sure use some mothering right now, that a holiday that can be so sweet and easy for so many can be so brutal and painful for so many others. 

Now I have crossed to the other side and am feeling that Mother’s Day dread in the deepest places of my heart and body. 

My teeth are a bit more clenched. 

My breath feels more shallow.

My hands have started bracing.

My knees are buckling and here I am, on the ground–crawling.

Crawling through another Mother’s Day.

Crawling up a hill in Colorado Springs tomorrow morning to spread the last of Jared’s ashes with the grandparents because we couldn’t do it last year because COVID has had the world crawling for a long time now.

Crawling the same way I’ve crawled through the over 18 months of days and weeks and hours and minutes since Jared left this earth.

Crawling along so many others crawling through this weekend, too.  

Grieving losses of children, too, no matter how young or old.

Missing moms and grandmas, devastated by losing them this year during COVID or feeling the ache of another year without them. 

Single momming when that was never the plan. 

Longing for biological babies that will never be.

Carrying the loss of sisters, aunts, and dear friends who used to carry us.

Weeping over moms who left us, harmed us, shunned us, shamed us, or just truly didn’t know how to love us the way we desperately needed. 

Agonizing over kids of all ages who are struggling in all kinds of ways that feel scary and hard.

Feeling conflicted because while things are hard, there’s a lot of good, too. 

Wrestling with a human-made holiday that is triggering, weird, and hard while so many others are enjoying themselves.

Hunkering down, cringing at social media, feeling so vulnerable.

If this day is good for you, please, soak it in, enjoy it, rest in it. You can remember other’s pain and also celebrate your joy. 

And if you’re crawling this year, too, know I’m right alongside you on the ground, filled with a myriad of contradictory feelings.

It’s hard to have skinned knees and broken hearts.

And yes, we’ll all make it to Monday.

Until then, no matter our circumstance or story, if this weekend is hard, may we remember we’re not crawling alone. 

Love from Colorado today, Kathy

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Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar is dedicated to creating safe and brave spaces for transformation and healing in real life and online. She co-pastors at The Refuge, a Christian community and mission center in North Denver 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.

4 Comments

  • My heart is with you — thank you to giving voice to what is real and true —

    Reply
  • My heart aches. For you and for me. Thank you for sharing your pain. And letting me feel ok with mine. You are right. We will make it to Monday.

    Reply
  • Your words both pierce and comfort my heart. Thank you for giving words to my deep knowing. I don’t know what else to call the pain I have chosen not to acknowledge all my life. I thought it was self pity, that I was just being ungrateful. Maybe a little of both. Anyway, just thank you. And I’m so very sorry for your loss.

    Reply
  • Hi Kathy, I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy. You don’t know me, but I’m Krista’s friend Anno and just from reading this I can see glimpses of why she loves you so much – the raw ache that you write about so clearly, the honesty, the vulnerable truths of your experience….be well sweet mama, and may you have love that binds the scraping on your knees from this agonizing journey of loss.

    Reply

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