Bereaved motherhood is different, but it is motherhood all the same. I still raise my child in my own unique way. I still worry about her, despite knowing in my heart that she is safe in heaven. I still think of her every second of every day. And the space in my heart that was made for her the moment we began to discuss having children will always be hers.
But bereaved motherhood is a confusing version of motherhood. It’s the type of motherhood that you often have to squint your eyes and search for. It’s the type of motherhood that constantly forces you to ask yourself if it really is motherhood at all. Could I really be a mom if my child isn’t standing next to me? Or if I never stayed up all night rocking her? Or if I never changed a dirty diaper? What if your child never took a single breath on this earth? What if their heart beat for the last time before you even had the chance to know if the baby in your womb was a boy or girl? What if all you know of your baby was two pink lines on a pregnancy test?
It is motherhood all the same.
Today is International Bereaved Mother’s Day, and I want to invite all of you to celebrate this sacred version of motherhood. For it deserves celebration despite the inevitable pain it brings. Bereaved mothers are warriors, and among the bravest women I have ever met. They have been through the unthinkable and yet continue to wake up each day clinging to hope. They manage to find light in the darkest and most desolate spaces. They are links in the strongest chain of support I have ever seen. They are mothers of the most sacred kind.
Today, I’m sending all of my love to every mother walking this journey after loss alongside me. I want to thank all of you for being part of this community, for you have been my strength in so many difficult moments.