A Short Note on Grieving and Celebrating on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a bittersweet day for the Almons. We choose to be open and honest about this; despite the realization that sometimes, for some reason, this fact seems to make some others uncomfortable.

Yes, we acknowledge there’s cause for joy and celebration on this day for moms and motherhood. Yes, indeed celebrate!

But we also acknowledge that some women have been made to feel unloved, or less important, or forgotten, or less of a woman on this day because they are not married or do not have children (whether by choice or chance) on this day.

And we also acknowledge there’s cause for lament, mourning, and grieving on this day. The suffering and pain of miscarriage, infant loss (and yes, even abortion though most churches seem to want to steer as far clear of this as they can), infertility, failed adoption, and losing an older or adult child through estrangement or death, and other sufferings that fail to come to my mind at this time (feel free to acknowledge these in the comments below) can be especially acute on this day. Remember to mourn as well.

So, today I celebrate my wife Christie (C.C.), the mother of my children, for her love and unwavering, tenacious devotion. Today we celebrate our daughter, Damaris, for the gift that she is, and for the Jesus shaped young woman she is becoming. Today we celebrate our mothers, ‘Nana’ Jimmie (my mom) and ‘Bma’ Becky (Christie’s mom), for their love and care in raising us and being devoted grandmothers.

Yes, indeed we celebrate!

But we also grieve our babies who are not with us due to miscarriage – our little Jordan Taylor, Micah Jayden, and Noah Avery – who we never got a chance to know, but deeply love all the same. We hold on to (and celebrate) the hope of the resurrection and the new heavens and new earth when we will be able to hold them in our arms, and not only our hearts. We grieve our failed adoptions, which feel like another kind of miscarriage, particularly Kerioth Cherie who we knew for far too short a time.

There is not a day, on this side of the ‘already but not yet’ Kingdom of God, in which we cannot feel their absence. So, yes, we mourn deeply as well.

And for those churches, that have realized that Mother’s Day is not always ‘happy’ and seek in some way to acknowledge the difference of experience and pain involved for some – we sincerely thank you. But also remember that, unless the church in its everyday life and liturgy has endeavored to lament, mourn, and grieve with those lamenting, mourning, and grieving the other 364 days of the year, such acknowledgements will likely seem hollow and fall on deaf ears. Just like celebrating must extend beyond a ‘special day’, so must the practice of grieving in community with others if it is to be genuine.

Celebrating with those celebrating, and mourning with those mourning are not mutually exclusive. They mix together and are coterminous with each other. We need to learn to do both well at the same time.

To all those celebrating and grieving on this day, have a blessed Mother’s Day.

A litany for Mother’s Day…

In peace let us pray to the Lord.
Lord have mercy

For all the women of God’s church across the face of the earth, who have loved and nurtured others into the faith.
Lord have mercy

For those who are single mothers and struggle to provide for their family.
Lord have mercy

For the poor and widowed whose child has been taken from them because they couldn’t care for them.
Lord have mercy

For those held captive by abuse who fear for their children and their life.
Lord have mercy

For those who are estranged from their chlidren.
Lord have mercy

For those have suffered the loss of a child either through miscarriage, abortion or the premature death of a child.
Lord have mercy

For those who have lost their own mothers and feel the dull ache of their loss.
Lord have mercy

For those who have never, and may never, have the opportunity to have a child.
Lord have mercy

For strength in joy and hope for all women and confidence in God’s care for them.
Lord have mercy

For . . .(names of women you feel led to pray for)
Lord have mercy

For all those who call on you from their hearts.
Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy

 

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One thought on “A Short Note on Grieving and Celebrating on Mother’s Day

  1. Thank you, Russell!!!! Yes, we also grieve for our three babies in heaven, our three grandchildren in heaven, and our grandchildren through failed adoption!!!! We look forward to the day we’re all together again in heaven!!!!!!! ❤ Mom (B Ma) Wolfe

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