What Grieving Moms Really Want From You
This is what grieving moms really want most.
Recently, when 200 grieving moms were asked the question, “What can others say or do on Mother’s Day to make this day a little easier for you”, over 80% percent of the 200 respondents answered,
“Recognize that I am a mother”.
Renee Wood, former Neonatal Social Worker and founder of The Comfort Company, an online sympathy gift store, agrees.
“While Mother’s Day is a day of celebration for many woman… for some, it’s painful reminder of a terrible loss. It’s important to remember those moms who have had a failed pregnancy or who have lost a child at any age.”
In response to the survey results, The Comfort Company offers these ten simple ways to reach out to a grieving mother on this difficult holiday.
- Recognize that they're a mother: Offer a hug and a “Happy Mother’s Day”. Send a card to let them know you remember they are a mother even though their child is not with them physically. Text a gentle reminder: "I know this might be a difficult day for you and I hope it helps in some small way to know you're being thought of and loved."
- Acknowledge they have had a loss: How do you take the "happy" out of Mother's Day? You just do. "I know this day holds more hurt than happy. Thinking of the loving mom you are and will always be."
- Use their child’s name in conversation: One mother responded, “People rarely speak Jack's name anymore, but when they do it’s like music to my ears”.
- Plant a living memorial: A tree or rose bush, like memories, will grow in beauty as the years pass.
- Visit the grave site: Many mothers felt that it was “extremely thoughtful” when others visited their child’s grave site and left flowers or a small pebble near the headstone. It was also helpful when friends or family offered, "I'd love to keep you company if you want to visit the cemetery today."
- Light a candle: Let the mother know you will light a candle in memory of their child on Mother’s Day. Better yet, send her the same candle so you can remember together.
- Share a memory or pictures of the child: Give the gift of a memory. One mother wrote that the “greatest gift you can give is a heart felt letter about my child and a favorite memory with them”.
- Send a gift of remembrance: Many mothers felt a small gift would be comforting. Suggestions included: a weighted heart pillow, jewelry, a picture frame, a library book or toy donation in the child’s name or anything personalized.
- Don’t try to minimize the loss: Avoid using any clichés that attempt to explain the death of a child. (“God needed another angel.”) Secondly, don’t try to find anything positive about the loss (“You still have two healthy children”).
- Encourage Self-Care: Self-care is an important aspect of the “healing the mind and spirit effort” according to several mothers. Encourage a grieving mother to take care of herself. Give her a Self-Care Gift Box, gift certificate to a day spa or any place where she can be pampered.