Mother’s Day was hard.
It was filled with great moments. My family (with a minor amount of prompting) bringing me breakfast in bed. Lots of snuggle time. Church. A great lunch at my grandmother’s house with my extended family. I even had a massage on Saturday.
Still, it was hard.
As I celebrated my role as a mother, I kept wondering what it means to be the mother to a child that is gone – or that never truly was. Do I celebrate the small moments of happiness that child brought me? Do I work to make sure that child is never forgotten? Do I honor that child’s memory by moving on?
I just don’t know.
I feel constantly tugged in different directions. I feel such sadness for the loss of our baby. I feel angry that such a stupid unfair thing happened to our family. I feel resentment over every little indignity – the empty nursery, the “baby” weight, the constant gnawing doubt.
Then, just as quickly, I feel guilty. I have two beautiful children. I’ll hear a story or read a blog post that describes suffering so much worse than mine and I want to box up my grief and put it away. I want to control it.
My head tells me there is no controlling it. My head tells me that suffering is suffering. My head tells me to listen to all of your kind voices when you tell me to grieve, to give myself time, to allow room for my sadness.
I thought I understood motherhood. The journey was long and filled with bumpy road but the ground felt steady beneath my feet. Then – all of a sudden – it’s as if I took a turn and found myself on a completely different path. I no longer understand the terrain or the challenges of this particular road. My compass is off and I can’t find a map.
I have good days – more than bad. However, the bad days seem to have a staying power that the good days can’t muster.
Mother’s Day was one of them.