I have three little boys. Like many of you, I spent Mother’s Day opening handmade cards, unwrapping decorated flower pots, and reading through “All About My Mom” books made at school, in which I learned that my favorite thing to do is cook corn, my favorite thing to eat is corn, and when I’m not cooking corn my second favorite thing to do is go to work.
And in all fairness, some of that is somewhat true.
But also like many of you, I spent the day with a nagging little whisper from a hidden corner deep within my mind. The nagging little whispers of that lingering ghost, known as grief.
When I lost my mom, as a teenager I knew nothing about loss. I knew nothing, so I made up my own rules on how to deal with grief. Rule #1: don’t talk about it.
Rule #1 was the worst of them all, by the way. And this is why I write to you today.
Maybe you lost your mom, too. Maybe your dad, a grandparent, an aunt, a brother, a friend. And the absence becomes so painfully apparent when you’re making reservations for one less at Mother’s Day brunch.
Maybe you lost a child either young or old. Maybe you lost a child you never even got to hold. Whether it was yesterday or decades ago, I write to you today so you know that you are not alone.
Grief can leave us feeling isolated, lonely, ashamed to feel some sadness amidst an otherwise super lit Mother’s Day BBQ. So we don’t talk about, pretend it’s not there, and serve up those baked beans with a silent side guilt.
But I see you. And I know your pain is very real. And I know even on the happiest of days, it can still hurt like hell.
I volunteered for a bit at an amazing grief support center for kids. It’s mission was to support kids through their journey through loss and grief by giving them a safe place to talk about it. A place where they felt understood and supported. A place where they learned to acknowledge their grief in order to grow.
What an incredibly simple, yet incredibly powerful concept.
And what if we all shared that mission? How many people who are suffering in silence, might find even a momentary place of peace?
Even if it’s just one, it’s worth a shot, right?
So this, is why I write you today.