An important day in the Bishop house as it is my parents 34th wedding anniversary but it also happens to be Mother’s day this year (if you had forgotten, there is still time).
For many, Mother’s day doesn’t bring the same joy it does for others, it might be full of grief for what we lost, had or could have had or sadness/anger for what we wish was possible if things were different. The yearly ‘event’ I know for many people is quite important, a day to spoil Mum and thank her for everything she does.
I must confess that for my own Mum it hasn’t ever been something pinned into the calendar (and she isn’t just saying that). Like Valentine’s Day it’s, in her opinion (which I don’t disagree with), another event designed for people to spend more money than they usually would on a card and flowers just because that’s the ‘norm’ – probably something designed by Hallmark to sell more cards. Who needs just one day to celebrate their Mum when we should be doing this every day right mum? 🙂
However, with the potential impending doom of Mother’s day approaching (for some I know it really does feel like that) I wanted to share something with you that my Dad sent to me. My Dad is a vicar (yes I realize the irony of him being Reverend Bishop) and religion in some form has been a part of our family life since I was born (and before for that matter) we grew up going to church albeit now I am older I admit I do not go to church very often and wouldn’t class myself as religious as such but that I do have faith.
In any case the reason for mentioning this is that he sent me the link to a blog called Saltwater and Honey. I had never come across it before but they have grown out of a group of people coming together in the midst of childlessness through condition, miscarriage and other circumstances. It’s a really great blog, not MRKH specific at all but we all know we are not alone in our situation and to know others share some of our pain, even in different situations is still comforting.
They posted recently about the ‘Mother’s Day Runaways’ service. Now whilst I am not a regular church goer and realize this wouldn’t be for everyone I think that this is a really lovely idea for those who would actively avoid a Mothering Sunday service (for obvious reasons) and certainly something I have never seen before.
I remember my brother and I as children attending the Mother’s day service at the local church where all the children would be invited to the front and would return to their mothers with a posy of spring flowers wrapped in foil (so they didn’t drip water everywhere). It was always a really lovely service however given the focus of course for many it could be too much to handle.
‘Whatever your story, whether you’re grieving the loss of a mother, the loss of a child, or a baby through miscarriage, whether you’re struggling with infertility or childlessness, singleness or a difficult relationship, whether you never even knew your mother or any other reason why you might find Mothering Sunday painful, this quiet, reflective service has been designed with you in mind.’ (Saltwater and Honey, ‘Mother’s Day Runaways’ blog 7th March 2017)
This services appears to be a nice and contemplative way to address some of the grief associated with Mother’s day for those who find it particularly hard or just want to be reflective, in a safe environment, I only wish I lived near Liverpool!
We must of course give ourselves time to grieve; not being able to have children is not something you just ‘get over’ perhaps ever in some cases. Some may lose their faith because of a situation they find themselves in whilst some may find solace in what faith can provide to support them through that time. In contrast some may be indifferent to the whole concept of faith and religion and of course that is fine too but they may still find something to relate to in different situations.
As topics like infertility start to become less taboo, people are more conscious and more sensitive to it but there is still a way to go here. I am expecting to open my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram on Sunday to a wealth of Mother’s day related posts and I look forward to reading the heartfelt posts people put up (I am not just saying that), just spare a thought for your friend, sister, daughter, niece etc etc (and of course their partners) for whom Mother’s day can be a double edged sword as they battle through personal troubles that you may not be aware of.
To those for whom infertility, childlessness and loss is at the very forefront of your minds, sending warm thoughts and hugs, I know this day can be difficult.
Importantly, to my Mum, the most anally retentive, peculiar, unique but most squishy centred mum I could ever possibly hope for, Happy Mother’s day 🙂 – you might even get a card!