Kate

Sunday, May 14

Oh Hey there Mother’s Day…you snuck up on me once again.

Well, not really because the Mother’s Day commercials have been in full force for over a month now…and as someone whom I lump into the ‘childless mother’ category, I’m well aware of what day May brings.

You may be thinking “Oh great, there goes Kate on her infertility soapbox again”, but alas, this is not one of those posts.

Instead, I’m choosing a much lighter topic.

Grief.

Okay, okay, not lighter, but definitely something EVERYONE relates, too.  It just so happens to be in the forefront of my mind because once upon a time Mother’s Day was the day that brought me the heaviest dose of it.

I was having a conversation with someone the other day who had lost a child, an older child and in one of those terrible ways that makes even the most faith filled person scream at God. Admittedly, for many years my simple coping mechanism whenever I learn of a parent losing a child was to immediately think ‘at least they got to experience having a child’. But, I’ve grown older and wiser and a little more steadfast in my faith and I realize that’s no way to go about living my life. For one thing, that gives my infertility too much credit because the inverse of that statement is “Woe is me with the barren womb and childless arms”…and honestly, I just don’t have those thoughts anymore. But most importantly because grief isn’t a pissing contest.

Faithful, Faithless, or totally apathetic, that’s one statement I wish everyone in today’s society would remember.

We all have our own trials & tribulations and often times, they go unknown to the outside world. Frequently, those trials & tribulations bring with them grief.

There’s new grief and old grief and grief that sweeps in for just a moment and the opposite kind that settles heavy on you for an extended amount of time. There’s expected grief and unexpected grief. There’s public grief and private grief and there’s grief that happens immediately and grief that doesn’t come until years later. There’s the grief you process and the grief that hitches a ride in your heart for ever and ever amen. There’s grief that needs therapy, sometimes from support groups and sometimes from a glass of wine.

The point is grief is ALWAYS different. We experience it in different ways, for different reasons and at different times. It’s not any better or any worse for any particular person. But, grief offers us an opportunity to show one of our greatest human attributes…the ability to be compassionate.

If you know someone is grieving for any reason, you can do a multitude of things to let them know they’re not alone or that you’re thinking of them. A simple text message, a prayer, a meal, etc. The flip side is that if you’re in your state of grieving…no matter how trivial or how tragic, you must acknowledge the act of compassion with an act of gratefulness. Now I’m not talking in some grand gesture and I’m not talking about exactly in the middle of your state of grief, but when the fog clears a bit, even as something as a general thank you to the universe will go a long way.

It’s the cyclical acts of compassion and gratefulness that help make this world a better place. Because we’re all in this human existence together.

Sometimes, all it takes is a little awareness of the calendar date to start. Because I have lived in the shadows on Mother’s Day, it’s the day that always brings this lesson to the forefront of my mind. Mother’s Day is hard for A LOT of people and for a variety of reasons. So is Father’s Day or any holiday for that matter. For my family, January 28 and March 8 are challenging. You never know how one specific day matters…be it joyous or grief causing to those around you. Make it a point to practice compassion and gratefulness everyday….and I promise the trying times and moments of grief will look just a little different and so will your outlook on life.

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