A Letter to My Grieving Friend this Mother’s Day

Dear friend,

I see you.

You blink away tears as you pass the Mother’s Day cards in the supermarket, the pain of your youthful choices still haunting you decades later.

You stay home from church this day, not bearing the shame of being left seated when well-meaning pastors call to a standing ovation those whose ranks you’ve never joined.

You tickle children and affectionately wear the term “aunt,” wondering if you’ll ever find that godly husband and cuddle children of your own.

You hug your children gratefully even as your heart aches for the ones you’ve never held, the ones swept into eternity too quickly.

You hold your breath and squint at the stick, hoping this month God will answer your prayer and give life to your womb, crumbling to the floor when the line doesn’t appear.

You walk around the empty house, filled with people but missing her comforting presence, her signature smell, her ringing laughter, facing graduation, marriage, motherhood, and a lifetime of Mother’s Days without a mother.

You visit the grave site, placing fresh flowers on the tomb of your child who was a mother herself, leaving you to mourn the crushing loss of both.

I see you. And I weep with you.

I wish I could wrap my arms around you and bear some of your pain alongside you. I wish I knew what to say on this day when a million darts pierce your heart. I wish I could celebrate my motherhood without belittling your womanhood. I wish this day was called Woman’s Day instead of Mother’s Day, because you, precious friend, you deserve a day that acknowledges the burden you bear and the beautiful strength you have to keep putting one foot in front of another even in the face of such tragedies in your life. 

You inspire me to be a better woman, a more compassionate friend, a stronger believer in Jesus, and a more gracious person. You, through your tenacious pursuit of LIFE even though death’s stench threatens to overwhelm you.

You claim the forgiveness of Jesus over your past abortion and look forward to seeing your little one in heaven.

You drink deeply of the life-giving water of Jesus and give drink to those parched by infertility.

You keep loving and pouring into children who are not your own, resting in God’s promise to take care of your future.

You choose thankfulness over gloom even as your arms ache for those lost in miscarriages.

You get up off the floor, repeating to yourself that your value lies not in a child but in being His child, and you keep repeating that month after month even when it’s hard to believe.

You keep the memory of your mom alive through storytelling, making everyone laugh with your spot-on impersonations and momisms, even as the future looms large.

You show me pictures of them, mother and son, tasting the irony of her favorite phrase, “less is more,” even as you tearfully smile over their matching outfits.

You are brave, and you are beautiful.

But today is still hard. Every day is challenging, but today is harder still because it highlights what you don’t have.

And there’s nothing I can say that will make the burden less heavy. I won’t even try.

All I can say is this: I see you. I hear you. I weep with you. And I love you.

And I’m counting the days until Jesus Himself will wipe your tears with His hands and lovingly gather you in His arms.

May you be overwhelmed by His comfort today, finding soul satisfaction in Jesus, a foretaste of the glory to come. And know that I am here by you, holding your hand.

All my love,

Your friend

A letter to my grieving friend this Mother's Day

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