This is hell week for those who are grieving the loss of a mother or child. Greeting card companies, florists, jewelers and kitsch vendors urge us to celebrate the mothers in our lives. School children across America are making crayoned cards to gift to their mamas this Sunday. Churches have mothers stand for a round of applause or pass out carnations to adult women as they leave the service. Though some churches have grown more sensitive to the fact that Mother’s Day isn’t easy for some in their congregation, mentioning those who are sorrowing for mothers or children in prayer during corporate worship, is a scant comfort for a day that seems full of pastel sentiment and family brunches.
Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays amplify grief. Loss isolates us most when everyone else around us seems to be celebrating. Those of us who’ve never been mothers but long to be are suffering alongside those who’ve lost mothers or children through death, abandonment, addiction, or abuse. There is no alternate Hallmark holiday for any of these people. [Read more]