Paradox of Mother’s Day

Each Mother’s Day my heart is filled with conflicting emotions. There is a deep sorrow and emptiness while there is also great joy and fullness. I am happy and sad at the same time. Each year at this time, I struggle to hold such conflicting emotions at the same time.

For the last 19 years, Mother’s Day has been a day of grieving. With each trip to Target as I see the wall of Mother’s Day cards, I am reminded I have no mother to send a card… I am reminded of her death. I reflect on the vast emptiness in my heart that will never be filled since my mother died… My heart aches for the mother I once knew.

Four years ago, Mother’s Day started to hold a new emotion for me. With the birth of Keaton, Mother’s Day is now a time I reflect on my role as being a mother. I wake up to Matthew and Keaton showering me with love. My heart wants to explode with such warmth and happiness. This year, Keaton really understands holidays and he has been so excited for the day for mommy. As he tells me I am his sweetheart love, I want to burn the memory in my head to keep forever, because I know this is the best of life.

On Mother’s Day each year, I am reminded of how messy life is. I am reminded how we often hold conflicting emotions at the same time. I realize how it is possible to feel vast emptiness while you also feel complete fullness. I know what it is like to be extremely grateful while longing for what will never be again. Maybe that is a key to living life… the ability of holding mixed emotions at the same time. The ability when someone asks you how you are, to truthfully be able to say horrible and fantastic at the same time.

The key in life might be accepting your emotions as they are without judgement. The place of letting yourself fully experience life for what it is. For each Mother’s Day, my day is filled with grief and joy. Each Mother’s Day I want to jump out of bed and pull the covers over my head. Each Mother’s Day I remember what I lost and I embrace what I have.

Mostly each Mother’s Day I am grateful. I am grateful for the Mother who showed me love for 19 years. I am grateful for being a mom to a caring, active, and thoughtful little boy. I am grateful for the ability to feel such conflicting emotions.


In memory of my mother, please consider donating to my Overnight Walk in DC on June 17. Together we can #stopsuicide and make sure others don’t suffer.

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