Each year on Mother's Day, my heart goes out to those who struggle with this holiday. Inspired by this column on "How to Widen Our Hearts On Mother's Day," I've gathered prayers from readers into a litany to be prayed at church or at home - to remember all the mothers. Feel free to adapt for use within your parish or congregation. Please simply credit the source: Copyright © 2019 Laura Kelly Fanucci, MotheringSpirit.com. Response: Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. For women who long to be mothers.For all who desire to be married and raise a family.For all who are experiencing infertility. For all who are waiting to adopt or foster a child. For mothers who have lost a baby.For all who have suffered a miscarriage.For all who lost a child to stillbirth or SIDS. For all whose baby died after birth. For mothers whose children have died.For all whose children died in infancy, childhood, or adolescence.For all who mourn their young adult or adult children.For all whose … [Read more...] about a prayer for mother’s day
He and I stare down at the freshly laid gravestone, edged by spring-green grass. "When people come into our office for this," he trails off, shielding his eyes from the morning sunshine, his weathered face suddenly young in disbelief. "It's the absolute worst when this happens," he shakes his head, unable to speak the words "baby" or "dead" in the same sentence. I nod. I can say anything; I have already baffled him with my sunny cheer, interrupting his silent, solitary task by jumping out of a minivan full of (living) children to ask if this was my daughters' gravestone he was laying. When you start having a Strange Conversation with a Stranger, you can say anything and it is marvelously freeing. (It wasn't theirs; there is another baby buried next to them now; she lived two months; my mind calculates the math every time; dates are codes in this terrible club.) "It's not like Grandma who got 80, 90 years, lived a full life," he continues, waving a heavy hand toward his … [Read more...] about hearts of flesh & hearts of stone
Many readers have asked me how to talk to a friend or relative who lost a baby. What to say? What not to say? How to start? I know it's daunting. All parties involved - especially the parents - wish the conversation never existed in the first place. But it's so important to talk about death. It's the only way the living keep going. So today I'm turning the table and letting my readers write. When I asked for input on Mothering Spirit's Facebook page about how to talk to parents after their child died, readers shared many helpful tips. Their wisdom speaks for itself, and I hope their words can help guide your conversations. Their #1 suggestion? Say something. Don't keep silent. We need to know we're not alone in our grief, and you can give us this gift. Speak their name. "When someone outside of our immediate circle says their names, it truly brings joy to my heart! It helps so much that they are remembered by others." - Jenn Remember the … [Read more...] about how to talk to parents after their child died
As newly bereaved parents, we hear this all the time. I can't imagine what you're going through. I can't imagine what you're feeling. I can't imagine what this is like. I can't imagine. I understand this sentiment completely. People want to be respectful of the terrible loss we have experienced. They don't want to assume that they know how it feels. They want to tell us that they see the depth of our pain and they respect the tragedy we have experienced. But as a writer who relies on imagination daily, I want to tell them - and you - that there is an important clarification to be made here. You can imagine how we are feeling. What you mean is that you can only imagine. (And that you may not want to imagine.) The difference between these statements matters deeply. . . . The gift of imagination is one of the most powerful tools we have in our relationships. It is a fundamental part of what makes us human. Our minds can move from the present here and now … [Read more...] about you can imagine. let me help you.