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Surviving Mother's Day

All I have is your photo to look at. I try to remember your smell, but it brings me to tears trying to reminisce your scent. My gut aches thinking about surviving this day without you. Wiping tears from my eyes, a slight grin comes across my face remembering every other Mother’s Day with you besides today. Today, reminds me of losing you. It reminds me that I am no longer a mother.

“To lose a child is to lose a piece of yourself.” -Dr. Burton Grebin

Today marks the day that I will be called Violomah. Violmah is a Sanskrit word meaning “empty;” a word for a parent whose child has died. It’s not an official term, meaning no one really talks about it or reference a parent by it socially. Viomah also means “against a natural order.” It has been said that a child should never die before their parent. Yet, there’s a silent label of referring to a grieving parent.

Research shows that it’s a natural instinct for a mother to protect their child. After losing a child, a mother might also feel guilty about not being able to protect or save their child from death. Mothers find purpose in raising their child. According to a study, Social Indicators Research, it found that to find meaning in life again, most bereaved mothers will consider having another child after the death of their child because they felt it was a “constructive action” and a better psychological adjustment to the loss. However, this strategy was found that it caused these families to experience more estrangement, more anger, and less openness to deal with their loss of a child. Research indicates that an average of 18 years after the death of child, the bereaved mother were still showing depressive symptoms, at risk for health problems and marital problems, and poorer well-being and lower sense of life purpose.

The emotional blow of losing a child is extremely significant and should not be taken lightly. The emotional trauma associated with losing a child is devastating at any age. Studies show the positive impact on seeking help and being able to process a loss of child in a healthy way causes less overall health problems. Overall, it is important to seek help and realize that it is normal to ask for help during this grieving time.

Mother’s Day has approached and is a commercialized holiday to celebrate existing mothers. Today, I would like to honor those mothers who have lost their child and are surviving Mother’s Day in grief. Mothers who are trying to latch on to hope and find their way again in life. Mothers who get up every day, knowing that their child is not here anymore, but will still rise and press forward. To the surviving mothers, your courage is galvanizing.