This Sunday is Mother’s Day in Ireland and the UK. It’s a celebration of Motherhood but has become another survival day in the calendar for the bereaved. This year I’ve been receiving reminders of the day everywhere. The baking pages I follow on social media have features on cakes. The hotels I’ve stayed at have emailed overnight deals. I can’t walk down the high street without witnessing floral window displays. I’ve sent my mother a generic card with my own message because I could not bring myself to shop for a Mother’s Day card.
Mother’s Day is another trigger in a world of “what should be”. There should be a one year old leaving inky fingerprints on a card bought by his Daddy. There should be hugs and kisses. Instead there are empty arms and broken hearts. This is our second Mother’s Day since Conor died and it already feels more of a challenge than last year. The loss of a child is for life and the triggers continue to hurt.
Recently someone told me she knows a mother who also lost a baby at term due to a sudden stillbirth. She said it’s this mother’s second child. She then said it would be worse for her as having another child she knows what she’s lost. This comment has offended and upset me deeply. The loss of any child is huge, whether it’s the couple’s first, 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc. Those of us who have lost our first child don’t need to have experienced raising another child to know what we’re missing. Our empty arms ache for the child we once carried. We also grieve our dreams of parenthood. None of us know if we’ll ever get the chance to parent a live child.
I made these lemon cupcakes for friends of mine. They loved the lemon butter icing. It’s made by simply mixing lemon juice with butter and icing sugar. I really loved doing the finishing touches to make the cakes look pretty. I’d like to dedicate these floral cakes to all bereaved mothers this Mother’s Day but especially to all those who know my empty arms. We are still mothers and our role is worthy of being celebrated too. Bon appetite….