This Mother's Day Do Not Forget These Mothers

This Mother’s Day Do Not Forget These Mothers

Mothers Day is coming soon…

A day to celebrate mothers.
A day to acknowledge their contribution in our lives.
A day for mothers to bask in the care and affection of the family.
A day for children to show their love.
A lot of thought, effort and time goes into making the day special..

But what of the mom who has lost her child?
What of the mother who is grieving for the child and the future that they lost?
What of the mother who does not have a child to shower their love on her?
What of the bereaved mother or Vilomah (Sanskrit word for bereaved parents)

The mother who carried her child within her for days and then had to let them go
The mother who built dreams around her child, which came crashing down
The mother who lost the love of her life through no fault of her own
The mother who has lost her reason to live and happiness seems a distant memory


She eagerly awaits the phone calls that no longer come
The frequent text messages and funny videos that don’t come too
She relives the long walks, the long talks, the Sunday brunches, the midweek lunches
The surprise flowers, her favorite chocolates and special gifts

The denial, the guilt, the pain, the sorrow, the anger, the memories
Don’t really go away with the passage of time
People stop talking about the child and want you to snap out of it
That you have got to get out of this zone

Does a person want to be in a perpetual circle of sorrow and grief?
Does a person want to continue to mourn unendingly?
Does a person want to forget a vital part of their very soul and being?
The mother is just crying out in silent screams
She is just wanting for her love to be talked about
She just wants the assurance that you will not forget her child
The length of their journey on earth doesn’t matter.. She misses them dearly.. 

She had promised that she would protect and keep the child safe
She had promised that she would raise them up to the best of her ability
She had promised that she will weave a perfect family and a perfect future..

The broken promises cry out to her.
The silent nursery / room screeches in her ears.
The beautiful face is a constant wallpaper in her mind.
Her empty arms are not able to reach out to her child .
The loneliness is stifling her more and more each day.

This first Sunday of May, do say a little prayer for the bereaved moms
On International Bereaved Mothers Day, touch the life of just one Vilomah
Just be there for her, just lend a ear, just talk to her and let her talk..
That’s all she wants, that’s all she ever wanted..
For her child to be remembered and not forgotten and their memories honored… 

The world may not recognize her as a mother.
As her child is no longer here with her.
She may be broken but trying to put back together the pieces
She is still a mother at heart, in her mind and in her soul
Celebrate the day, celebrate her motherhood, celebrate her, celebrate her child..
She is a mother too…

International Bereaved Mother's Day


Learn more about International Bereavement Mother’s Day here.

Owen’s Fireworks:  A Community Life Celebration

Owen’s Fireworks: A Community Life Celebration

lantern|Deborah FingerlowHow do you make the unthinkable, the unbearable tolerable?  How do you move past the loss of your child?  And how do you relearn how to smile on his birthday?

One family in Pennsylvania found the best way is to gather your community together to celebrate his life with everyone who knew the little dark-haired, Pokeman-toting, always smiling boy.

Every year, on his December birthday, the community gathers to send fireworks heavenward, to smile and see folks, and to remember.  And strangely enough, Owen’s community has grown over the years to include new friends that didn’t know him, but grew to love him anyway through his family.

Oh, the Weather Outside Doesn’t Matter

Last year was colder than it’s been for a while, but the freezing temperatures didn’t seem to deter anyone.  They gathered in the street, as they have for the past twelve years, stamping their feet, clapping mitten-covered hands and marveling at how much the neighborhood kids had grown.  They were celebrating Owen’s birthday.  He would have been 20th that month.

The annual fireworks party is a time to gather, to heal and most importantly, to remember. The driving force has always been Aryn.  Petite with long hair somewhere between light brown and blonde, she is dressed in knit cap, ski jacket and boots.  She looks like many of Owen’s friends home from college for the holiday.  Mom to five children, Owen was her first-born.  A storm during a camping trip felled a tree, and Owen was lost when he was in first grade.

Stronger Together

Using the word “we” comes naturally to this close-knit community.  We are in this together.  Healing and remembering go hand in hand and it is an ongoing process.  It never ends, but Owen’s family reached out and wrapped themselves around us, and we responded in kind.

While some might shy away at any mention of Owen’s name, Aryn drinks it in.  Always remember, never forget.  We have the t-shirts and the scholarship and the elephant drinking fountain in the park, and the color green.  Owen’s favorite animal was the elephant.  We all remember.  As a writer, I do my best most times to detach myself from the story, but not this time. This is personal for all of us. We are truly in this together.  We all still have our green Never Forget tee shirts from over a decade ago, and we wear them regularly as part of that promise.

I remember a sometimes silly Owen who would take my daughter’s eyeglasses and hat.  Riding in the backseat to school, they’d trade and laugh at how different and how alike they looked.  Both sported dark brown page boy haircuts.  Maybe a little short for a girl, maybe a little long for a boy, but it suited both of them perfectly.  I remember two dark heads pushed together in concentration with sidewalk chalk, or lazily swinging back and forth on our old white wicker porch swing.  There is joy in remembering.

The Importance of Remembering

Back outside, we were glad the wind from earlier that week died down.  It was time for the fireworks.  Owen’s dad and brother are annual masters of the ceremony, setting off one blazing, sparkling pyrotechnic after another to appreciative oohs and ahhs and applause.  When the occasional green firework goes awry, we laughed and credited that to Owen.

The lanterns were passed around, and we gathered in small groups of three and four to light, inflate and send skyward.  Each one was cheered on as it slowly rose and soon, we  all watch a line of glowing lanterns drifting up and away.

Owen’s family thanked us for coming, as they always do.  We shared hugs and smiles with people we don’t see every day.  We shared a connection through this time spent together once a year as we stopped and remembered and healed, just a little bit more. It was Owen’s 21st celebration last night and every year this time we tuck away this day to celebrate his life .

 If you happen to hear a few stray fireworks round about mid-December, do me a favor and think of Owen.  His mom would like that!

  Deborah Fingerlow is a writer, traveler and explorer seeking adventures both large and small. Parent to one daughter in college and one teenage son in cyber-school. Food allergies play a significant role in day to day life decisions, as does the support network of a small town in south central Pennsylvania. Neighbors are known by their first names and a walking district encourages community engagement. Business to business communications and the development of authentic connections are Deborah Fingerlow’s superpowers. You can find her at the local farmer’s market, therapy dogs in tow, camera in hand.