For many people that means flowers and handmade cards and Sunday brunches and waves of laughter. It means celebration and gratitude and warm embraces and great rejoicing. It means resting fully in all that is good about loving and being loved.
But not for some people.
But for some it only means tears.
For some it just hurts.
In the hearts of many, this day is a bitter, unsolicited reminder of what was but no longer is, or a heavy holiday of mourning what never was at all.
Maybe it is such a day for you.
It might bring with it the scalding sting of grief for the empty chair around a table.
It might come with choking regret for a relationship that has been severed.
It might be a day of looking around at other mothers and other children, and feeling the unwelcome intrusion of jealousy that comes with comparison.
It might be yet another occasion to lament the mistakes you made or the words you didn’t say or the kindness you never knew.
It might be an annual injury you sustain.
Consider this a personal love letter to you who are struggling today; you whose Mother’s Day experience might be rather bittersweet— or perhaps only bitter.
This is consent to feel fully the contents of your own heart without censorship or guilt or alteration.
If you are hurting, then hurt.
May you feel permission to cry, to grieve, to be not alright.
May you relieve yourself of the burden of pretending everything is fine or faking stability or concealing the damage.
May you feel not a trace of guilt for any twinge of pain or anger that seizes you today, because it is your right to feel.
Above all though, may you find encouragement even in your profound anguish.
May you find in your very sadness, the proof that your heart though badly broken, still works.
Let the pain you are enduring reassure you that you still have the capacity to care deeply, despite how difficult it has been.
See your grief as the terrible tax on loving people well, and see your unquenched longing for something better as a reminder of the goodness within you that desires a soft place to land.
If on this Mother’s Day you are struggling, know that you are not alone.
May these words be the flowers that you wait for or the call that won’t come or the conversation that you can’t have or the reunion that has not yet arrived.
Let them be hope packaged and personally delivered to the center of your heart, and may they sustain you.
In this time of great pain, know that you are seen and heard, and that you are more loved than you realize.
Be greatly encouraged today.