I just finished reading a very powerful article about the bonds of motherhood. The article describes a mother, who visits a friend who has just lost her 21-month-old daughter. She has no words. As her friend is describing her heartbreak, she says, “You’re a mom. You know.”
It’s an unspoken, unbreakable, shared love by all of us who have children. All mothers. Our hearts are attached to our kids. Whether they are on Earth, or in Heaven. And while many of you – I hope most of you – do not share the grief of losing a child, you still get it.
No, when a mother loses a child, there are no appropriate words. But I am fortunate enough to have several mothers around me – my own mother, my sister, my best friends – who even though they cannot relate on the same level of loss as me, they still get it. They loved my son as their own. My loss was their loss. My broken heart is their broken heart. And because they are mothers, they can understand.
Empathy is terrifying in the grief of child loss. No one, no one, ever wants to imagine the loss of their child. But for those of us who have suffered and watch those around us, we know that they feel that grief as though it were there own. They may not want to be in our shoes, but they put themselves there and it is gut-wrenching.
I don’t know absolutely how these mothers feel as I am the mother who lost, but I know the women around me and the kind of people they are. And they are empathetic. Extremely, often painfully, empathetic.
My loss is their loss. My grief is their grief. My angel in Heaven is their angel in Heaven.
And while I would never wish this grief upon anyone, I am so lucky and so blessed to have the mothers I do surrounding me, loving me, and truly understanding me each and every day.