As the day went by I felt more sharply the need to address the Mother’s day bubble – with a pin.
Mothers Day can be a painful day. Many have lost a mother this year, making this the first Mothers Day without her. Some mothers were elderly. Then there’s the loss of the wife and mother of not-yet-grown children. Such a fragile, delicate time!
Today we spent the day at the home of a close friend who adored her mother, and would never be with her again because she recently died. My mother passed on in 1967, but I lost a son sixteen months ago. I was not with him today, and he will never call me on the phone to wish me happy Mother’s Day. I’ll say it. There are thousands and thousands of us who must endure Mothers Day.
Mothers Day began in recognition of a “memorial” [according to Wikipedia,] but now we are in the business of holidays. “The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. She then began a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States. Although she was successful in 1914, she was already disappointed with its commercialization by the 1920s.”
What would she think now? A card, flowers –– profitable on a large scale. What about restaurant lunches? dinners? hey, clothes and jewelry! Now I see why the newspapers, magazines and TV mention Mothers Day for weeks leading up to this Sunday. You cannot escape the little smiling reminders – everywhere. No one treats it like a memorial, respectfully admitting that – for many people – this is linked to death and grief, a family tradition that has stopped, is no longer. We need to honor their loss.
Shabda said he thinks it is good to have mothers recognized and appreciated, that it is grateful family time. I agree. He reminded me that Tibetans suggest we act as if every being in some life time is or will be our mother; that if we imagine every being as our mother, we will learn to care for each other. Yes, all true.
There is Mother Earth. Then today I brought to mind my two grandmothers, my own mother and my beautiful god-daughters. (Several were in touch with me today.) And my sweet son Ammon, who did call me. This softened my sense of injustice.
But I keep thinking, if this is painful for me, what about the others who are in the early stages of grief, or who have conflicting feelings about their mother, what about those who have lost a father, having to go through this in June –– Fathers Day. What is it about the lack of sensitivity in our culture around celebration, loss and bereavement? I am not writing this for sympathy, but because I just want to hear it said. <>