The Other Side of Mother’s Day

We are five days away from Mother’s Day and our inboxes and feeds are flooded with reminders:

“Need a suggestion for a gift for Mom?!”

“Purchase today for guaranteed shipping!”

“Flowers she’ll love!”

The list goes on.

This is the pretty side of Mother’s Day.

The picture perfect celebration, bouquet of flowers, matching dresses side.

But there is another side of Mother’s Day. The one we don’t see on Hallmark cards. The one that isn’t mentioned much.

This is the side where people who have lost their mothers sit. For them, this day is a painful reminder of a precious and irreplaceable soul whose arms they won’t feel wrap around them this year.

This is the side where those who have lost children sit. This day reminds them that there would be more faces smiling back at them, if life’s deck hadn’t handed them a cruel card.

This is the side where women who battle infertility sit, wishing more than anything that this day qualified them for the title they desperately yearn.

This is the side where people who have strained or broken relationships with their mothers sit. This day serves as a reminder of the distance that painfully remains.

This is the side where people crumble a little.

Please know, whether you sit on the picture perfect side or the “other” side of Mother’s Day, you are valid in your feelings. It is okay to smile. It is okay to cry.

And to those celebrating a tragically beautiful mix of both sides of Mother’s Day: we see you. We are watching, as you straddle both sides of Mother’s Day. We know it’s hard. We will help hold you together in the places that you crumble on this tragically beautiful day.

It doesn’t mean you’re ungrateful to be a mother. And it doesn’t mean you are wrong to have your heart pang for your significant loses.

It just means there is another side to this day.

And they’re both okay.