When some people think of Mother’s Day they think of huge family gatherings full of colorful flowers, warm smiles, and boisterous laughter.
Others remember loving childhood memories, their wedding, or other events where their mom played a significant positive role.
Sadly, Mother’s Day isn’t happy for everyone. In fact, it can be downright painful.
Who do you know who has had a child die, experienced a miscarriage, or gave a child up for adoption?
Who do you know who isn’t able to have children, whose mom has died, or who has an estranged or abusive relationship with his or her mom?
Do you know a mom who can’t see her children, or a child who can’t see his or her mom?
All of these painful situations cause grief, and where there is grief there is a friend in need of your love and support.
If you’re wondering what can you do or say to be a supportive and loving friend you’re not alone.
Unfortunately, most people weren’t taught how to help someone who is heartbroken, so reaching out can feel uncomfortable. In fact, it feels so uncomfortable that people don’t reach out at all.
“I don’t know what to say, so don’t say anything” is a common thought.
But what if you reached out in spite of your discomfort?
If you don’t know what to say, we’ve got you covered:
- “I thought today might be hard for you, so I wanted to send you a hug.”
- “I don’t know what to say, but wanted to check in and see how you’re doing today.”
- “How are you feeling today?”
Are you afraid you’ll start crying while they are talking? That’s okay! Allow yourself to have your normal and natural feelings too. If you feel like crying then cry. If they say something funny then laugh right along with them.
Are you wondering if it’s okay to talk about your losses too? It is. Just remember, every relationship is unique, so don’t compare your loss to theirs. However, if listening to them brings up memories for you, go ahead and tell the truth about yourself. You might say something like,
“I hear you loud and clear, and although I don’t know how you feel, I can certainly relate to what you’re saying. When my mom died I felt……”.
Remember, just because someone is heartbroken doesn’t mean they are broken. Try to listen without criticism, analysis, or judgment. Simply be a heart with ears.
Reaching out to someone who is having a hard time can mean the world to them. It’s a simple way to give love this Mother’s Day.
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