To the Mama With Empty Arms on Mother’s Day

To the mama with empty arms or a scarred heart, I’m thinking of you this weekend.

This holiday can hold so much pain for us.

Our stories have all brought us to this place in different ways, but we share this same vein of heartache.

The pain of longing. Of loss. Of distant dreams.

Whether infertility, miscarriage, or longing for a child in singleness or sickness – our hearts know how deep this ache can reach.

This Mother’s Day I would be holding our nearly three-month-old, Ricki. I should be holding him or her.

But I’m not.

I have a succulent plant we bought on our baby’s due date that I care for in remembrance…it’s one of the few indoor plants I’ve kept alive this long. There’s no doubt it’s received the best care yet.

I also wear a ring on my right hand engraved with the letter ‘r’ that daily reminds me of our little. It’s simple, but it’s brought me tiny ripples of comfort. Moments of knowing Ricki won’t be forgotten, held near mama always.

This is not how things were supposed to be for me. And I’m sure they aren’t how you envisioned for you, either.

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A letter to the woman struggling on Mother's Day | Living Grace Blog

I want you to know that your story is important. The quietness on this subject in real life is palpable and it may have shamed you to hide away your pain.

But I see you.

I know your bravery in the moments where you make it through another hard day of grief. Of persistent tears and a very real pain in your abdomen where your sweet one should be.

I am touched by your strength when you are genuinely happy for another mama finally holding their own newborn. I know the ache remains, which makes your courage shine even more brightly.

I have cried my own similar tears of the why, the anger, the frustration.

I’ve felt the shame in not handling my grief the right way. The Christian way. The positive way. Whatever any of that’s supposed to look like.

I have prayed the prayers in desperation before loss and after. I have said the things that can only be uttered from mama to unborn child.

I have sat in the moments of wishful dreams and the ground covered in ashes.

And though my arms be empty, and my heart forever scarred by this pain…

I am here.

I am present in this moment with you, mama. This weekend with the mixed-est of emotions.

I have gratitude for the women in my life who have mothered and nurtured me through the years. Happiness for those I love who are holding (or carrying) new babes this holiday. Joy over my newest niece, Madeline, who is the same age Ricki would be.

But we can say it, mama. We can say it.  This. Is. Hard.

We can feel the achey feels and find space to grieve if we need it. We can love well and still be allowed to feel sad.

But will you say something together with me? Will you claim this truth for yourself?


Grief and infertility on Mother's Day

Our arms may be bare, longing for the one we lost or have yet to hold. But our hearts are the hearts of mothers, filled with so much love.

Love for those babes we lost. For those we have yet to carry.  For the nieces and nephews we adore, the friends and family that we hold so dear.

We are the wounded, the broken, the valiant. And we have so much to offer our world.

We know pain and we know compassion.

We have walked through the deserts of grief and understand that this pain cannot be “cured.” That in our grieving, we learn to carry the scars with us.

We can recognize heartache and offer comfort. We can love BIG and embrace those hurting in a way others cannot.

A mother is one who nurtures, who protects. She loves, forgives, affirms, and is forever a cheerleader for her tribe. She is real, she is honest, she is brave and she is loving.

And, friend, we are this description. We are all these things and more.

Empty arms or not,

broken or whole-hearted –


So this Mother’s Day I’m thinking of you. I’m thinking of all the twists and turns of your story that have caused you pain and broken your heart.

I’m praying for you. I’m praying for us. For healing on this road of loss, longing and unrealized dreams.

And I’m sitting here on the other side of the screen in awe of your beauty, your unforgotten babes, your awesome mothering heart.

In awe of YOU.

Today I send a tender Mother’s Day hug to you as I shed a knowing tear. I have so much love for you, deary.



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