Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and it feels like everyone in the blogosphere is talking about it this year. I’ve seen funny posts, and serious posts, and touching posts, but Juli and I were planning to just skip it, basically, on the blog. We did the printable giveaway, and then Juli’s sweet post about sunglasses and miracles, and we were gonna leave it at that. But then, yesterday as I was sweeping the floor, I thought about Baby Violet and Mother’s Day, and I had an idea.
Violet is the second daughter of Devany LeDrew, a former Kindergarten teacher with a degree in Educational Psychology who blogs about fun ways to bring education into your home (check it out: Still Playing School.) She also writes about her three children, including Violet, who was born in November, 2011, and lived for only two and a half days.
In November 2013, for what would have been Violet’s second birthday, Devany asked her friends and family members and blog-readers to do her a favour. She asked that they write Violet’s name somewhere special, take a picture of her name, and then send it to her. That would be their way of acknowledging that Violet is remembered, and that she is still loved, even though she is gone. Devany writes, “As a mother who rarely hears someone else speak her child’s name, I can’t even begin to tell you how much seeing her name this often means to us. Knowing that someone took the time to think of her and intentionally spell out her name means that she isn’t forgotten. I think about her every minute of every day, but it’s a huge fear that others have forgotten her. This shows us that she is real in your hearts, too.”
So, for this Mother’s Day, I’ve asked Devany if I can use her story and steal this idea. We all know that Mother’s Day is often really difficult for people who have lost a child, but it’s not easy for the rest of us to know how to acknowledge their loss. My idea is that we can ALL use this idea, for anyone we know who is thinking about a child they lost this Mother’s Day. We can say to them, “I remember you today, and I remember your precious child.” (If you’re wondering about the children lost before they had a chance to be born, please feel free to include their mothers as well.)
Here’s my plan: we all think about the Mamas and Papas we know who are grieving, and we write their child’s name somewhere — in crayon on coloured paper, in chocolate chips on the kitchen counter, in flowers on the sidewalk — and we will take a picture of that name. Then you will send your pictures to me, and I will compile them all in one big, wonderful, beautiful, memory-filled blog post (that may be posted at the end of Mother’s Day, actually). Tell me your name, and the name of the child’s Mother and/or Father, and I will title each picture accordingly (“From Jacqueline, For Devany”). If you would rather that either name be anonymous, just don’t tell me the names, and I can include an untitled photo.
There are several ways to get pictures to me:
Facebook: Post photos to the TwoFunMoms Facebook page.
Twitter: Send a picture to me directly (@twofunmoms) or use the hashtag #IRememberYourChild
Instagram: Post the photo to your Instagram feed, and tag me (@onefunjac) in a comment. (I’ll take a screenshot of your photo and use that). You can also use the hashtag #IRememberYourChild
Email: Send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get your pictures to me by Sunday (Mother’s Day) at 7pm PST and I will try to have the album posted later that night.
Thanks for helping us to do this, friends. And Happy Mother’s Day.
*Edited to add:
After this post had been up for a few hours, I started to feel very worried that this whole idea may seem exploitative. Like, maybe it seems like I am hoping this plan will make me and my blog look good, and that’s part of the goal. This thought made me feel terrible, obviously, and I actually deleted the post for a bit while I decided what to do.
My genuine goal here is to open a space for people to say to their loved ones who have lost a child that, while we do not claim that to know how it feels, we still know it’s important to acknowledge their pain and loss. Please allow me to emphasize that you do not need to go through ME to do this. If you’d rather send the picture directly to your friend, please do so. Or give your friend a call on the phone, and tell them that you are thinking about them, and use their child’s name as you do so.
But a few people have already sent me pictures, and they are beautiful. So I am keeping this post up, and hoping it will be an encouragement to those who need encouraging.