Imagine a mother caressing her bulging belly, nine months pregnant and glowing from water retention and maternal anticipation as she speaks softly to her unborn child and gently encourages him to join her in the world.
Imagine a mother nervously hugging her daughter goodbye on the first day of kindergarten. Her daughter holds her close out of fear that her mother will let go as the mother holds her daughter close and fears the same.
Imagine a mother teaching her son how to ride a bike for the first time. The training wheels off. The wind in his hair and the smile on both of their faces as they revel in the shared pride they feel for his first sense of true adventure and independence.
Imagine a mother watching with joy as her daughter walks down the aisle, linked in arms with her father, as she approaches the man that will never truly be “good enough” for her sweet girl…as a mother always hopes her daughter would always stay “daddy’s little girl” forever.
Imagine a mother wiping away tears of fear of the unknown and pride in her solider as her grown son embraces her with his strong, courageous, camouflaged arms as he prepares to board a plan to serve overseas.
Now, imagine that same mother awoken from sleep one night to a phone call, the police at the door, or to the eerie sound of screaming silence from the nursery.
Imagine a mother who hears…
“I’m sorry ‘mam, there was an accident, he didn’t make it…”
“I’m sorry ‘mam, there was nothing we could do. She wasn’t breathing when we went to wake her…”
“I’m sorry ‘mam, there were no survivors, his service to our country will be remembered…”
“I’m sorry ‘mam, there is no heartbeat. There will be no baby.”
Imagine a mother whose child’s life stops there and her life is lost amongst the fog left behind by the grim words that the unknowing messengers of death brought to her door.
Imagine a mother left imagining what life would have been like with her child now gone too soon.
Imagine this mother and realize that she is no figment of imagination.
She is your neighbor. She is your mother. She is your therapist, your maid, your gas station clerk, your nurse, your friend, your sister, she is you.
And remember, although she lives in fear of being only a figment of a mother.
She is just as real as moms with living children.
For she is still a mother.
She is the bereaved mother.
Created in an instant but remains for a lifetime.