Surviving Mother’s Day after the loss of a child

Being a mother is the hardest job in the world. 

Being a mother to a son that you have lost is heartbreaking and yet I find myself struggling with this each day, especially on Mother’s Day.

I struggle with being a mother to my two boys, while in my heart, I have three sons. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of Zack and the impact that he had on our family and on who I am as a mother. There are several moments in the day when I literally stop and imagine how life would be, had he not died six years ago.

Sometimes it’s in the simplest part of the day, like packing only two lunches for school or walking into the bedroom that used to be his and seeing only one of my twins waking up in the morning.

Sometimes it’s having only four of us at the dinner table or driving in a car without his car seat in the seat behind me.

Sometimes it’s when I cuddle with Jayden and imagine that I have Zack’s arms around me or when I see our Elmo doll collection and I imagine the smile that they used to bring my sweet boy’s face.

Sometimes it’s when I’m asked how many children I have and I feel torn about what my answer will be this time and how much I feel like sharing.


Sometimes it’s when the kids are all playing on the street and I miss chasing my little devil as he rode his red car down the sidewalk, giggling all the way.

Sometimes it’s when I see the face of another child with special needs or hear about their little victories. I remember how precious those daily miracles were with Zack, and I yearn to feel that joy again.

Sometimes it’s in the quiet moments when I can look through old photos and videos and see his face or hear his laugh again, while I look for signs that he is still with me. I remember the way he looked at just me and I would do anything to see that look again.

The difficult part is that you can never undo being a mom to your child. It is not only what we do, but who we are.

On Mother’s Day and every day, I am STILL his mother. I always will be. For the rest of my life, as I become a mother to two teenage boys, watch them graduate, get married and even start their own families, I will also be the mother of a 3 year old little boy, who remains in my heart for the rest of my life.

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