A Letter to My Living Children for Mother’s Day

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Dearest ones,

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. Each year, I’ve received beautiful hand drawn cards or beautiful crafts from you that I cherish and save. Your words of love and appreciation are an echo of the profound love and appreciation I feel for each of you. Not just on Mother’s Day, but every day. And yet, you know Mother’s Day will forever more be bittersweet for me, since your sister will never again be alongside you to wish me a happy Mother’s Day.

It has been a very challenging road for all of us since the death of your only sister. You didn’t just lose your only sister and a piece of your innocence that day, but you also lost the mother you once knew. After that horrible day, you had to witness a mother who was crushed by the weight of grief; a mother who still loved and took care of you, but was so often sad or tired or visibly overwhelmed.

I know that for a long time you tried to hide your own pain from me in an effort to not make mine worse. You tried to take care of me, as I often struggled to find the energy needed to take care of you. You helped out more. You followed the rules as best you could. You checked in on me as a parent checks in on their child. I appreciate all of it more than you know, but I’ll always be sorry you found yourself in that difficult position.

Seeing all my outward sadness since her death, it might appear to you that I think more about your sister than I do of you. It may even appear that I love your sister more than you. Nothing could be further from the truth…but I’m pretty sure you already know that. I think you understand that when all we have left of someone is our memories, we may choose to spend more time with our thoughts than before.

I also think you know just how much I am grateful for each and every day that I have to spend with you. I have tried very hard over these past few years to show that to you, and despite the pain – or perhaps because of the pain – we have grown a stronger, deeper bond of love and trust between us. We have all witnessed firsthand the fragility of life, and we are reminded that our relationships with each other – and those we love – are what matter most. That is a wonderful gift your sister bestowed upon us that I know will last our lifetimes.

So if I have tears in my eyes this Mother’s Day, I hope you know it is just the overflowing love I feel for all of you – including your sister – leaking out of me. And while I wish with all my broken heart that she were here with you, it is all of you that help mend that heart each and every day with all the love you continue to give to me. I can only hope you will also feel my love for you each and every day of your lives.

Love,
Mom

Maria Kubitz

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Maria Kubitz lost her four year old daughter in a drowning accident in 2009. In her grief journey, Maria continually tries to find ways to learn from the pain, and maintain a loving, healthy environment for her four other children. She volunteers at a local chapter of The Compassionate Friends, and in 2012, Maria created www.aliveinmemory.org – a supportive place where families can share precious memories of the loved ones they’ve lost as well as read articles about learning to live with grief.

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