Grieving Moms on Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day Month to all the mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers. I want to acknowledge and show compassion to those who have lost a child, grandchild, or mother — the grieving moms on Mother’s Day.

My wish for you is to find some peace on the day, take some time for you, and know you are not alone. Perhaps there are memories to recall, a new tradition to create, or a space that works for you to be alone.

My go-to activity, my meditation, is ice skating. I glide across the ice and troublesome thoughts melt away.

I want to share some thoughts with you on how I feel about Mother’s Day.

Hard to Ignore Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is present on the calendar the second Sunday of May year after year. A date to celebrate mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers. Retailers have captured the opportunity to promote and increase sales with advertisements beginning months prior to May. No one can forget Mother’s Day.

Why do we need to focus and emphasize attention on one day? If you are a mother, you are a mother 365 days of the year. If you have lost a child, a grandchild, are experiencing challenges conceiving a child, or your desire to be a mother is not happening, Mother’s Day is a date you want to erase off the calendar.

For me, many mixed emotions flutter for Mother’s Day and anxiety looming up to the date. I am a mother, grandmother, and a surviving sibling of two lost siblings. I have a pit in my stomach knowing what the day means for my mother: I try to be there for her, overshadowing what I feel as a mother.

My Mom is a Grieving Mom

I cannot imagine how horrible the day represents to my mother having lost two daughters. Children and grandchildren are a diversion, but the underlying sadness prevails. Somehow, we muddle through the day. At the completion of the day, we heave a sigh of relief it’s over, exhausted from the emotional upheaval.

My wise grown children suggested we have another day to celebrate Mother’s Day to take some of the pressure off. I am grateful to be a mother and a grandmother and cherish time with family. I recall precious memories of celebrating Mother’s Day with my beloved sisters Margie and Jane, dressing up in our party dresses, going out to dinner or feeding the birds stale bread on The Boston Common.

Motherhood is the greatest gift I acknowledge every day. I hope that anyone who has experienced losses will find some peace on Mother’s Day and know others share their compassion.

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Judy Lipson

I am a sister who sadly lost both my sisters. I lost my younger beloved sister Jane died at age 22 in an automobile accident in 1981, and my older beloved sister Margie passed away at age 35 after a 20-year battle with anorexia and bulimia in 1990. I am the sole surviving sibling. As the Founder and Chair of “Celebration of Sisters,” this annual ice skating fundraiser honors and commemorates the lives and memories of my beloved sisters to benefit Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. The event is scheduled the first Sunday in November as Jane’s birthday was November 6th and Margie’s November 8th. We celebrate all lost siblings, their legacies as they live on in all of us. Since the inception of Celebration of Sisters in 2011, I have embarked on the journey to mourn the losses of my beloved sisters that had been suppressed for 30 years. The process unmistakably the greatest challenging time in my life proved to be the most empowering, enlightening and freeing. Now that I am allowing my sisters and their memories to return to my heart where they truly belong, I am re-discovering myself, happier and more at peace. Ice skating is a sport shared by me and my sisters and a chord throughout my life. It has brought me full circle to pay tribute to my sisters and bring me joy, peace, healing and the recipient of the US Figure Skating 2020 Get Up Award. My memoir Celebration of Sisters: It is Never Too Late To Grieve will be published in December 2021. It is my goal to advocate for sibling loss to insure surviving siblings are neither alone nor forgotten.

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