Church of Our Saviour

21 Marathon Street | Arlington, Massachusetts | 781-648-5962

Reflections of Your Rector

‘Tis the season of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  There are signs in restaurants recommending brunch reservations.  There are rows and rows of pink cards with flowers and blue cards featuring neckties.  There are sentimental cards and cards with jokes.  But despite the variety of things to buy, there’s an invariable sense that everyone is celebrating on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

And it’s simply not true.

Several years ago, Mother’s Day completely threw me off guard.  The day started off fine, and I wasn’t expecting to have a hard time.  But as I saw people receiving flowers, and celebrating nonchalantly, the pain became intense.   It was agonizing to want a child so deeply and to have no sense of when I’d become a mother.  It was painful to feel invisible as people congratulated pregnant women, despite most people knowing we were in the adoption process.

There are so many reasons why Mother’s Day or Father’s Day can be hard for someone.  Do you know anyone who has lost a loved one? Or gone through a divorce? Do you know anyone who has suffered a miscarriage or who is struggling to have children?  Do you know anyone who has intentionally chosen not to have children, or someone who might have had children if circumstances had been different? Do you know someone with a parent or child who is sick or in trouble? Do you know someone who wishes they were spending the day with their spouse, child, or parent, but who can’t? Do you know someone who was adopted or placed a child for adoption?  Or who has been estranged from a parent or a child?

These are but a few reasons why Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can bring up complicated feelings.  It’s almost guaranteed that someone you love is having a tough time this time of year.

So what can we do to support each other?

First, we begin by being aware that our friends and neighbors might be suffering silently.  So often I hear that one of the most painful things about suffering on the holidays is that the people around us are unintentionally thoughtless. Someone who is thoughtful can provide a positive counterweight.

Secondly, we can practice speaking from the heart the best we can.  So often, people are isolated in their suffering because their loved ones are afraid of saying the wrong thing.  Or we resort to platitudes because we aren’t sure the “right thing” to say.  If we can risk speaking with authenticity and allow ourselves to do so imperfectly, we might offer a greater gift than we realize.

I’ve since seen blogs where people enumerate strategies for getting through holidays at difficult times in their lives.  Do you need to come up with some strategies for yourself?  Do you have a loved one who might appreciate an ally in getting through a difficult time of year?

Yours in Christ,

Malia

Share

Comments are closed.