10 ways to support a grieving Mum this Mother's Day

10 ways to support a grieving Mum this Mother's Day

The first Sunday of May (7th) is International Bereaved Mother's Day.

International Bereaved Mother’s Day began in Australia in 2010 thanks to Carly Marie Dudley. Since then, women around the world have welcomed and embraced the day. It speaks volumes about how important the day is and how many it affects. Today we honour parents who’ve lost children — particularly mothers who may have experienced stillbirth, S.I.D.S, miscarriages, or other types of pregnancy or infant loss.

10 ways to support a grieving mother.

1. Send a message of support.

This can be through a simple text or email or even a letter they can keep. Let the bereaved Mother know you are thinking of them.

2. Keep the memory alive.

Mention the child’s name and share any memories you have.

3. Donate to charity in memory of their child.

4. Send a small gift to bring comfort.

A personalised candle they can light in memory of their child, seeds for them to grown some flowers, personalised jewelry or a pamper pack.

5. Support around the house. 

If you feel they are struggling with the daily routine offer your support with a meal (home cooked or meal service), cleaning or gardening.

6. Plant a tree of flower in their child’s memory.

Add a plaque or create a special place in the garden for them to visit. These forget me not seeds are a lovely gift for someone wanting to create a memorial garden.

Forget-me-not gift of seeds

7. Gift a memory box for them to keep photo’s or tokens in.

8. Give them a hug when you see them or listen to them talk/cry.

If you are located far away send a warm hug in the form of a heat pillow such as Herbie.

9. Invite them to attend a grief support group.

Infant loss can feel lonely and isolating as it can be difficult to talk to others who have not experienced it. Support groups can help them feel less alone. See below for support groups.

10. Remember the anniversaries.

Holidays like Mother’s Day and Christmas can be triggering but anniversaries of the infant’s death can also be. Keep a note in your calendar of the yearly anniversaries so you can remember to send them a comforting message. 

Acknowledging that Mother’s Day can be difficult and that you are there for them is important. If you feel stuck with what to say here are some suggestions:

  • You and your child and always in my thoughts.
  • I can’t imagine how you are feeling, but I want you to know I am here for you. Please call if you want to talk.
  • Grief is a journey, and I’ll always be with you every step of the way.
  • You’re not alone in this. I am here for you.
  • I will never forget your child.
  • Your child will always be in my heart.
  • Grief can be so isolating, but please know that you are not alone.
  • If there is anything I can help with, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Regardless of what you say, the most important thing is to be there for the grieving mother.

Listen to her, offer your support, and let her know that you care.

The best thing you can do is simply listen.

Grief resources and support groups:

GRIEFLINE – online resource for grief support:

Community and Family Services | Grief Counselling | Counselling Helpline (griefline.org.au)

Helpline: 1300 845 745

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