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I loved this. There's a post on another grief site about Mother's Day, from the perspectives of a collective of mothers who have lost human children. But what I had always found was that it was the writings about human child loss that spoke to me the very MOST, in many deeply poignant and emotional ways. So this is how I feel about my motherhood, Mother's Day, and the loss of my FURchildren...and a few select others I've since lost as well, after all these years of caring for and coming to love other people's cats too, albeit not as strongly as my own. Just substitute "cat," "cats," or "furchild/furchildren" where appropriate, and take out certain "milestones" mentioned, and these echo my sentiments as well:

A Mother's Chorus, on the "What's Your Grief" site

My favourite parts of this post are:

"This day will forever be hard for me. I live with an emptiness that no one can fill; so I may be sad, I may be unsociable, and I may need to take a break to be by myself in a quiet place. Whatever shape my grief takes on this day, please allow me to feel the way I feel and please follow my lead.

Beyond that, acknowledge me as a mother. It makes me feel forgotten and as though my child [furchild/children] has been forgotten when people act as though my child [furchild/children]] never existed. Also, I can sense that people feel uncomfortable talking about my child [cat/cats/furchildren] and I constantly feel like the elephant in the room, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Honestly, I find it really comforting when someone talks about my child [cat/cats/furchildren]. I love hearing their name spoken out loud!  I love hearing stories about them. Maybe you know a story I’ve never heard, or maybe I’ve heard it a hundred times before, but it really doesn’t matter to me. Your acknowledgment alone is one of the greatest Mother’s Day gifts you could give me."

"...Believe you will be okay and have hope that in the future you will find yourself in a place where you can grieve and celebrate on Mother’s Day all at the same time."

That is exactly what I do - grieve and celebrate (as in for example, making a formal toast to my furkids) - even now, almost 11 years, and 17+ years, respectively, after my furchildren's transitions. I remain fiercely and unabashedly PROUD of having been a mother to my beloved furchildren. And to anyone who might dare try to disenfranchise my grief and losses, I say, "bring it ON!" I will defend our love for each other no matter what anyone else wants to think. My heart and soul KNOW it's all true, and highly sacred, and that's what matters the most. 

 

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Maylissa,

I've read your post several times and am so touched by your words.  Not many understand the bond between us and our animals.  For myself, I don't talk a lot about my three girls except to my online friends who do understand that bond. 

Lucy has been gone for 3 years now, Allie 2 years, and Molly a year and a half.  I'm not at the point yet that I can think of the happy times without being overwhelmed with the grief from losing them.  I don't think it's really gotten any easier.  I think I've just gotten better at pushing it further away from my mind.

I do remember the Mother's Day after Lucy died.  I was out walking in the yard and there in the corner of the fence was one little violet that had spread from my neighbor's yard.  She had planted the violets near her side of the fence about 20 years ago, and not one had ever spread under the fence into our yard until that day - Mother's Day.  This Spring, three years later, the violets have spread all over my yard. 

I hope on this day you are able to spend some time doing something that brings you peace. 

Mary

 

 

 

 

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Oh, Mary, I'm in turn touched by the fact that you read my post "several times"! :wub: 

You're so right -- only 3 years at most for your precious furbabies' passings, is too soon, imo, to expect to not feel overwhelmed with the grief. It took me MANY years to be able to set the sorrow aside for even a few moments here and there on Mother's Day, even if we were doing something I'd wanted to do....mainly as a distraction of sorts.

And I remember your enchanting story about the violets and Lucy, and Allie! (just re-found and re-read that whole thread again now) It was all so BEAUTIFUL!!! And to know those violets have spread "all over" your yard now!.....surely a testament to how love even GROWS STRONGER AND LARGER after our furkids have gone!

After my Sabin's transition, I had made up a personal obituary which I framed, to honour him. I included the famous poem from which I would often verbally express snippets to him throughout our days as mother & fur-son. And so heart-breakingly, after his passing, I came to know just how very true and powerful the last line is, as the longing, yearning, and feelings of love directly and equally mirror the sorrow of our loss. I'm just betting you will likely agree...

How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1806 - 1861

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

 

This poem never fails to give rise to tears for me, no matter how long it's been...

So far, this Mother's Day morning has been a bit magical, and certainly far better than the one I experienced 2 years ago, thank goodness! I received 3 cards on behalf of my furkids (one generic "playtime" card, and one from each of Nissa and Sabin). My H's slowly learning to NOT forget Mother's Day! :P These were followed soon thereafter by a quick visit to our yard by a new-to-the-neighbourhood tabby cat who sometimes swings by. Knowing my furkids, who NEVER forget me on Mom's Day, they sent him round, so I'd at least have a lovely cattie to see, even briefly, to help me feel a bit more "normal." Later on, we may take a walk or bike ride in nature, which usually calms my soul and heart a bit. And perhaps I'll receive even more signs at that time, since my kids often use other critters to send ADCs my way. 

But as always, I'll just honour and allow the feelings to flow, in and out, up and down, as they arise. It's important to not be terrified of the natural and understandable pain surfacing as it may need to, in order for it to not become trapped in our bodies, minds, and energy fields.

Whatever you decide to do or avoid, remember, that's your prerogative and right. I wish for whatever your spirit needs to make your way through this tough day. But I'm also asking the angels and nature devas to help facilitate signs of continuing love for you from your furchildren, too, so you can re-experience the feelings of that sacred bond you will always have with each other. Perhaps you could also try a peaceful little communion with those lovely violets, asking them if they have any messages for you....:wub:

In heartfelt empathy on this Mother's Day,

Maylissa, Nissa, and Sabin

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