Coping with Mother’s Day

Sheila Appiah’s daughter, Imogin, sadly passed away from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in 2010. Since her daughter’s passing, Mother’s Day has been difficult, but in this blog Sheila shares her advice for other parents on how to cope.

First of all, for the ability to rest your eyes on this page and to even consider reading this,

I commend you; pat yourself on the back.

For me, it’s a moment of turmoil thinking of what to write next, as I am on a lunch break at work and in front of me is the unwanted trophy to my eyes, heart and mind: a mother breastfeeding her lovely new baby.

Each time that she looks up at me with a smile, I look down at my salty olives and away. Their taste counteracts the bitterness in my mouth, the bitterness of losing my only child. And now at 47 I am childless.

As it draws closer to ‘the date’, you may find yourself starting to feel irritated and acting irrationally. Counteract this with something like coffee chamomile, if that’s what you like, with your favourite cake.

Comfort eating in the afternoon is understandable, as this would have been the school run time. Do cry, shout, sing, dance – whatever will bring it out is always a good thing.

The topic of motherhood will always find its way to weave into a general conversation amongst your work colleagues. Deal with it or quietly walk away, it’s your choice. Remember, you cannot control what has happened, but you do have control of how you deal with it.

They will talk of their beloved or naughty children with pride of being a mother or father. They will boast of being a pending grandparent, which will fill you with rage. Face it by seeing it through their eyes, or through the eyes of wonder that you had for your own child. Listen attentively, explain what happened if you want to and cry after, or just simply walk away. They cannot, will not, or do not have to understand, do they? But you do, so do what’s right for you.

One thing that helps me is to hit the shops! There’s nothing greater than indulging in some retail therapy every once in a while. Try the clothes on, even if you are not going to buy them. It’s all part of the healing process, and the mistakes still allow you to be a participant of society. Going out only to get it all wrong is still social interaction! Celebrate you anger, fight the loss, and live, live, live.

Photo above: Sheila and Imogin

Poem written by Sheila Appiah:

Once again we’ve entered the commercial recognition of the duty bound mother.

The good mother

The perfect abiding mother.

Not everyone’s story is the same.

Some story’s are much more complicated than what’s perceived on the surface.

Whether you are a mother or not, you can still mother.

Mother your man, woman, friend or dog.

You can even mother your favourite job or project.

Mothering means “to take care of”

So be mindful of yourself and all those around you. Even the lonely neighbour, friend or family member.

Or just yourself……

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