Tips for Supporting a Grieving Mom on Bereaved Mother’s Day



Mother’s Day can be an incredibly challenging time for mothers who have experienced the profound loss of a pregnancy, baby, or child. International Bereaved Mother’s Day, held on the first Sunday of May, honors the moms who do not have their children here with them. As this special day approaches, it’s essential to offer support, compassion, and understanding to those who may be navigating the complexities of grief. 

Here are some ways to support a grieving mother on Bereaved Mother’s Day

Sad woman or bereaved mother alone in front of the ocean
Credit:globalmoments for istock photo

Acknowledge Bereaved Mother’s Day

First, know that simply acknowledging International Bereaved Mother’s Day can mean the world to a grieving mother. Let her know that you are aware of the significance of the day and that you are there to support her in any way.

However, please note that it is important to ask moms if they want to be acknowledged on Bereaved Mother’s Day, regular Mother’s Day, or both!

Offer a listening ear

Grief can be isolating, but having someone who can listen without judgment can provide immense comfort. Allow mom to express her feelings, memories, and emotions freely, without feeling rushed or silenced. It’s important that you eliminate any preconceived notions you may have about what type of loss is “worthy” of grief or how long the grief process should last. 

Validate her feelings

It’s important to validate a grieving mother’s feelings and emotions, no matter how raw or intense they may be. Let her know that it’s okay to feel sadness, anger, or any other emotion that arises. However, refrain from pointing out how things could be “worse,” or identifying the things you feel she should feel “grateful” for. 

Create a safe space

Create a safe and nurturing environment where mom feels supported and understood. For example, this could be a quiet time to share memories, light candles, or simply spend time together.

Offer practical support

Practical support can be extremely helpful to a grieving mother, especially on a day that may be particularly challenging. Offer to help with daily tasks, run errands, or provide a meal, allowing her to focus on her own needs and self-care.

Remember her baby/child

Take the time to remember and honor the little one that they have lost. Share stories and memories to help keep their spirit alive in your conversations and interactions. Please know that you will never accidentally “remind” a parent that they have lost a child. In addition, any tears that may be shed were not “caused” by your mentioning their child.

Respect her wishes

Respect the grieving mother’s wishes regarding how she wants to spend the day. For instance, whether she prefers time alone to reflect, or spending time with loved ones, honor her choices and provide support accordingly.

Be there beyond the day

Finally, remember that grief doesn’t adhere to a timeline. Supporting a mom who is grieving requires empathy, patience, and flexibility. By acknowledging her grief, and respecting her wishes, you can provide invaluable support to a mother who is navigating the complex journey of loss and healing.

Previous articlePetals of Fun: 9 Flower Activities to Brighten Your Day
Next articleSupport Local Moms: Rhode Island Mother’s Day Gift Guide
Jane Johnson Wall
Jane has lived in RI for the past 20 years or so, returning to the area after a brief stint of living in Southern California. She is a licensed marriage & family therapist (LMFT) and is certified in perinatal & maternal mental health (PMH-C). She loves working with moms because she loves being a mom. Her practice is women-centered, and she loves helping women feel empowered and connected to their inner bad-ass as they navigate through the various phases of their lives. She wants women to feel supported as they dismantle the internalized expectations they have unconsciously adapted. However, the role that has given her the strongest sense of achievement (and, in all honesty, her biggest sense of struggle) is being a mom. Her own journey into motherhood was a complex and quick one, as her girls are only 15 months apart! Although her daughters are now young adults, she notes that the twists and turns of parenting are timeless. Each developmental stage (and its struggles) prepare us for the next stage. She is embracing having kids who are away at college, but loves to go and visit them. She's well-versed in food allergies, as her family has a variety of them! She hopes that she is never forced to choose between having access to the beach and access to the mountains. She spent the decade of her 20's living in Huntington Beach, CA, and 90’s alternative music is her soundtrack. She is a big believer in “energy” and our ability to manifest. She does an abundance practice on the first of every month, and does full/new moon rituals, incorporating things like journaling, tarot cards, and crystals.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here