A Good Home, Mothers

A Mother Still

No-one dared wish this mother

A happy Mother’s Day

Her son had died the year before

They didn’t know what to say.


The silence cut her to her soul

The hurt too hard to tell

For though her son was not alive

She was a mother still.


“I bore a child”, she cried to me

“Raised him to twenty two

Death doesn’t change that fact, you know

I am a mother too.”


I choked back tears and hugged her tight

Willing her pain subside

And wondered what I would have done

If I’d been by her side.


Would I have braved discomfort then

And found the right way through

Or would I have, like all the rest

Just not known what to do?

Dedicated to my dear friend C., and all bereaved mothers.

61 thoughts on “A Mother Still”

  1. My heart goes out to your friend, and all who have lost children. My husband had a sister who died before he was born. She was an only child at the time, and was six years old when she ran into the street after a ball, and was hit by a truck. His mother still feels the pain. The love never dies.

  2. What a deeply touching poem. Love never ends or dies, and yes, mother is a mother regardless of anything.

  3. Oh Cynthia, what a kind and thoughtful tribute, and bless you for pointing this out! I needed to realize that a mother would feel this way because I would be afraid to wish a bereaved mother “Happy Mother’s Day.” I have a friend whose son drowned at age 23, and this does hit home. Thank you so much for sharing, and I hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day!



  4. Cynthia, you are kind and gracious. I have a close relative who lost their only child a few years ago, and I can’t imagine how heartbreaking that must have been–and still is. My heart aches whenever I see someone who reminds me of my late niece.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

    1. Heartbreaking indeed, Wendy. I’m so sad to hear that. There are so many different sources and kinds of pain in this world. We really have to be considerate of each other.

  5. To all of you who have made the fearless leap across the continent of the human heart, here is the bright side: My life is far, far, far richer for having had my boy for those few years than never to have known him at all. I focus on that, on the good, as do others who have experienced great trauma. Cynthia, your poem struck a chord. A holy chord. Perhaps a dominant seventh.

    1. ‘Twas so for me when I wrote it too, Julie. I wrote it nearly two years ago and never published it – it made me feel like crying for my friend every time I even saw it. And then the time came to post it.

  6. Quelle douce sollicitude à l’égard de ceux qui souffrent. Savoir écouter et entendre la tristesse d’autrui est un art dans lequel tu excelles, je crois 😉

  7. It is so difficult to find the right words to say in situations like this. We often miss opportunities by waiting for the right moment. My ex-father-in-law died in his early fifties. I was close to his mother (my ex-husband’s grandmother) and she said that it felt so wrong to have your children die before you did. Close friends from church lost their son four years ago and they said the same.
    I believe that once a parent, always a parent. One might not wish someone ‘happy’ mother’s day but ‘Thinking of you on Mother’s Day’ is appropriate I think.
    You have written another wonderfully thoughtful poem, Cynthia. I think the suffering you have experienced has made you more attuned to others’ pain.

  8. Hi Cynthia, this poem made me cry. It’s so beautifully written. It’s sad and thought-provoking. How to comfort a mother who has lost her child? I can’t imagine the depth of her pain and sorrow. The bell-like flower you asked me about is called hyacinth.

  9. Thank you for this blog Cynthia. I recently lost my mother after her 7 yrs in palliative care. I’m grateful for the privilege to have been at her side, during the night as she woke intermittently, seemingly following spirits in the room, holding her hand as she took her last breathe in the morning during a beautiful prayer. Her memorial was a wonderful celebration of her life and how she made an impact on so many from her children to great-grandchildren, cousins, friends and neighbours I had never met until then 🙂

    1. My warm condolences, Ann. I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s death. Her final moments and the celebration of her life sound wondrous. It sounds like she touched many with her deeds.

  10. Ah, what to say? I wish your friend well as she continues on her journey, and hope that she reaches the place where memory is more joy than sorrow.
    And I thank you for thinking of her and of others in such circumstances and taking the time to couch those thoughts in beautiful words.
    And I would like to say a word for those who love those mothers, their partners and their own mothers and fathers, who feel the pain of their own loss and their children’s, and the family around them that the loss echoes through. And wish for all of them, as well, the time when remembering holds more pleasure than pain.

  11. This is just lovely, Cynthia, and perhaps the best way of all to assure your friend that she is still a mother. Once a mother, always a mother. I truly feel for those who have lost their children — at any age. But I have to believe that there are reasons why loved ones come into our lives and leave far before their time; we just may never know.

  12. That was so beautiful. And you are right, once you give birth, you never stop being a mother. ❤

  13. Thank you Cynthia – meant so much. I lost a son but give thanks daily for having known him and much gratitude for the son still with me.

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