Although not a Mother myself, I have always heard there is no greater power than a Mother's Love. As we celebrate Mother's across the world this weekend and their endless efforts to mold, teach, develop, nurture, love and embrace their children in their never ending job of Motherhood, may we also remember those who have struggled. Struggled with infertility and in the inability to have children. Struggled with step-parenting, foster parenting, and adoption. Struggled with the loss of their own dear mother. And those that have suffered the unimaginable loss of a child.
In a moment, I would like to introduce you to a dear friend and author, Amie Lands. But first, I want to share with you something very powerful I learned from Amie and her story. Acknowledgement.
Amie and Chris Lands had a very unexpected, tragic beginning to parenthood. Their beautiful baby girl Ruthie Lou only lived a short time after birth and they knew from the day she was born, she would not have a long life. I cannot even begin to imagine the torment and pain in those days of her short life. Holding on to every second not knowing when would be her last.
I remember the first time I saw Amie after Ruthie Lou had passed. I didn't know what to say. I had no words. But I walked up to her, wrapped my arms around her and said, "I don't know what to say."
I didn't avoid her. I didn't avoid addressing the passing of her daughter. It was in that moment I realized, that was enough. Because it didn't matter what I said, there isn't a right thing to say. There are however, lots of wrong things to say. Simply embracing her in love and acknowledging her pain was enough.
When we acknowledge someone's loss we allow them to grieve with love and support without judgement. There is nothing more important we can do for them. So, as hard as those moments may be, acknowledge they need you. They need you to acknowledge them and their loss. They need you to support them and their need to grieve, however long that may be. Don't avoid them until they "seem ok".
As I introduce you to Amie Lands, I encourage you to check out her books. Even if you have not experienced this unimaginable loss yourself I am sure you know someone who has. Reading Amie's books can help us all become better friends to those in times of great need. Think of your friends whom have suffered the loss of a child and reach out to them on this Mother's Day weekend. Let them know you love them and they are in your thoughts. Don't avoid them and think you don't want to remind them of their pain. I assure you, they have not forgotten and the fact that you haven't either will mean the world to them.
It is such an honor to highlight my sweet friend Amie Lands and her amazing work.
My name is Amie Lands and I am the proud mother to three beautiful children. Becoming a mother, although it has always been my life’s dream, was not as simple as I thought it would be. My first child, my daughter Ruthie Lou, lived only a brief 33 days. Her unexpected death changed the trajectory of my life. I knew when she died that I had two choices; to succumb to the devastating grief or to create a life worth living in her honor. It has not been easy. In fact, it’s a daily choice but I have vowed to be a woman that my daughter would be proud of and I strive to do that every day.
While our daughter was living my husband and I received incredible support, but returning home without her was painful and isolating. I never wanted other moms to feel the loneliness that I did, so I became involved in advocacy work. I founded The Ruthie Lou Foundation, a non-profit that donates Comfort Boxes to grieving parents, became certified as a Grief Recovery Specialist, and published two books. Navigating the Unknown is a guide that supports families experiencing loss and Our Only Time educates maternal health professionals who serve grieving families. My hope in offering these resources, other bereaved parents receive support and feel loved by someone who understands this immense life changing loss.
To read more about Amie and the amazing resources she provides, please visit her page: