Sands support group facilitator, Pip Hanrahan’s Mother’s Day will look a little different this year, but she’s focusing on the positives – more time spent with her partner and three girls, Millie, Lotte and Bella. 

“I’m usually working on Mother’s Day, which can be a good distraction from the weight that the day can sometimes carry. Due to COVID-19, however, I have lost all my work so I will actually get to spend the whole of Mother's Day with my family.” 

“This year we will take a walk to the grave of our son, Patrick. He was stillborn 10 days past his due date. My grief for him hits me differently every year and that means sometimes it's nice to just go and cry by myself at his grave, but this year we’ll all go together.” 

“For me, sometimes the lead up to Mother's Day can be so much worse than the actual day. More often than not, I'm much calmer and peaceful on the actual day. The week before it however, I've probably cried and thought about him most days.” 

Pip thinks that COVID-19 social restrictions will have an impact on bereaved mothers’ experience of Mother’s Day, but that there could be two sides to it. 

“It means they may not be able to see their own mothers or support people. This means no one to hug or talk to about how they are feeling.” 

“On the other hand, it may give mothers an excuse to not attend a large gathering of family, that may be just too much at this time. Grief can be absolutely exhausting, especially when we are trying to look as if we are ok and trying to make everyone feel comfortable in our presence. Most people have no idea what to say to someone who has lost a child.”