Mother’s Day is traditionally a time when mums are gifted with extra attention from their children.
But for some mothers, the day does not bring breakfast in bed and special hugs.
For mothers who have lost a child, the day can instead be heartbreaking.
With this in mind, four Wagga women are planning a special Mother’s Day high tea for women who have experienced this loss, along with their supporters.
The women are members of Bears of Hope, a group which offers support to parents who have lost a child during pregnancy or in infancy.
Megan Gaffney, whose daughter Ruby Louise was stillborn, said the heartbreak of losing a child was felt by parents every day, but Mother’s Day was particularly hard.
“It’s a day that brings such a roller coaster of emotions,” she said.
“Me personally, I’m a wreck… The one day of the year that represents me as a mum and one of my babies isn’t here. It kills me.”
Ms Gaffney said her family would be spending Mother’s Day together, trying to make some happy memories.
Little Ruby is never far from her thoughts, she said.
In addition to their work with Bears of Hope, the four women – Ms Gaffney, Katie Francis, Ruth Hutchins and Anna McRorie – have formed Bloss Riverina, a Wagga-based support and information group.
“Grief and loss are so broad, it’s nice to have targeted support services,” Ms Hutchins said.
Bloss Riverina will not only provide support and information, but the women have been working to build up their links with other Wagga services which could be needed by a grieving family.
Ms Francis believes it is important for families who have lost a child to be able to spend time with other people who understand their grief.
With that in mind, the Mother’s Day high tea – to be held from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday, May 12, in Elements at the Gardens – will be for adults only.
“We want to keep it as a safe space and acknowledge that there some people who will be still facing challenges,” Ms Francis said.
Bereaved mums will each be given a special Mother’s Day gift during the high tea, which the women hope will raise awareness as well as offering support.
Registrations for the high tea have officially closed, but additional guests are still being welcomed. More information is available from their Facebook page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.