Butterfly Mums

Butterfly Mums are Mums none the less
For having to guess how their child grows
Their heart knows.
They track each stage
And know the age
Their child would be now
For they see their friends growing
No help but for knowing
That today is the day they’d have started year three
Or grazed their knee, first climbed a tree
Just like the other kids did
Or learned to ride a bike with just two wheels
And it feels painful, and good
To know that they would
Have laughed at the feeling
Of speedy free-wheeling.
Flying down hill.

But they never will.

No-one chooses to become
This butterfly Mum
Standing apart with a hole in her heart.
And the hole never heals, it grows a bit
Each year to fit a bigger kid inside
And cannot hide the pain she feels.
The hole’s ripped edges bleed a bit less
With time, I guess, she hopes to possess

And, yes, there is pain
That comes back again
And again
Catching her unawares.
The whispers and secret stares
Make her cry.
And innocent questions cut like a knife to the heart of her life.
And she’ll try to get by.

But she’d give all she has
To have the power of one magic hour
With her child.
She’d give it all for a little time, however small
For just one kiss.
Give it all, but this
That her child failed to exist.
Better to go and be missed than never have been at all.

Better to be their mother for just one day
Than wipe the pain forever away.

So, talk to her about her kid
And ask about the things they did.

Never pity the Butterfly Mum
Or be like some who don’t know what to say
Or hide away, shushing their children in joyful play.
Would you be surprised to learn that she pities you?
Because you never knew the incredible joy
Of being a Mum to her girl or boy.

6 thoughts on “Butterfly Mums

  1. I didnt realise i hadnt left a reply. This took my breath away from someone who has seen the depth of my grief and yet found a way to find beauty in it in these words. Sharing it with all the mums on Sunday at the annual bereavement service at Naomi House with pride .


    1. It’s yours, and anything to do with you and your fabulous family is beautiful. Love you. I’ll say a prayer for Butterfly Mums everywhere on Sunday xx


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