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None Know Better Than a Mother

The bravery of a mother to love when faced with inevitable loss

By Hannah FraserPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
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My mother attempted to have me for six years. She had been the kind of girl who dreamed of being a mother, who ached to hold a child in her womb, in her arms. When it took doctors, surgeries, and long nights of prayer to produce me, her worry overcame her hope. She craved the sweet intimacy of a daughter, one who would share tears and laughter, dress up days and bakery dates. When I arrived it changed her world - and growing up I sometimes wondered whether that was for better or worse.

My mother cried with me when she dropped me off for preschool. Once, when I was lost in a hotel, she fell to her knees when she found me, fear rolling off of her as she cried, clinging to my shoulders. I stood frozen, paralyzed by the awareness that I could cause so much terror simply by straying from her side.

When my head hurt, so did hers. When I fretted over relationships, so did she. When I laughed she laughed with me and when I could barely get out of bed she took long naps on the couch. I simultaneously wished to be closer to her and also further away. Urges to push away from her grew within me as my own anxiety took shape and grew claws, and I couldn't help but blame her for the tightness in my chest, the gripping fear of loss. If she had perhaps gone to counseling, taken control of her fear, surely it wouldn’t have latched onto me as well.

Her anxiety over my safety felt burdensome as I grew and stretched a little too large for the circle she wanted to keep me in. My friends rolled their eyes when I had to text her where we were and whenever she called me to make sure I was okay. And yet, when life no longer felt worth living, I knew I had to persevere even if just for her sake. Healing my own mind was my offering in return for the years of time and effort she had sacrificed in the pursuit of being a good mother.

As I left for college, excited to forge a new path of independence, her heart broke and I ached so badly to relieve her of her pain. I wondered if my existence was actually worth her suffering over my departure. I couldn’t relate to the loss she felt, even though I owed her so much more than I could ever return.

Now, as I look towards a future in which I too may become a mother, I wonder if her deep connectedness with me was perhaps not a result of fear and anxiety, but of courage. For what is the fate of a mother if not to lose her child? We grow up, we leave, we no longer need her as we once did: for safety, security, gentle touches, and love. She clung to me because she knew she wouldn’t be able to forever, and she sought connection with me despite knowing that I would someday be further away than she could imagine.

My mother knows better of love than I possibly could. For she yearned and searched to make me for this world and to make a world for me from her own heart and flesh. The connection we once had has been severed by time, by the natural journey toward independence I have taken. Yet I know she would always choose this road because to her, the pain of love is worth more than anything else. Her courage to choose love despite the inevitable loss is a piece of her too noble and strong to be touched or fully understood. Perhaps, someday, I will be just as courageous as she is.

I can only hope.

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  • Gabriel Huizenga2 months ago

    This is absolutely beautiful, and so thoughtfully communicated. Thank you for sharing! <3

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