Post Series: A Mother's Heartbreak

This blog is a guest contribution from MaryBeth Cichocki, one of the members of the My Recovery Helper Facebook community. MaryBeth is a mother who lost her son to the disease of addiction, and wants to share her story with our readers. To read more of her story, visit

“Mother’s Day”,  those two words once brought memories of cards and flowers, crabs, beer and family gathered together to celebrate motherhood.  Three generations laughing and loving. Three generations sharing the memories of childhood, teen years that became adult years that changed women into mothers. Every year we gathered together at my house.  Grandmothers, aunts, mother in law, sons and daughters, to celebrate family and love.  This year Mother’s Day grabs my heart and shatters it like glass.  Broken in too may pieces to ever be repaired.  Our family forever changed by addiction.

My youngest son is gone forever. His demons were more powerful than a mother’s love. A family is broken.  A mother is broken. Thinking of this once special day brings me to my knees.  The gut punches become relentless taking my breath away in sobs that I can no longer control.

How does a grieving mother survive a holiday in her honor? There are no Hallmark cards for moms like me. There is nothing happy about Mother’s Day for this mother.

Yet, I still have my mother, sister and daughter in law; all mothers whose children live.  How do I explain that all I want to do is close my eyes and disappear? How do I make them understand that my heart has shut down to protect my sanity and Mother’s Day is now a day I want to forget? Now along with grief I have guilt.  Mother’s Day has always been my holiday to do for everyone.  I do the food and drink. I buy the flowers.  Transforming my gardens into a peaceful place for all the mothers to relax and enjoy.

Mother’s Day, once a holiday I loved, is now a day I will dread forever.  Most of my friends are mothers with living children. Now rather than sharing their joy of our day, I’m jealous that their children are here and my child is not.  I feel guilt again.  How can I feel this way? What kind of mother is jealous that another mother’s child is alive?  Grief has changed this mother. Most days I wake and the tears fall as reality creeps into my sleeping brain.  He is gone my mind says and the pain of my life begins again. I have enough trouble trying to get through a normal day. How will I ever make it through Mother’s Day?

Recently a very wise mom, a mom like myself gave me some incredible advice.  Imagine you are on a plane.  The oxygen masks drop down.  Save yourself first she said. Place the mask on your face and breathe. Keep breathing and take care of yourself before you take care of others.  This Mother’s Day I will be on that plane and I will take care of myself one breath at a time.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Dawn Lauria

    I hate these things. I hate all the people that believe we r a “group”. I need my boy. Not a group. Im it angry or jealous of moms and their children. I am happy I am so happy they don’t feel this torture. I’m angry at myself. For failing. For my son Julian for relapse and mostly for God not giving me the first thing I’ve ever asked for that was just for me !!!!!! My son back. !!!!!!! Y. U tell me y. God couldn’t give us that. ……. I wish u all some kind of miracle that u will see your children walk in your home today. Cause for me. That’s the only wish I have. Love ALWAYS

  2. Patricia

    I feel the pain……lost my son Mitch last year on Mothers Day to an accidental overdose. I don’t think I will ever be able to celebrate this day again. I am running away to Florida this year, I just can’t bear to be home and relive that day. I was the one who found him that morning in his room. That breathing mask will be my lifeline for that day ?

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