A Missing Easter Basket :: Ugly Truths of Grief


A Missing Easter Basket

I always dreamed of being a mom. I dreamed of holding my precious kiddos and watching them grow. What I never imagined was that one of them would never come home with us; I never imagined that one of them wouldn’t have the chance to grow.

It’s been almost five years since we lost our son; five years since stillbirth shook our family to the core. We’ve learned to see and embrace the beauty of his life. I talk about him often and I can now do so without crying most of the time. But every once in awhile, his death hits me like a semi-truck that appeared out of nowhere. Grief is funny like that.

Browsing items for Easter baskets for our two girls brought the hard truth that our home will always have a missing Easter basket. There are little candies and toys that we will never buy for a basket that won’t sit between the baskets of our daughters. But one thing I’ve learned in the path of being a bereaved mother is that I can still parent him in his absence. However, how I do that is ever-changing, and the challenge is always searching my heart for what that looks like in each moment and at each milestone.

The world loves to dish out parenting advice. Everywhere you look, there is no shortage of parenting advice on every single topic that you can imagine. Often, we are even hit with copious amounts of unsolicited advice that we’d prefer not to have to deal with. But the last few years have taught me that there’s no parenting book that tells you how to parent a child that has died. There’s no “What to Expect When You’re No Longer Expecting” because it’s a topic most would rather not talk about. Unfortunately, that’s not a choice that a grieving parent gets to make; we have to live it every single day.

So, grieving Momma, I see you. I see your hurting heart when you buy one less chocolate bunny and one less package of plastic eggs for a school Easter egg hunt. I see the tear in your eye when you try to imagine their excited face, missing on Easter morning. I see you missing them. I see you. Speak their name if you want. Memorialize them in whatever way helps your grieving process in this moment. Wherever you are this holiday is exactly where you should be. The role of a bereaved parent is not an easy one. So, as Easter approaches and emotions run high, grant yourself some grace, precious Momma.  


  1. Bereaved parenting is always so complicated. It’s a community no one wants to be a part of, but I’ve met some of the most amazing people through our own loss experience. Of course, as you know, we would trade any of it to have our baby back, but if we have to walk this road, I’m glad some of the strongest and most beautiful people I know came into our lives along the way.

  2. My son should be starting kindergarten this fall and I’m already dreading it…I feel like it’s the hardest missed milestone since his first birthday. So many people don’t realize that when you lose a baby you also lose all of the milestones and hopes and dreams and future which causes grief to flare up when you least expect it to. Thanks for writing a post that grieving parents can relate to this weekend.

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