So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Do you ever think about how you would commit suicide if your kids ever died? I do.

And I’m not suicidal, my kids are healthy and safe, and my life is truly blessed. But the fact of the matter is, I don’t know how I could live without my two boys. I don’t know why I would want to live without them. Is that strange? Are you picking up your phone to call the nut house and see if they’re missing a patient?

And anyway, that would never happen. It’s just a vicious nightmare from a mom who struggles with anxiety. Right? Right?

This weekend, my dear friend lost her son. He was six weeks old. I had just seen both of them that Thursday. He was happy, healthy, and thriving. Beautiful. Two days later, the unthinkable happened. Doctors don’t know why and will perform an autopsy.

The thing is, my friend is a good mother. She did everything right. She lives healthy, she is a good person, and she lives a loving life. She isn’t like the sick people you see on the news who overdose on heroin with their grandson in the car. She’s not a person who would put her children in harm’s way, as we see so many people who wind up in the headlines. She loved her son unconditionally, she cared for him fiercely, she would do anything for him.

She is just like me.

Last Thursday, I giggled with her about our sons being only four months apart. I swooned seeing her son wear my boy’s old pajamas that no longer fit. I gave thanks to God that I had such a great friend in my life to share this period in our boys’ lives together.

On Saturday, her son drew his last breath.

My emotions flutter between gratitude for my children’s’ health, to guilt for their health, to anger that something so unthinkable could happen to good people, and finally to fear. Deep, gut-wrenching fear that squeezes my insides and makes it hard to breathe. What if that happened to me? What if it was me, not her? And then, I go to a very dark place. I imagine the unthinkable and even take it a step further. How would I commit suicide?

And yet, the human spirit is an amazing thing. As a species, we have managed to overcome countless tragedies. The unthinkable happens to people every single day. People live through it. People cope, heal, and live to see another day.

I can’t control the future. I can’t predict how the future will look or feel. I can only stay present and be grateful for what I have now. And I can help my friend. My friend is grieving. Her life has been turned upside down. She needs my support and love.

Maybe that is how the human spirit endures. Maybe it’s through the support of family, friends, and the community. Perhaps when the unthinkable happens, people don’t think about ending their life because their community lifts them up.

When tragedy strikes, we have a choice. We can let it consume us completely, or we can mourn, reflect, rebuild, and grow. I hope tragedy never strikes me, or you, or anyone. But I pray that we, as a community, are always ready to help. I hope we’re always looking out for each other and determined to lift each other up. I want us as a community to always be out there with open arms to provide the support for the human spirit to survive. That’s what my friend needs right now. That’s what all of us need.


About Celeste Yvonne: Celeste is a popular blogger and personality who writes about all things parenting. Celeste openly speaks about her struggles with alcohol, and two years ago she announced her commitment to becoming a sober mom for the sake of her health and her family. Her piece about a playdate that went sideways when another mom started serving mimosas has reached over 14 million people. Celeste lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband and two boys ages 3 and 5. Follow Celeste at or

I’m Not Who I Was Before My Mom Died

In: Grief
Woman looking out window at home

Life after dealing with death is hard. I’m no longer the person I used to be. I’m motherless. This motherless life is hard. I need time to grieve, but I also need time to find myself again. I need time to mourn the life I’ll never have anymore. I need time to process. I need time to process the fact that my mother is gone. I’ll never have new memories. My kids will never have new memories and people expect us to pick ourselves back up. I can’t pick myself back up quickly after losing my mom. I’m still trying...

Keep Reading

You Are the God of Details, but God These Details Don’t Make Sense

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Window open with shutters

That was not the plan. What just happened in there? We walked out a bit defeated. More than a bit. I felt deflated. Things were supposed to be different by now. This wasn’t what I asked for or expected. This wasn’t even what they told me would happen. We cross the street in silence. Headed to the car and as soon as I shut the car door, I could no longer hold it in. I let the tears flow. All this unknown. I don’t understand. This is life. This is foster care. This is what we chose. That doesn’t make...

Keep Reading

Donating Breastmilk Helped My Heart Heal

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman with packaged breastmilk, color photo

Dear grieving mama, You know when you lose a baby everything changes, but your body moves forward like nothing happened. It carried that tiny baby long enough to trigger a complicated hormonal cocktail that causes your milk to come in so that little life can continue to grow outside you. But your baby is separated from you in a way nature never intended. There will be no baby snuggles. There won’t be a sleepy, smiley, milk-drunk face looking up at you. But your body doesn’t know that, so your breasts swell and keep swelling with milk that has nowhere to...

Keep Reading

I’ll Always Need My Mother but She Left Me Way Too Soon

In: Grief
Family surrounding woman at end of her life

I married my college sweetheart over a decade ago. I want to ask my mom about marriage. I want to ask her about navigating arguments and personality differences. But she left me way too soon. My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. My mother had three miscarriages. Her first two were before I was born, and I was her rainbow baby. Her third miscarriage was in the second trimester, after my little brother was born. It devastated her emotionally for several years when I was in elementary school. I want to ask my mom about grief and pregnancy loss. But...

Keep Reading

Have You Sat with the Dying?

In: Grief, Loss
Holding hand at hospital bedside

Have you sat with the dying? Have you seen the loved ones who sit at their bedside night after night, holding their hand? They hold on, afraid to let go, knowing the end is near but so not ready for the last word, the last touch, the last breath of life.  They sit, exhausted beyond exhausted. They know it’s time to let go, but they also wonder how life goes on without them. There was life before them, and there will be life after them, but life after now will never be the same without them.  Have you sat with...

Keep Reading

What Would it Feel Like To Hold Him Today?

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Black and white photo of parents holding toddler

 My breath catches. My heart races. I remember. I remember when they were five and six. When they ran around with my son. I remember now how many years have passed, how long it’s been. I’m watching. Sitting on the outside, peering in. Wondering. Wishing. Tenderly remembering, trying to breathe. One breath. One moment. One day, one minute at a time. The world still spins and time moves on. My other children have grown. But in 10-year-grief, the world stands a bit still. Remembering him. The 5-year-old, toothless smile. Shy hellos to his friends. Missing him. Missing them. Missing that....

Keep Reading

The Mother without a Mother

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman with kite on beach

“How is your mom?” My mother looked at me, waiting for my response. Born in a small town in the middle of Kansas, she genuinely wanted to know the answers to the questions she asked, and more importantly, she listened. I stared back—voiceless. I was holding my infant daughter in my arms, bouncing her up and down in that rhythmic, automatic movement that defines the early years of motherhood. Up. Down. Up. Down. I sped up, frantic almost. “She’s good,” I said. The words came out more as an exhale. I cleared my throat. “My mom is good,” I confirmed....

Keep Reading

What They Don’t Tell You about Child Loss

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Couple on dock by lake

What they don’t tell you about child loss . . .  They don’t tell you that you’ll never be the same—not that you won’t ever feel joy or love the life you have—but that it changes you. They don’t tell you about the countless sleepless nights and the not knowing why, holding your thoughts captive and the guilt that threatens to creep in.  They don’t tell you about the hole that can never be filled or replaced mostly because you never ever want it to. You don’t want it to because you hold space for your child, and you don’t...

Keep Reading

On the Day of Your Mother’s Funeral

In: Grief, Loss
Bride and mother on wedding day, color photo

On the day of your mother’s funeral, you will wake up and it will feel like any other day until you remember that it isn’t any other day. Someone will force you to eat breakfast and tell you when it is time to get in the shower. While showering, you will cry and wonder just how you will make it through this day. On the day of your mom’s funeral, you will look at your dress and think that it is really pretty and then shake your head because it’s such a shame that you will never wear it again....

Keep Reading

Memories Fill the Holes in Their Hearts Where a Grandpa’s Love Should Be

In: Grief
Drawing, journal, and photo of man, color photo

“Girls, come here for a minute.” In some sort of yearly ritual, I guide my oldest two daughters to my bedroom, where a wooden chest sits. It’s painted in flowers of muted colors and has a brass keyhole on it, making it look like an antique. It isn’t. It’s only 20 years old. As my girls follow me into my room, I grab the skeleton key off my dresser that unlocks the wooden chest. I turn the key and open the wooden box that holds so many pieces that are supposed to remind me of my dad.  Pictures of him....

Keep Reading