This post is for everyone, but I am especially appealing to the clergy who may read this.
Mother’s Day is happening next Sunday, May 12. It is a big day where folks honor their mothers. For some this is a good day. For some who may have difficulties in your families, it may be a trying day. There are some whose mothers may have passed away, and this day is difficult. There is another group that many are not aware of that for them, this day can be extremely painful.
I’m talking about those who are estranged from their families; those who have been turned away and/or disowned for various reasons. For some it may be because of addiction. I know some people who are in recovery and have been for a long time, and their families still won’t take them back. I know many people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender who have been turned away by their families. I know some who have been turned away because of who they marry. There are many reasons. There are also people who have had to walk away from their families of origin because of emotional and/or physical abuse.
For many of these people Mother’s Day can be extremely painful. Some of these folks don’t even know if their mother is alive or deceased. Not having a mother is painful. Having a mother that has turned a person away is painful. The mother-child connection is deep. So when folks who are orphaned this way hear about all the warm, fuzzy Mother’s Day talk, it hurts deeply. This population often goes unnoticed. They are the invisible orphans whose wounds are particularly achy on this day to honor mothers.
These people are also not acknowledged in Mother’s Day church services. There is praise for mothers. There is support for those whose mothers have passed away. People who have been adopted may get some support. However, for the most part this group of invisible orphans who are not ministered to. THEY NEED IT.
How do I know this? I do know many who are in this situation. While many of those are churchgoers, they will often stay home and pretend the female parental unit day is not happening. Their heart tells them otherwise. They can’t get away from it with all the commercials and advertisements and all the buzz.
I also speak about this because I am one of these people. I haven’t seen or heard from anyone in my family for over 25 years. Even after all this time it still hurts. I’ve accepted that I’m an orphan. I no longer hate or am angry at my family. For those who are still alive, I hope they are happy. I have people in my life who are my chosen family. I also have a great love for God, and I know God loves me.
However, I know going to church this coming Sunday will be painful. In the past there have been times where the pain was so great that I couldn’t take it and walked out. No one asked either.
So I ask you, especially if you are clergy, to put out a word for those who have been turned away from their families. Please remind them that they are part of God’s family. If you are able to, reach out to them. I have my peeps now, but I remember the many years that I didn’t and was in a great deal of pain and felt very alone.
I thank you for taking the time to read this. I thank you not just for myself, but for all the other invisible orphans. God bless.