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For the Mother Who Didn’t Get to Be a Mom


I didn’t know you. Tonight, as we sat at the kitchen table watching my daughter play with a puzzle, my own mother turned to me and said “Something sad happened at work today.”

A first-time mother, only 29 years old.

An amniotic embolism.

A coma.

A hopeful day of awakening, talking, sitting up.

(Yes, she got to see her baby.)

A mother for 10 days. A mom for hours. And then she was gone.

I saw the newborn baby girl in the hospital, helpless and scared without her mother. I saw dad with his head in his hands, grief-stricken, shocked, and confused as to how he’s going to do this alone.

In the face of these images, I wanted to give them every toy, every piece of infant clothing, every baby item in my entire house. In that moment, I wanted to give that father and his baby every penny I had and take them casseroles for a year.

In the face of these images, I knew it would never be enough.

A pit in my stomach, I stood at the counter microwaving leftovers robotically, as if on an assembly line. I chewed on my bottom lip as a familiar record began to play.


How could this happen to someone so young?

Why her? Why them?

Why is life so fragile?

But this time, before heading too far down that familiar road, I was able to interrupt the thoughts with a moment of mindfulness. What did it matter?

Whether you believe things happen for a reason or not, whether you believe God is merciful or God is an asshole or there is no God at all, there’s always a lesson to be learned in the moment.

Give your children twice as many kisses, for the mother who didn’t get to be a mom.

Inhale their scent more deeply, for the mother who didn’t get to be a mom.

Hold them in your embrace for an extra second, for the mother who didn’t get to be a mom.

Take another deep breath before responding to your children when you’re angry, for the mother who didn’t get to be a mom.

Play with them for 1 more minute, even when you’re busy, for this mother who didn’t get to be a mom.

Never forget how blessed each and every moment with your loved ones is, for all the mothers who didn’t get to be moms.


Seize this moment. It’s the only one you’re guaranteed.

UPDATE: There is a GoFundMe page if you are moved to support this family!


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16 thoughts on “For the Mother Who Didn’t Get to Be a Mom

  1. Jennifer Carnahan says:

    Thank you For this Katy. I too am heart broken for this family whom I have never met. Even though I am not a mother, your words resonated with me.  Always appreciate the moments in life.

    • the mostly mindful mommy says:

      Thanks for reading, Jen. So many women were in my heart as I wrote this, I’m glad that came through. <3

  2. Kelly Bourne says:

    Sending love and strength to this family.  What an incredible loss — I cannot even imagine what they must be going through.

    Thank you for your thoughts — seizing the moment is so hard sometimes, but when you look at the bigger picture, every moment counts. ❤️

  3. Laura McGowan says:

    That is so terribly sad, and I entirely understand you wanting to drop everything for this complete stranger.

    Life is too fragile. :(

  4. Kendra @ Prepping Parties says:

    Thank you for sharing, how incredibly sad but a real reminder to stay present and appreciate even the smallest moments in life.  Hope to see you next week @ Blogger Brags – all the best, Kendra

  5. Kirsten Toyne says:

    This is so sad. there are no words for this loss. I will be thinking of them. Kirsten

    • the mostly mindful mommy says:

      Thanks for reading, Kirsten, and for your compassion.

  6. Life Breath Present says:

    My heart goes out to this father/family and that little babe who will never really get to know their mother.  Such a terrible and sudden tragedy.  But, you’re right.  Let’s all savor just a bit more for those mothers who didn’t get the chance… :)

  7. Michelle says:

    Oh my goodness!  This brought me to tears and I went over and hugged and kissed my babies!  My heart goes out to the family.  Thanks for sharing this!

  8. NewMummyBlog says:

    I’m sat with tears in my eyes, feeling terrible for a family I’ve never met. Such a moving post, and must’ve been hard to write. Im off to play with my baby x


  9. The Domesticated Goddess says:

    This is so heartbreaking to hear, stories like this make me so grateful for all I have because you never know when it could be gone. This is a great reminder that we need to appreciate the ones we love and put aside the unimportant things. Thank you for sharing. #momsterlink

    • the mostly mindful mommy says:

      I’m flattered, Kate, thank you so much! I’ll be over to read your post ASAP!

  10. Angela @ Setting My Intention says:

    Life is so fleeting. Thanks for reminding us of that – and reminding us to love while we can love those around us. Thanks so much for sharing at the Let’s Get Real Link Up!

  11. Nicole@ Family Table Treasures says:

    Thank you for sharing this sad story and your thoughts and feelings.  It definitely makes you realize how important it is to appreciate the time you have with the ones you love.


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