Mother’s Day isn’t all breakfast in bed and flowers. For many, there’s a sense of sadness and loss.

This will be my 5th Mother’s Day without my mom. It’s sad, not just for me, but for my daughters. My mom had a good heart and lived for my kids. Most days I try not to dwell on the loss, but rather feel grateful for the time that we had together, even though it wasn’t nearly as long as I wanted. Nonetheless, each Mother’s Day is another milestone. Another year she missed. Another year we continue to miss her.

I also think of the many women with fertility issues trying desperately to get pregnant, and Mother’s Day is just another reminder of what isn’t. So for all the women out there trying to become mother’s, I’m thinking of you.

Mostly I think about my friends who have a loss much greater than mine.  Sadly, I have more friends than I care to count who have lost a child. I sit quietly (or not so quietly) on the sidelines, watching their strength as they get up every morning and continue living, despite the indescribable void in their world. I can’t relate to their pain, but empathize with their grief and pray for them continually.

My one friend wrote on facebook that she dreads Mother’s Day because she “failed as a mother” and that broke my heart. She is one of the most amazing mothers I have the honor of knowing. Not only did she fight day in and day out while her son was alive, but has dedicated her career to finding cures for pediatric cancer so other kids can have a chance at life.

As mother’s we are not superheroes. Our kids may think of us that way when they are young, and we often wish we had super powers, but in the end, we are all just human.  We are flawed. We sacrifice. We love. We yell. We hug. We support. We do our best.

I’m sure many of my friends will avoid social media this weekend because seeing photos of people with their mom’s or kids is just too painful.

So whether you are a mom or not, I encourage you to take a moment to reach out to someone who may be mourning the loss of their mom, their child or simply what wasn’t, and let them know you are thinking about them.