Women who have lost a child celebrate their own special Mother’s Day

BLUFFTON, Sc. (WSAV) – Sunday is a special holiday not many people know about—Bereaved Mother’s Day—a day that recognizes moms who have lost a child.

“When Scott first died, I didn’t even know if i could call myself a mom since he was my only child. It was something that people had to tell me in a way, you are still a mom,” said Sara Ruble.

Sara, Irene, and Heidi are part of a group called Helping Parents Heal, a national group for bereaved parents to come together and help each other heal.

“Carly was 24 years old… She was one of the youngest people diagnosed with gastroesophageal cancer and she passed 4 months after her diagnosis,” Irene Vouvalides said.

“Scott was 19 when he died, but those 19 years were just filled with… experiences and just so much fun, he was just delightful,” said Ruble.

“Fourteen years of just filled with just life,” said Heidi Hanson.

Hanson’s 14-year-old daughter, Grace, was killed in a hit and run accident on her way back from a track meet in Columbia, South Carolina last May.

“Last year… the night before Mother’s Day was the accident,” she said.

This year, when Hanson looked at the calendar, she says she knew it was Grace.

“I just felt like it was a gift from her.. it’s like the odds are for one, Bereaved Mother’s Day I didn’t even know existed until I saw it; and then for it to be on May 7th, like wow.” she said.

A special holiday, a week before Mother’s Day, just for them.

“A day that honors the journey that I’ve been on that didn’t exist many years ago,” said Ruble.

“Yes we have a child that’s not longer on this earth, but we are still a mother we do have something to celebrate,” said Vouvalides, “Celebrate that time we did have with our children.”

“It doesn’t make any difference how many years it’s been,” said Ruble, “I am still a mom… I am still a mom.”

The women plan to celebrate Sunday with a sunrise balloon release for Grace and they hope that on Bereaved Mother’s Day, everyone will do a little something to celebrate moms who have been on journeys like theirs, and to remember the lives of their children.

If you’d like to be part of Helping Parents Heal, you can find your local chapter on their website here. 

In the Lowcountry, the group is holding “A Walk to Remember” on June 10th. For more information visit and to sign up click here.


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