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Irene Rubaum-Keller Headshot

Madonna Is a Motherless Daughter. Give Her a Break.

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Madonna's mother died when she was five years old. That is almost never mentioned in the press. My mother died when I was seven years old, so I can relate. I started Motherless Daughter's of Los Angeles to help adult women deal with the aftermath of such a traumatic early loss. The fall out from such a loss can have many different effects. Madonna is exhibiting several of them at once.

One common trait we have is extreme self-reliance and independence. I'd say Madonna has both going in spades. She has made sure that she can take care of herself financially no matter who, or what, leaves her in the future. Many of us do the same as we know we can never count on anyone or anything but ourselves. Go Madonna!

Another common trait is that we are terrified of getting close to people as we know that doing so is risky. We know that the people we love the most can and do die. Many of us never marry and never have kids for this reason. The fact that Madonna has overcome those fears to marry twice, and have 2 biological, and 1 adopted child, is huge. She has overcome a fear many motherless daughters never can. She needs to get credit for this.

Mercy is close to the age Madonna was when her own mother died. The desire to heal ourselves by helping others is a very healthy manifestation of this early loss. I was lucky to have a loving stepmother step in when I was nine years old. I have now been married for almost 15 years and my son is almost 12. I relate to Madonna in that we are close in age now, close in age when we lost our mothers and our oldest children are also close in age.

Madonna is also exhibiting the desire for love that can never be met. In her career, and apparent need for attention and love, she is the poster child for Motherless Daughters. When you are female, and have to grow yourself up without your Mom, there is an emptiness that is very hard to describe. No amount of public adulation, money or fame can even touch it. I give her credit for trying though. I also understand, on a deep level, what she is trying to do.

For me, I started Motherless Daughters of Los Angeles after learning about Hope Edelman's book, Motherless Daughters the Legacy of Loss. Since l995 I have been helping other Motherless Daughters by providing therapy, support groups and our yearly Motherless Daughter's Day luncheon. We meet the day before Mother's Day to honor the memory of our mothers who have passed. When you lose your mother very young, there is nothing that can make up for it. We do our best, and Madonna is doing hers by reaching out to others, but the bottom line is we got screwed.

I am sure that Madonna would trade it all in to have her mother back. I know I would. In the meantime, give Madonna a break. Chanel is her daily wear, and most of you haters are jealous of that. No one gave her that you know. She didn't have a wealthy Mom who dressed her in Chanel. She has a desire to share her good fortune and to heal herself. I say, go girl and good for you!