The Sixth Street Bridge

The Sixth Street Bridge
At the tender age of 17, I walked across this bridge, alone, into Downtown Pittsburgh, with $300 in my pocket that my mother had given me to get an abortion. I went into the Fulton Building (in the picture) and did what I was told to do. I didn't have a choice - if I did, I wouldn't have chosen abortion.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The grief that sneaks up on you...

I would like to extend an invitation to any person in psychiatric academia to pick my brain for a while to find out if, indeed, post abortion syndrome actually exists. 

I’m aware that the anniversary of my abortion is looming, so a lot is being and going to be drudged up.  I’m better able to handle it now, armed with my faith and what I know to be true, with my acknowledgment that I have lost a child and am allowed to grieve for her, regardless of how I lost her, and the ability to allow the grief to wash over me for a time and then leave it at the foot of the Cross…again.
There are moments, however, still, that none of the above matters one iota and certain thoughts and feelings, long suppressed and/or never acknowledged or given a voice or outlet, consume me.  It’s often at the most inopportune times, when I don’t have time to allow it, when I have no choice but to push it down deep inside because of my duties as a mother to my two living children. 

My eldest asked me today if I was ever pregnant in the summer time.  I immediately said, no, I wasn’t, which is good, because I don’t do well in the heat to begin with, I can’t imagine doing it pregnant.  Then I remember, yes, I was pregnant in the summer time.  In the middle of summer in 1987, at this time, all those years ago, I carried Grace inside me.  The 11-12 weeks that she was growing inside me was all I physically knew of her.  I didn’t get to experience the rest of being pregnant with her.  I didn’t get to feel that first butterfly tickle of movement and then the all out gymnastics of an almost to-term baby in the womb.  Those feelings are what I loved the most about being pregnant and what I remember the most.  But I don’t have that memory of Grace.  I have no physical memory of her in that sense.
At least here, I have a place to put my thoughts for now.  I pray for the strength to find the grace in the truth I’ve discovered this morning prompted by a simple, innocent question by Grace’s sister.  Was it Grace that prompted the question?  What am I to do with it now?  Or, is it something evil causing me to yet again, bring it up and torture me?  I like to think I have some control over what it is and why.  I say a silent prayer, a few silent prayers, over and over in my mind while doing the dishes, while combing hair and making ponytails, while folding the laundry.

Jesus, please help me.  Jesus, I’m sorry.  Mary, guide me.  Grace, forgive me.


  1. I'm not a psychiatrist but I hold you in prayer.

  2. Ive experienced loss in both forms, in a forced abortion at 16 and a "miscarriage" (I struggle with that word) at 15 weeks. I can assure you that while the grief is different, the pain and cycles are the same. The random triggers and out of left field innocent reminders of what was and what will never be. The sinking that comes from questioning.

    You have been forgiven my friend, cling tight to His loving promise. Know that you are in my daily prayers. May you feel His peace and love upon you. May Our Blessed Mother guide you.

    Know, believe and trust that you are not alone. <3


  3. What you feel is real. When I have similar feelings, I sit with it, pray, write in my blog and let it pass.

    God has given us the unselfish gift of salvation and forgiveness. Sometimes it it hardest to forgive ourselves.