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.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Does love give way to grief?

Give sorrow words.
The grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er fraught heart
 and bids it break.
When I first started my blog, I chose the above quote to add to the layout.  It was in the folder of stuff that I received on my first retreat.  All this time, I never really paid it much attention save for my first impressions of it and noting that it was from one of my favorite works of Shakespeare.  I mean, I was doing that already, giving my sorrow words.  I started talking about my abortion and the flood gates had opened and led me this way and that and to where I am now.  And then with the start of my blog, I was really giving words to my sorrow – oh so many, many words. 

Today is August 1, 2012 and for the last few days I’ve felt the glow of the retreat start to fade as realities take over, but it's to be expected.  I was ready for it and took it in stride and prayed my way through it.  But, I’ve had a lump in my throat and a knot in my stomach that I can’t shake.  August 22, will be the anniversary of my abortion.  At first I thought well, that’s what the matter is, my body is physically responding to whatever I’m wrestling with internally as it usually does. I was trying to ignore the date.  But this time, it feels different.  It’s not despair.  It’s not unworthiness.  It’s not the feeling that I’m far from Him.  It’s what I have yet to give words to – my grief. 

I have spoken and put pen to paper about so much over the last couple of years, but grief I’ve tiptoed around or maybe I hadn’t recognized it before?  Maybe it was hidden under all the other crap that came to the surface.  Am I feeling it now, grief, now?  Even while alight with this new-found love and solace I’ve found in Him, in my complete and all-in surrender to Him – now I’m left with this?  This pit in my stomach, this new hurt, this pain that doesn’t seem to want to break me, but pain that I feel I must feel?

Grace would have been born in March of 1988; she would be 24 right now, if she were here with me.  I picture her as 24 in Heaven.  I’ve always pictured her at the age she would be had she lived here with me.  Today, as I mulled these things over silently in my mind, I began to feel things a bit more deeply.  I do miss her and then I don’t know what to miss exactly.  What would she have been like?  What would she have looked like?  Would she sing or dance? Would she laugh like me?  Would she be smart? Would I have been a good mother to her? Would she resent me for the sacrifices we would have surely had to make were she to be born?  What would the girls think of her?
The more I thought about it, the more it hurt, a dull emptiness for what would have been, what should have been…

I’m not sure I know how to grieve for her, mourn for her. I’m not sure I ever have.  I think I’ve thought about it, but I’m not sure.  There have been countless times where I think, "there should be 3," but it usually passes or I say a prayer and remind myself that she is here with me, with all of us. 

The only thing I know for sure right now is that these feelings are different and I know I’m capable of handling them – but I’m not sure how exactly.  Can I pray my way around it?  Will I always feel it or will it fade with time and makes its presences known on holidays and anniversaries.  I suppose its progress that I'm even thinking I'm allowed to grieve for her at all. 


  1. For me, it was and is grief yielding to Love, again and again and again, as if His Love burns thru it--whatever "it" might be--now numbness, fear, guilt, anger, loneliness, sadness....and over and over with every reminder of _____.

    Then Love enters. But inevitably, in my sin, I push It out again.... Grateful for His infinite patience, grateful to have read this post. You are in my prayers.

  2. Thank you for your prayers! Lately my prayers have been to have the times when I push it away become fewer and farther between, it is inevitable, but not unmanageable. Happened to me just last evening, so I understand completely.