Grieving the daughter whose life was taken at a Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic has been an experience that was met with several obstacles. When I was finally able to process the grief, I was able to move to a more fulfilling and wholesome life. I would like to share some of the things that hindered that movement into healing.
First of all, I had to process my own guilt. In a careless sexual encounter, my girlfriend became impregnated and the mother of my first child. That was one layer of guilt I carried which I needed to be forgiven for, i.e. sexual activity outside of marriage.
Concurring guilt was my capitulation to her desire to have an abortion. The guilt was there because I was more interested in pleasing her, who I was in relationship with, than I was in bearing responsibility for both her and the child I had helped to create. The child had no external voice, so I could agree to end its life with little concern for any outward consequences, not realizing that its internal voice in my conscience would never cease to speak.
The guilt was also there because I knew the abortion would save me from facing my mother and my associates with the truth that I had gotten a woman pregnant outside of marriage. I had capitulated to avoid facing the fear of possible condemnation, only to add an even deeper fear of being found out for this cover-up. This shame is still with me to a certain degree today.
Once having moved forward in regards to the guilt, I had to enter the grieving process. Denial was still operating at some level because even while I knew intuitively I had agreed to end the child’s life, I tried to justify this decision with thoughts like ‘it wasn’t really human yet’ and ‘it was for the better’. Eventually that denial was broken when I acknowledged my inner truth regarding the child’s reality and when I accepted the fact that I had just avoided a responsibility – which I had no moral right to ignore – without having to face the pangs of conscience.
After moving through the denial, I got stuck in anger for quite a while. I blamed everyone for my ending up in the position I did, i.e., powerless to defend my child. I blamed people, culture and myself. I had to work through some forgiveness issues to move into the next stage of bargaining.
Bargaining was occurring quite a bit throughout the whole grieving process. In fact I believe that grieving experience is spiral in nature. We can move in and out of the stages at various times. I tried to bargain by becoming super religious. If I totally devoted myself to God, I reasoned, somehow this pain, hurt and loss would go away. It was a better direction than the alcoholism I tried first, but even that had to be loosened so I could move into the next stage of depression.
The depression stage yielded its head at certain times of the year. One day I was able to make the connection through the power of the Holy Spirit that on March 1 was always depressed because that was when my daughter would have been born if she had been allowed to come to full term. I was experiencing separation grief every March as I intuitively remembered that was the time of year she would have been born. When I made that connection, I was able to move into acceptance and yield my daughter to the Lord.
Acceptance of my daughter’s presence in God’s presence gives me relief that God has limited our powers of destruction on earth. While I was able to be a part of my daughter’s death through an immature, dumb decision, I was not powerful enough to end her life spiritually. She is with God and one day we will be together. I am thankful FOR THAT AND LIVE WITH THE JOYFUL EXPECTATION OF REUNITING WITH HER AGAIN.