October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and it would be remiss of us not to also acknowledge the grief of many mothers who chose to end their pregnancy. Abortion grief is very real. Women who follow through with an abortion often present with mental health issues, self-destructive behaviours, relationship problems and replacement pregnancies. Abortion grief is often overlooked for political reasons and also because of the nature of the painful experience itself. Yet, we need to open up this conversation so that women and men can find healing.
One powerful tool for healing is to write a letter to your baby. We asked a woman who aborted her baby to share her letter. We’ve called it a letter to Emily. Emily represents every baby who has died as a result of abortion, and this mother represents every mother who has made that decision. If you relate, if you have an Emily, be kind to yourself. Seek help if you need to. There are people waiting to listen.
A letter to Emily
How to write to you and say all the sweet nothings that these last years could have held. I know that you know how sorry I am to have cut short our life together, especially since I’m sure it’s me who missed out on the most, who missed out on knowing you. If I could, I’d hold you today and just breathe in who you are, and who you had become.
You would be a young woman by now, a blossoming human discovering your purpose and revealing your passions to those around you. You might be tall or short, sporty or creative, I don’t and won’t know which, nor the choices you would have made, but I do know you would have been loved. Please know that always. And know that you are loved now. Now that I know you weren’t just a choice, you were and are my daughter.
I’m just sorry I didn’t see that sooner.
Dear one, if I could give you anything today it would be a hug. I wish I could hold you when you were disappointed, encourage you when you were unsure, and cry with you when you were heartbroken. I wish I could steal back all those moments and treasure them up in my heart. That’s where you are treasured today, where you are always present despite your absence. You are held in my heart forever, just as firmly as I hold your newest baby sister in my arms today. I wonder would you two be friends? Share likes and dislikes? Or fight because you are too similar! You would certainly share smiles, and laugh about a mother who sometimes says the silliest things. I’ll share your story with her as she grows so you’ll never be forgotten, and with the hope and prayer that your sisters and brother never make the same mistake I did, and miss out on the life they could enjoy with their future children.
Emily, I love you, more now, but never forgetting the fact that we both lost so much when I aborted your potential. Hold me in your heart till we meet again.
Your loving mother.