Dear Sister In Loss,
You were seeking help for continuous bleeding after your abortion. You called my friend to get an appointment, but she had no room in her schedule that week so she called me. I just reopened my practice after the loss of my own newborn and had some room in my schedule. She asked if I could work with you. I had to think long and hard about that.
Could I express compassion and love for someone who chose to have an abortion when my own loss was still so new? I knew I couldn’t take you on as a patient if there was any hint of judgement in my being. I would have to forgive you, and all the other women who had made the same choice, before I could have the compassion necessary to sit across the room from you, listen to your needs, and support you in your healing.
And I did.
We met a day later. I loved you as I listened to your story. It was not the right time. That’s all.
The only thing I wasn’t prepared for was your lack of emotions. I assumed it would have been a harder decision, with a complicated emotional response. I was a bit confused when you said you were OK. But I was thankful that you felt you did what was best and that you had the support of your family.
You see, the only reason I was able to work with you was that I remembered the story of another woman. I don’t know where I read this story, or even if I’m remembering it correctly, but it was enough help me let go of judgement and help you.
This woman was young when she had her abortion and it haunted her. Later, she married and had another child. One day, as she was cleaning her bathtub, her four year old came into the bathroom and said, “Mommy, I forgive you.” “Forgive me for what?” “I forgive you for when I was in your tummy before. But it’s OK, Mommy, because I came back.” If that beautiful soul can not only forgive her mommy for aborting her once, but love her enough to come back, then who am I to hate?
I hope that you were telling me the truth when you said that you were feeling OK and supported. Loss is a strange thing, even when the loss is a chosen one, and I hope you always feel good in your heart about your decision. I wish you a happy family when the time is right.
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