On why I feel I’m not allowed to grieve

l have no neat words to explain what I am feeling. No words that will wrap everything together in a nice neat package tied with a bow of healing. This is messy and painful and hard.

You see, I don’t feel like I’m allowed to grieve the daughter I lost. I didn’t have a miscarriage. She wasn’t still born. She didn’t die in infancy. I had an abortion, an abortion of a baby girl that I actually wanted to keep. My baby girl that I knew I was pregnant with before I ever took the test, my baby girl that I knew her name and that she was loved from the beginning. But I was young and scared and I couldn’t keep myself safe, much less her. But no matter the circumstances surrounding her conception, it was a choice that I made. And because I had a choice in it, I don’t feel that I am allowed to grieve her in the way a woman who has lost a child is allowed. I worry that I am discounting their grief, that I am insulting their pain. I worry that I am being disrespectful of their legitimate pain and grief.

But even with my feelings of inadequacy, this pain is overwhelming. It comes upon me suddenly and takes my breath away while knocking me to my knees. The pain of wondering what could have been is like a knife being stabbed in my heart. I don’t know what to do because my feelings betray my thoughts on this and I don’t know how to make the work together. Except… I wonder… Just maybe… It’s okay to grieve?

Just maybe I am allowed to miss my baby girl. My would be 6 year old. Would she have my blonde hair and sky eyes? Would she love hugs and books? And then I think of the questions I don’t know how to answer: do you have any children? Or when people see me around kids they assume I have some of my own and ask how old my children are. Once, I almost answered (without thinking) she would be six. But people don’t want to hear of babies that are no longer here. Especially when it was a choice I made.

And so I sit here with pain and hurt and questions. Words spilled on this page, messy and broken, no closer to answers than when I first began. The only thing I know to be true is that I miss her and I wish she were here. I pray that she is in heaven. I pray that she isn’t suffering because of my decision but with the nightmares that have recently come, I really don’t know if she is in heaven or hell. I just have pain and hurt. And so I’m stepping way out of my comfort zone to ask you to please stand in the gap for me. Because I can’t make it through this alone.

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3 thoughts on “On why I feel I’m not allowed to grieve

  1. bethanypaget

    I will absolutely stand in the gap with you love.
    You have the right to grieve. It’s part of healing. You did not choose what happened to you and God knows that. He knows your heart as well Brittany and I believe that your girl is with Him now.

    Reply
  2. Larissa Smith

    Grief starts with the recognition of the value of something you have lost…no matter how you lost it. It is a healing process that helps the wounded parts of your self recover, though scarred. No one gets to tell you what matters to you and how you feel about it. If they try, they lose the right to walk with you in this and you can shut them out.

    I am so sorry. Any pain in regard to a mother and her child cuts into deep places that too few can understand. My one piece of advice would be to get something tangible in memory of your daughter. It helps you hold onto her whenever you need to, even if you aren’t somewhere you can give in to the sadness. Mine is a birthstone necklace. You carry thoughts of that girl with you anywhere you want. You owe nothing to those who can’t or won’t understand it.

    Reply
  3. Esther Emery (@EstherEmery)

    God, please wrap this beautiful mother tight in your arms and hold her until she cries. Hold her and teach her to lament! to mourn, to cry out in grief. Regret. Anger.

    I don’t know. I made a choice like this in my past, and my sadness isn’t like this. But your sadness is yours, friend. I want you to be able to own it and live it and SHOUT IT (even if people don’t really want to hear it) and then let it go. Maybe there is something neither of us can imagine on the other side.

    Reply

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