In the process of telling your story and exploring your emotions, you may have already identified losses that resulted from the abortion.
Although this is a difficult step, you may feel a certain amount of relief when you’re able to put a name to the loss(es) you’ve experienced. You can use the space below to identify your losses.
Identifying and acknowledging your loss(es) is important. Deciding to accept and process them is even more important. The decision to accept and process the loss(es) you identified above is a decision to grieve them.
And the decision to grieve your losses is a decision to feel pain.
Our culture minimizes grief by either denying it or promoting quick and efficient ways to deal with it. However, neither of these strategies work because grief is real and grieving is a process. Masking the reality of grief and the pain that is felt doesn’t benefit those who are suffering from loss.
Your losses are real. Your grief is real. Your pain is real. Your ability to move through the grieving process and experience healing is also real.
Grieving rarely moves through a series of steps in a linear fashion. Grief tends to intensify and diminish in cycles over a period of time. People work through their grieving processes differently—some more quickly then others. The intensity of feeling also varies from person to person.
People who have the support of family and friends are often able to move through this process of dealing with the reality of grief and loss. However, family and friends aren’t always willing or able to lend support to someone experiencing grief after an abortion. There are also times when people get stuck somewhere in the grief cycle and find themselves unable to complete the process. This is when the aid of a trained counselor or support group is recommended.
As you move through the grieving process, it will be helpful for you to gather support from others, to be patient with yourself, to give yourself time and space to work through the process, to understand that each person’s journey is unique, and to know that the pain will diminish over time.
If you have experienced abortion, you may wish to write a symbolic letter to those who were involved in your abortion loss(es), expressing your anger, sadness, disappointment, or betrayal. You may also wish to write a letter seeking their forgiveness.
Note: If a trained peer counselor, professional therapist, or spiritual counselor is part of your support system, then you may choose to read the letter(s) to them or have them read it to you. You may also wish to destroy the letter in this person’s presence.