I know what you’re thinking, how can “I” possibly be speaking?
Everything has a voice.
Every cell in your body has a voice—a memory.
You think of me. Moments, thoughts, feelings, uncertainties, dreams, indecision, the unexpected—I will always be with you.
That’s a voice.
Maybe you didn’t hear me then—lots of distractions, pressures, decisions, competing voices. I understand, but perhaps you would hear me now.
A person is never the sum of a moment or period in their life—they are eternal.
A time, a stage, a segment of their life does not define them or whether they are in fact a “them.” The moment your egg and my father’s sperm united, eternity spoke its creative evaluation and decision that I am a person. Besides, there is no other outcome that orchestration signifies nor grows. Somehow, someway, God or no God, intended or not, positive or negative, the cosmos was aligned to bring me to be, a human. Not as an intention, or a future formation, even if just an egg and sperm together, I have always been a person. That whole conception thing may have been my beginning, but every person has a beginning that does not make them any less a person from the beginning. I was not a “leading to life,” but life from the beginning.
All of this is to say—mom, you have a child, it’s me.
I’m still alive. Both in you, as a memory, and in heaven as a person, for eternity.
You have a child. It’s me. I’m speaking.
Mom, please listen—please.
I want you to know, I understand. Maybe you feel deep regret, maybe it was a confusing time, maybe you didn’t care at all. I understand—life is so complicated.
Yes, I think about what could have been, as probably you do as well. It’s sad, it’s painful, it’s hard—but, I am alive.
I still have a voice.
I want to tell you that I love you. I want to tell you that our eyes will meet one day. I can’t wait to wrap my arms around you, I practice for that moment with great anticipation.
I’m not angry with you, I don’t hold anything against you. In fact, Jesus and I have talked, and we both take great delight in you. Besides, on earth, who knows the mistakes I would have surely made, too many to count—reaching out for your patience, forgiveness, and long-suffering. Mom, I have nothing but love for you.
You are not less to me, you always have been more. It’s not about what could have been—it’s about what is, what can, and will be.
Mom, you have so much still to give, to share. You are so beautiful, especially to me.
I pray, in some way, my voice can speak through your voice.
Perhaps in that way, even now, we can be mother and child, together.
A voice of healing.
A voice of hope.
A voice, leading to better understanding.
A voice of clarity within the complexity.
A voice that speaks, from what at first was thought to have no speak.
I love you mom—always have, always will.
I am so proud of you—that you are my mom, always and forever.
I hope you hear me.
Grace is brave. Be brave.
An emotional picture for the mom. Now where is the same for the father
Sara, thanks for reading and commenting. To be sure, there is an equally important emotional experience for a father. In writing about the experience for a mom, there is no intent to minimize the experience for a dad.
This is hurtful and perhaps not meant to be but still is. And, as Sara said, where is daddy dearest. I look in the fields that are just being planted. Some of those seeds will grow and produce; some will germinate and drown in the spring rains. So that seed was meant to be viable and to grow and produce as well but something prevented that from happening. Every egg produced by a chicken is intended to produce young. Every egg dropped into the womb is meant to produce young. Some would prohibit any form of birth control because they propose that every sexual act should produce young. Unless you are the young woman who will provide sustenance to the infant for at least the next 20 years, you have no right to tell her what she has to do. It’s a lovely story for an unborn infant to tell mother that ‘it’s ok’. I propose that it’s ok without that message.
Anne, if this comment is directed to me, which I would guess it is, I appreciate your perspective and understand your feelings towards it. Yet, one question, where in the article do I even suggest what a woman should or should not do? Additionally, as I stated earlier, the communication described of an aborted child to their mother does not necessitate the conclusion that a father’s experience is any less important or that me as a writer believes so. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!
I dont think you have to suggest what a woman should or should not do, it is implied here big time.
I am with you on this completely. while it seems at first to let the mom off the hook, it is a hurtful emotional letter to that mom. to get to let off the hook, one has to go through a lot of stuff that is hurtful.
maybe you could have written to the parents? I dont know though because the mom could be 25 and the father 17- what then? do I see a 17 year old male as a parent? I think you have opened up a can of emotional worms there.
A male can never make a decision for woman. Except for his reposonsibility of using birth control and not to have sex out of wedlock. ……
I see this as realizing there is a false understanding that the aborted child is dead eternally as well. Once conceived it is life. How that life ends does not negate there is a eternal place where life continues.
I don’t view it as “letting the mom off the hook” as it is saying life doesn’t end.
I think this is something conservative Christianity may not realize.
Definately food for thought.
Thanks for sharing Chris.
This comes probably from a very good intention, but I believe it is unnecessarily sentimental. I have never had a termination of pregnancy but I have had three miscarriages, all “abortions” medical speaking. The last one confirmed a diagnosis of Down’s syndrome. I am very grateful that I was not put in the position to decide whether to terminate the pregnancy or not, as the embryo had ceased to live by ten weeks of gestation. I believe that miscarriages or terminations of pregnancy for medical reason are not intentionally included in this “letter”.
I also worked for many years as a midwife and came across many women/couples who terminated a pregnancy because the fetus’ condition was incompatible with life. Here, I think the abortion of the fetus is meant to be a for “social” reasons. That presumes some judgment about the women, though not the fathers who are completely absent from the prose, even though the author, a man, seems at pains to suggest that nothing could be further from the truth.
It is written as if any decision to terminate a pregnancy was easy and not complicated by a huge personal dilemma, often in a context of poor self-esteem, abuse, poverty, etc… This makes it sound so simple, so straightforward. The absence of any mention of the potential fathers has really angered me. When I see men protesting outside abortion clinics, I feel a sense of outrage. How many of them can affirm that they only ever had responsible intercourse? Because of men’s lack of responsibility, many women carry alone the responsibility of bringing up their children without the support of the sperm donors. Why not debate the usefulness of planned parenthood, responsible sexuality and responsible shared parenthood by both men and women. Absent fathers are a huge problem and contribute to the feminisation of poverty for the mothers they leave unsupported and particularly their children who are left without resources and also importantly without a useful male role model.
You say you are a Jesus guy, a husband and a father. I would suggest that you probably understand the male stuff better than the female stuff, through personal experience. I am sure you are a good father and husband, but I would suggest you concentrate this sort of message on the reality of the difference between being a sperm donor and a father. For too many men, the former is not followed by the latter and their children, born or unborn, are left to suffer. Shame on them! Shame on women for not being more discerning, but I would argue that many who allow themselves to be in such situations come from dysfunctional backgrounds with poor male role model, and often severe emotional deprivation and abuse.
This topic, like so many linked to pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, infertility treatment, antenatal screening and diagnostic tests, is very complex, unless we follow a pure deontological perspective. Most people do not, opting rather for a utilitarian one. Nothing is simple.
This letter is a tear jerker, in my opinion. Some women, and men, may find it helpful but I believe the topic is too complex to be treated so simply.
However, it is interesting post :-), so I am grateful for the opportunity to respond.
As is often the case–what is not said is just as or more important as what is said.
As prose, I find this post enjoyable.
As theology, I find this post lacking–except for a large dose of sentimentality.
As a parabolic means of expressing love and forgiveness I find this post effective.
I have no idea if there is a consciousness that survives or transcends death. All ideas about this are pure conjecture.
(Robert Capon, page 210, Genesis the Movie)
When Jesus raised talitha from the dead Jesus said she was not dead.
Jesus also said Lazarus come forth.
I suppose thinking a soul never dies can be conjecture, but it does appear that the person is not dead.
Lazarus and Tabitha were dead, then Jesus brought them back to life; he did not bring back to life non-dead persons. Being dead looks a lot like sleeping except apart from Christ no one wakes up from that dead “sleep”.
Jesus said Talitha was not dead
Semantics, body person resided in is dead. Person still alive.
Jesus proved this.
Of course God (Jesus) is the only one to put that person back in the body.
Still, all peoples bodies die, the person does not.
I say person because it appears to me that you tend to believe our spirit is non-existant without a body? I disagree, which is why I found this entry eightening.
A person is in the woman and has a spirit because the fetus is a person. God knows that fetus already.
Ever hear the term “Docetism”?
Jesus on the cross being very human said “father into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Then to make sure Jesus was dead they pierced his heart.
In creation God made humans from clay and breathed into them making them like He is. We are made in His image.
God is spirit. when he breathed on man He gave them spirit. The thing between our ears can think, make decisions animate the body to create. It also figures things concerning life.
Do you know that it has been established by science that being “brain dead” is actual death? They concluded this with the invention of the life support apparatus. The brain can be dead, yet because of the apparatus they can continue with the regular function of the body. When the apparatus is unplugged the heart stops.
which causes me to be fascinated this entry of Chris.
perhaps as the moment of conception the first thing developed is the brain? No matter how primitive it may be?
How dare you! Who the hell do you think you are? I am so pissed right now that I could scream out loud!…How dare you imply that women will see their aborted child in Heaven…you make it sound like ALL women who have had abortions feel guilt! I had an abortion, have you? Every woman has their own reason for having an abortion. We are all different. You imply that having an abortion is something we need to be forgiven for. It’s people like you who make women feel shame and guilt. You don’t know what happens to an aborted fetus. This post is so arrogant that it literally makes me shake with anger. I really enjoyed your blog but have to unsubscribe now. This is the most sexist thing I have read in a long time. I don’t NEED to be forgiven by my aborted fetus or by God because I didn’t do anything wrong. Please quit assuming that all women feel the same way about their abortions. My abortion was the most humane and loving decision I have ever made as a mother. And I am proud of that, not ashamed.
As having had an abortion, the pain and trauma is an unbearable consequence I did not understand I would have to live with. No one taught me that. All I heard was “it’s a woman’s choice” and fear of having my child overtook me into a place I almost didn’t recover from. God in His grace took me on an incredible journey of healing which now twenty five years later I still have residual effects. It’s ironic to me the women commenting would see this writing as offensive. They bring up the Fathet and why his feelings weren’t considered yet get mad when a man offers his perspective. The reality is all life has a voice and to try to silence the reality of that doesn’t make it any less real. I thought this piece exquisitely provoked people to think deeper into the reality that it IS in fact a child who DOES have feelings and a voice regardless if we see them with our eyes or not. Thank you for this writing. In a society where people are continually trying to desensitize the unborn life that is so profound and precious, we need more of voices like this standing for the voiceless.
Did you know that more than half of the women (61% according to the Guttemacher Institute) who have abortions already have one or more children? They are moms – they are moms to their living, breathing children whom they diaper and feed and love and hug and cuddle and raise.
Having a uterus which briefly, for some days or weeks, is the site of embryogenesis does not make a person a mother. Mothering makes a person a mother. This post is extraordinarily presumptuous.
Thank you for this. ❤️ I’ve needed this letter for a very long time.
Kathie, thank you!