Forbidden Grief. Until three years ago I had never heard the expression, let alone understood the meaning behind it. It’s what Jenny McDermid, creator of “Living in Color” calls post abortion grief.
It’s grief that is never talked about. Never prayed about in churches. Never supported with wakes or memorials. Never openly talked about in girlfriend circles or women’s groups. Never advertised by counselling practices. Never talked about around the dinner table with our teens. Never recognized as affecting both families and men.
It’s a whispered conversation.
It’s a dirty little secret.
We often hear statements like: “How can she possibly struggle with grief when she chose to abort?” or “She deserves to struggle after what she’s done.” or “It’s not grief it’s guilt.”
All of these pointing to why the phrase “Forbidden Grief” was ever whispered.
Now when I hear the phrase “Forbidden Grief”, my throat closes up, my chest becomes heavy and tears begin to stream down my face. These women, our sisters, His daughters…..shackled to the pain and grief of a decision made in a moment of fear and crisis. Waiting for someone to say “you’re forgiven…..you’re loved….this is not the end of your story….there is hope.”
Women wounded by abortion should not have to suffer in silence. They are not a dirty little secret. They are our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, our aunts, our nieces, our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends….
Post abortive grief is not their secret….it’s ours. Every single one of us that has ever pointed a finger in judgement instead of reaching out a hand in love. Every one of us that has whispered in condemnation instead of speaking with hope.
If we remember what we looked like when we first came to the feet of Jesus, perhaps then, will we see our own “secrets” displayed before us and the grace that was so lavishly poured out for us.
And then perhaps, will we step out with hands reached out in hope and grace…..carefully displaying His redeeming light to all the women and men that have been kept in darkness.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28