The Pain of Lost Fatherhood

Maryland,  United States
It has been almost thirty years since my girlfriend called to tell me she was pregnant. I didn't know what to say. All I could say was, I'm sorry. I know she wanted me to say I loved her and that I would be with her. She might have wanted me to say it's OK, we'll just get married. But I didn't. I was silent. All I could repeat was, I'm sorry. She eventually said a friend would take her to the clinic to take care of it, and she asked me to send her some money to pay for it. I told myself it was for the best. We were both in school. I was living in New Jersey and she was in Illinois. How could we support a child? All I could think of was, what would my mother say?

It was not until I finally got married, nine years ago, that I thought about this again, when my wife and I could not conceive a child. We went to seek fertility help. I finally had to face the reality of what I had done. I had ignored my God and my faith, thinking only of myself and not the precious gift that God was willing to give me. The pain on my wife's face when she learned what I had done, on top of the hurt she felt thinking it was her fault that we could not have children, was hard for me to see.

It was only then that I could bring myself to ask forgiveness through confession and receive God’s mercy and grace. I often find myself praying to the child who could have been mine, asking for forgiveness. I also pray for his mother, that she may also one day forgive me.

Even though I have received God's forgiveness I still feel the pain of my lost fatherhood at certain times?especially on Mother's Day and Father's Day, when all the parents stand for a blessing and my wife and I have to sit there. Most recently, what should have been a day of joy was one of pain. Attending my nephew’s wedding, I realized that my child would have been one year older than him, and that I will never be the father of anyone at a wedding. At times like these I just have to pray to God and my lost child to be with me and help me through it.

Priests for Life