By Susan Swander
For one of God’s unknown reasons, one day in the dead of winter I started thinking about May, spring and Mother’s Day. Then, I started writing.
I am a mother – five times. Luke, Grace, Timothy, Teresa and Benjamin are my children. One is living, and four are with God.
I have a hole in my heart for my 4 deceased children. I aborted three of them and miscarried one. Acknowledging them, naming them and accepting their forgiveness has made me a better person, woman and mother for my living son.
For many moms with an abortion in their past, Mother’s Day is a difficult day. It reminds us of our losses, of the children we could have had. It can bring up our guilt and shame. I have had several very tough Mother’s Days.
We all know how hard it is for parents to lose a child. They grieve; we grieve with them. Mothers who have aborted a child have lost a child, too. But no one allows them to grieve. Yes, we decided to abort our child, but that does not lessen our loss or our grief.
Many mothers simply stuff the grief – some (like me) for years. Only hope and healing learned through a Rachel’s Vineyard abortion healing retreat is allowing me to finally grieve my children. Thank God for this.
This year I am choosing to celebrate Mother’s Day and my motherhood. I am going to make it a day to honor all five of my children. There is a spot in my yard aching for a “Children’s Garden.” I will offer my Mother’s Day Mass for my five children and in gratitude for being a mother. I may try to get my living son to go out with me for a Mother’s Day brunch. Who knows what else?
If you know a mother who has suffered the loss of a child through abortion, would this Mother’s Day be a good time to acknowledge her motherhood and her loss? Maybe she just needs some help from a friend like you to begin her healing journey.
In our Blessed Mother Mary’s name, I wish all mothers a very happy Mother’s Day.