The Un-Allowed Grieving of the Mothers of Aborted Children

From Confessions of a Funeral Director:

Disenfranchised grief is grief that is not recognized by society.  One MAJOR type of disenfranchised grief that I often mention is the result of stillbirths and miscarriages.

A grief for one who had no connections in life.  No schoolmates, no friends, no co-workers … all of which translates to no funeral.  A grief that can’t be shared.

A grief to be borne solely by the ones who conceived.  A grief that is carried by the one who may now feel guilt upon silent grief because she miscarried.

This is a grief that is often carried alone.  A grief that is too often complicated by guilt.  A grief that is private and difficult to share.  A grief for a nameless soul.

Yet, there is a movement to recognize this grief.  Mothers who have miscarried call us at the funeral home and request some public funeralization for their miscarried/stillborn child.  Some even request a public viewing if the child is far enough along in it’s development.  This movement to have funerals — whether through a funeral home or simply in a small private service — is a movement that provides a positive outlet for the grief of the parents and siblings.  It recognizes a traditionally disenfranchised grief.

So, why isn’t there a movement to memorialize/remember abortions (The book, “Liquid Life: Abortion and Buddhism in Japan” explores abortion remembrance in Japanese culture)?  Here’s some reasons why abortions might not be memorialized:

Obviously, the political contentiousness of the topic doesn’t help.

There’s the idea that the fetus is not a thing to be grieved.

There’s guilt factors,

there’s shame factors (one night stands, rape, incest),

and there’s trimester factors (the fetus could have been only a couple weeks old).

And, there’s the fact that abortions are VERY private decisions, that aren’t meant for public appraisal.  How much would a woman / couple be shamed, guilted, chastised and questioned if there was a public funeral for an abortion? READ MORE CLICK HERE…

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