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…