“You’ve no idea
since I bled.”
— Eliza Griswold
My doctor had stroked two fingers gently against my forehead as I was going under. He tended to speak without showing the tops of his teeth, something my mother and I had both found to be quite uncanny, but now he said, quite definitively, “Everything will be okay from here on out,” and in a moment of magnificence, revealed the top row of his pearly whites. My mother murmured, “Oh, Isabelle,” as the medical lights reflected off of his monstrous incisors, and my eyes squinted, and then closed, against the glare. “Oh, Isabelle,” she said again, this time emotion lightly threaded throughout each syllable, and her hand clasping tightly on top of my own.
In high school, my English teacher had told me that he stopped believing in God the first time he had been put under drug-induced amnesia. “There is nothing,” he had said. “There is no memory, no dream-like state that one slips into; nothing.” Waking up, encompassed in a paper gown of blue that crinkled at the waist, I hadn’t been able to argue with him. The only hints of a “something” were tiny droplets of blood that licked my inner thighs, abdominal cramps, and an unnaturally dry throat. I imagined Mr. Cashman, in front of a dry-erase board, grinning: “Ay, there’s the rub.”
In the post-anesthesia care unit, a woman to my left had moaned as her head lolled in all directions, as though she was unsure of where to look to next.
I had closed my eyes and cradled a newly empty womb.
I brought in 2013 tucked beneath blankets, hidden amongst the folds of my sheets. In the morning, my mother made me strawberries dipped in chocolate for breakfast, sat on the edge of my bed, and said, “It’s making me nervous that you’ve yet to cry.” In the coming months, I did; endlessly, tirelessly; clawed desperately through the process of forgiveness and healing; cut off my hair, my beautiful, beautiful hair, and learned to grow again with it.
This New Year’s eve, I will be out dancing, and the contrast between these new beginnings, only a year apart, is both terrifying and beautiful. This year I have promised myself that I will begin openly writing about the things that I’ve kept tucked away. It is time for me to finally shed my shame and heal.
let go. write. heal. move forward. let go. write. heal. move forward.
What is missing here is any remorse for your dead child. Will he or she ever heal from the wounds you inflicted? What about all of the New Years celebrations your son or daughter will never see because of your selfish act?
Listen carefully. The only way to truly heal is to stand against the human tragedy of abortion and fight relentlessly to save other children from the fate your child experienced. Use your pain to fight for the lives of other unborn children, many who will die without a voice pleading their case. Be that voice and begin to finally heal.
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