“Anne I was a grandmother for 49 days and then I wasn’t a grandmother anymore. I’m hurting so much. I feel cheated.” And so began first session with a new person, this time a grandmother of an aborted baby. And the tears rolled down profusely. This client came to me referred by a former client who had been helped through her abortion grief, but this“grandmother” felt that I couldn’t help her as I had helped her friend. The reason for this being that she was “only” a grandmother and she had no right to feel this way.
As we worked through and talked about her loss it became obvious how much she was affected by her daughter’s decision to have the abortion, without even discussing thematter with her (her husband RIP) and the help that was available to her daughter so she wouldn’t have had to go through the abortion.
It’s a further tragedy and great sadness when the abortion decisions are made that consideration is not given to other family members who might be affected deeply by the decision. I have heard thousands of times about the mother who forces her daughter and takes her to the clinic in order to have the abortion but less than half a dozen times in over 20 years have I heard about the deep wounds an abortion causes to grandparents. One can be left to feel that all grandparents are devoid of emotion towards the grandchild that they might have had, but this grandmother clearly shows how this is not the case.
This grandmother had humanised her grandchild, had visualised her holding him, had “seen” herself taking him to school and babysitting him. This grandmother had seen her life filled with his presence for a few short days, and then he was gone, through an intentional act, and not anything else.
Her horror at his disposal and his going and her disappointment with her daughter’s decision, left her almost immobile and as she pointed out to me though she loved her daughter and would try to support her if support was needed, she could not reconcile herself to this fact of her “grandson” being intentionally killed because he came at an inconvenient time.
I don’t know if “Mary” (not her real name) will continue with counselling sessions, and the door was left opened for her to return to “talk” some more if she became overwhelmed again. What struck me as really important was the reality that abortion touches all family whether immediately or into the future. Indeed a poisoned seed called abortion once planted can row to poison the family structure. To wound the family history and pass on wounds into future generations.
For this grandmother’s daughter who’d had the abortion there is in her own history whether she acknowledges or not a wound which will manifest in any number of ways without her even realising that that single decision will alter her makeup. I did suggest to “Mary” to listen to her daughter and help her daughter speak about her decision and why she made that decision and if necessary that her daughter can come and see me. But only if she is ready for counselling and not to be foisted on her.
In our future prayers please pray for all grandparents who have lost a grandchild I this gruesome way. Grandparents also have images coursing through their minds of their grandchild “torn to pieces” and is heartbreaking for them. So please pray for grandparents.