I’ve just returned from a retreat for mothers who have lost children. It was a lovely, healing get away in beautiful Lake George. The women participated in healing circles, gentle yoga, writing circles, sharing circles, labyrinth walks and I gave reiki healing sessions.

While at the retreat, I happened to meet two women, not part of the group, who inquired about what types of losses the workshop was addressing. The women making inquiry were suffering the loss of a child as well, but their grief was not what you’d ordinarily think about when you think of a grieving parent. These were women who gave their baby up for adoption in the day when “that friend in middle or high school disappeared suddenly to visit family” and came back forever changed. I heard stories of the joy of reuniting with a child, only to have a strained relation or be rejected entirely.

Whether or not I’m pro-life or pro-choice is not the point here. Those that are sanctimonious in suggesting that the right thing for a pregnant woman to do is give their baby up for adoption rather than abort the pregnancy don’t consider that making that choice is a deep loss for the mother and colors the rest of her life.  These women are soon forgotten and their pain is hidden.

Whatever the decision the woman who finds herself pregnant makes, she deserves compassion.