To the Memory of My Unborn Child Herbert

It is so difficult to write to you my darling child.

I have thought about you so often. Something tells me that you would have been a girl. You would have been born in March 1964. Though, it’s been at least forty-one years since I had contact with your mother before she aborted you, it seems only yesterday that my psyche wrestled with the loss of you. I miss you so very much dearest child, because I never had the opportunity to know you.

You have a younger half-brother, who I am certain would have wanted you as his older sister. He is now a grown man in his thirties. At the present time, he has no knowledge of you because in some ways, it would be too painful to tell him about you, though he might eventually understand. However, my heart aches when I think of you and it’s difficult to share that pain.

It was not your fault that you were not born, because you had every right to come into this world. You did nothing that warranted you being so quickly aborted. You were then, and still are a most blessed child of God. Our Heavenly Father wanted you to be born, to provide happiness, not only to Him, and the host of angels who likely led with joyful anticipation, your spirit to your mother womb, but also to me, your father, and to our families and friends.

The conception of you, however, was tragically, based not on trust and commitment, instead, it was predicated upon irresponsible behavior by two young adults who at one time professed their love for one another yet, who, in actuality, were selfish, self-centered, disingenuous, at times critical and vitriolic, and thought that our sexuality belonged strictly to us, and that it did not need to stand the test of moral behavior and accountability. Unfortunately, your mother and I were overwhelmed by our immaturity and lack of responsibility.

Sadly my child, this is the venue in which you were conceived. I ask now your forgiveness for both your mother and me even after these many years. We both still have to deal with this issue of your abortion, even after we have asked to be cleansed with the blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our sin has gone away, but not the memory and impact of the loss of you, our first child it remains forever even years later when both of us, in all likelihood have had other children. Darling child, you will always be the first child and I cannot love you any less than I do your brother. I cried when he was born, but I cried as well when I found out that you had cruelly been aborted.

I still don’t quite know why your mother aborted you. She gave numerous reasons for wanting to do what she ultimately did. Please believe me when I say I did all in my power to convince her to have you, even if it meant possibly giving you up for adoption. She angrily told me she wanted both you and me out of her life. She got her wish. However, after these many years, dear child, I have forgiven her for senselessly aborting you. To forgive her though was not easy, because she destroyed something that not only belonged to us, but also to God.

Neither your mother nor her parents, nor I could have ever justified the aborting of you, my dear child. Yet, I wonder if your mother had any idea of what you went through because of the abortion? Your death made me feel so disconsolate, unclean, and unworthy for a long time. I have also forgiven your mother’s parents, who agreed to the abortion of what would have been their grandchild and took your mother to have it done. Yet, even after all these years, I wonder how your mother and her parents really felt after the abortion and if they realized what their selfishness had done to people’s lives?

Please know that though you were not planned, I was there to support your mother. However, I could not acquiesce to her demands that if I really cared about her, I would give her the money to abort you. I knew that I was part of the problem, but your mother did not want me to be an element of her solution. However, after constant haranguing and threats by your mother, I gave her and her father money to do whatever they planned to do.

For a long time I believed that by giving your mother the money, I had forced her hand to abort you. I know now that the money represented nothing more than an effort by your mother to disgrace me in front of her father. She still had a choice as to whether or not to have an abortion. I gave the money to her and her father and left. I was heartbroken and chastened.

Within a very few days you were aborted. I left California to start a new life shortly after your mother ended her pregnancy. I have not seen her since before she had her abortion.

Quite often dear child, I have wished that she and I could have transcended the bitterness, fear and anger that came upon us during the pregnancy and instead have reached out to comfort one another and to have done the right thing, however it unfortunately did not happen. I think that down deep in her psyche your mother knew that having an abortion was inimical to God’s will, but thought that blaming me for her decision would justify her action and mitigate her pain. If she had only known that my pain for the loss of you was almost every bit as devastating and incomprehensible as hers might have been, she may have realized that aborting you was not the answer. My darling child, I still love your mother even after these many years because for a while she represented so many good things to me and also, if for no other reason than for the fact that for a very short time, she carried a gift from God. That gift was you.

I hope your mother is well and that her heart has softened, both toward you and toward me and that she misses you as much as I do.

Darling child, I am glad you are back in the bosom of our God. My faith is secure that you are happy, but please know how much I miss you. I thank the Lord that I was your father and as far as I am concerned I am still your father. I plan to hold a short, private memorial service for you at my church because I know you would want me to do so and because I love you so much. I know that Jesus understands my grief. I will symbolically bury you, but will always have your spirit in my heart. I hope to see you someday in Heaven along with other loved family members and friends. Thank you for always having been my child.

I love you so very much,


Reprinted with permission from Priests for Life

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