Common sense says that the choice was the closure. Unfortunately, for many women this isn’t the case. Grieving the loss incurred because of a decision for choice is the last step in the process that will bring closure. As a licensed therapist who has herself made a decision for choice, I am familiar with the grieving process that can accompany the option of choice. Through my own journey of processing and resolving that choice, I discovered the concept of disenfranchised grief.
Kenneth J. Doka is an expert in the field of disenfranchised grief. He defines it as “the grief that persons experience when they incur a loss that is not or cannot be openly acknowledged, publicly mourned, or socially supported.” Women don’t talk about their voluntary pregnancy terminations (“vpt”) or abortions for fear of condemnation, discounting and minimizing of their grief.
My work with others as a professional made me realize how many women experience grief after choice decisions. There is no venue for women in our culture to share and to cry after an abortion. A quote from one of my clients states it this way: “There is a conspiracy among the sisterhood not to talk to each other about our voluntary pregnancy terminations. We don’t discuss the pain of the loss, but everyone feels the loss. We just try to ‘buck up’ and get on with life. It would be so much better if we had permission to talk to each other about what we feel.”
If you are confused because you thought the choice would bring you closure, then you probably have some unfinished surrounding this issue in your life. This is why I wrote C.P.R. ~ Choice Processing and Resolution as a self-help book women can use in the privacy of their homes to process through only the grief component of a voluntary pregnancy termination.
If there is a tugging at your heart surrounding your abortion secret, it is your gut telling you now is the time to bring resolution and closure to this place in your past.