There is an implication that abortion will bring closure when we choose it. Abortion does bring closure to the crisis we are in. We get on with the business of living and we file the decision away as anything from 'barely a blip on the radar screen,' to 'I’m really sad and I feel like dying.' You may have had these two opposing mind-sets either simultaneously or as single thoughts zooming through your head at random times. For the most part, it is normal if you felt 'deep relief' immediately after your abortion.
In voluntary pregnancy termination, things usually happen fast, including the decision. Even the procedure can even be a lunch hour appointment. You probably made the choice quickly and then you never talked again about it. Friends, co-workers, even the father assumes everything is fine. You probably got back on the treadmill of life and continued your daily schedule. There was no evidence of a baby, and perhaps even the father was out of the picture at this point. Your life went on.
As the days went by though, you may have started to experience an unexplainable sadness. Most women I’ve worked with report that this deep sadness seems to be like an unexplainable black cloud over their head. The pain typically is not intense. It is a small, gentle pain that can last for moments or in extreme cases this black cloud of sadness can continue for several days. I’ve talked with countless women who detail to me this 'black cloud' feeling. At this point in time you may have asked yourself if what you are feeling is normal. You may have random thoughts of wondering if you are crazy to feel this sadness.
What is normal after a voluntary pregnancy termination? It is not only normal, it is unavoidable for a deep sense of loss to eventually set in after abortion. It may be days, weeks, months or even several years, but as time passes the grief begins.
I don’t know if you’ve had your 'black cloud day' yet, but I remember the exact time of my black cloud. It was a cold March day. I was grocery shopping, in a hurry of course. I rounded a corner with my cart, almost running into another woman with a cherub-looking little girl sitting the baby seat. Suddenly, a sense of sadness overcame me that I was unable to shake off. It was a black cloud of epic proportions and it followed me around for days.
This deep sense of loss was so incredibly real and it so blind-sided me that I didn’t know what to do with it. Of course I had no one to talk with. I shouldered the responsibility for the decision. There was no allowance to me feel anything.
It would be several years before I learned two important things: 'I was not alone' and 'the black cloud of deep sadness' was normal.
There are a lot of resources available. You can Google on 'grief after abortion' and find several very helpful programs. If you want to start the journey in the safety of your own home you can try the self-help plan I created so that you would not be alone and have tools to guide you through the process. All materials are non-judgmental and non-political or religious in nature. Additionally, download a brochure I created to educate yourself or others about voluntary pregnancy termination and disenfranchised grief.