I Never Got to Grieve You

I’m at an age where people my age are starting to lose their children to death- disease, accidents, addictions, suicides, etc.

With their social media posts, their grieving, their pictures, all of which I believe are necessary and healthy coping mechanisms…I was denied the right to any of this. I never got to grieve my daughter- openly. I carried her for nearly 10 months. I had hoped she was trying to stay with me forever. But as soon as she was here, she was gone. To better people, far away, where my family would not have to live with the shame I had brought on them. A teenage white girl in the south pregnant by a black boyfriend. I tried all I knew to keep her with me. I had no leverage.

After she was gone, and my heart didn’t stop as I was sure it would, I had to continue life. I was told countless times that life would go back to normal. If I knew then, what I know now, suicide would have been taken more seriously. But I thought I should become someone to make her proud. That was the only thought that kept me going for years. The only thought that got me to work every day. The only thought that would eventually pay my mortgage. The only thought that put the bottle down when I had just enough to be numb.

I have grieved for her every second of every day of every year of my life since. Even when I’m laughing, there’s a small piece of me deep down grieving for her. Laughs have never been real laughs since losing her. And I’ve had to keep all that grief bottled up inside of me for so many years. My parents didn’t want to face the daughter they had so purposely broken. My extended family would shut me down with their get over it-s, it happened a long time ago-s, and at least she’s alive-s.

Even now, over 20 years later, with her near me, I grieve. I grieve who we should have been and everything we lost together. I’ve been a little more bold in my own social media posts; sharing small bits of my story. But the world will never understand grieving the living. Grieving what they perceive to be a reunion.

It’s almost her birthday. It’s a day that I celebrate followed by the day that she was so quickly out of my life. I still can’t post publicly how much I miss that baby and that young girl. No one would understand.

“At least you’re both alive.”

“At least you have each other now.”

Something sacred died when we were separated from each other. I know that. I’ve always known that. I have grieved the death of that sacredness alone for over 20 years and I’m certain I will grieve that death alone for many more.


11 thoughts on “I Never Got to Grieve You

  1. You are not alone! If you have not already, read: The Girls Who Went Away by Fessler; Wakeup Little Susie by Solinger; and American Baby. There are support groups for those of whi grieve in silence and alone. Concerned United Birthparents, for one…others on Facebook.




    1. Thank you, Mirah. Your voice has meant so much to me. We’re actually friends on social media. I’ve just kept this blog as a place for my overflow feelings with no name advertised. I’m so grateful for the mom groups and the friends I have made. They have kept me alive more than they could ever know. I did read Ann’s book and met Leslie M. (In the book) and have had some memorable and cherished times with her! I got to see Rickie speak and I’ve been meaning to read her book. And also have American Baby on my list.


    2. Iโ€™m just reading The Girls Who Went Away – Being one of those girls many years ago I think itโ€™s a great book!!


  2. Words cannot explain how much I appreciate what you wrote. There is so much truth, so many things that needed to be said. The irreparable damage. Our broken selves. The lack of validation.


  3. I am having a hard time forming what I want to say after reading this. It is powerful, raw, heartbreaking and so much more. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am adoptee who reunited with my mother and then she died by suicide in 2018 as the grief was too much. Thank you again. ๐Ÿ’— Please keep sharing your story.


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