‘Christmas is especially difficult because, for some reason, I seem to remember more strongly,” Hannah says. “When I look at the set Christmas table, I remember that there should be other children there, but because I didn’t know any better, and I certainly didn’t trust God, today they are not sitting at their place at the table,” she continues. “For this I am so sorry.”
Hannah is one of many women whose stories are told in Anne Lastman’s book, Redeeming Grief.
’Tis the season to be sensitive. There’s a lot of pain out there.
“From the moment of conception to the last breath taken naturally, the dignity of human life cannot be compromised,” Anne Lastman writes. She does not write from a political position, but from a deep conviction drenched in the knowledge of experience.
As you’ve already seen, she lets women tell their stories of pain and forgiveness. She does so with the utmost motherly love, a deeper love than we tend to go into in abortion debates — which are so perversely insensitive, given what an intimate violence it is we veil under the inhumane cloak of “choice.”
From her nearly 20 years counseling post-abortive women in Australia, Lastman insists that our culture is drowning in post-abortion pain. In Redeeming Grace, she writes: “My contention is that, not merely ‘some,’ but to some degree everyone who has had an abortion will be affected” and that “those surrounding them, that is, family, friends, colleagues, abortionists, staff, and society” are as well. The “whole of society is affected,” Lastman writes, “because of the sheer number of abortions.” Abortion is deemed a “right,” and it’s killing us.
Lastman talks to National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez.
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: What is a “grief grounded in haloes”?
LASTMAN: I “heard” these words one day as I was listening to the pain being expressed by one of my clients. Her grief was so deep that I felt it touched and melted her soul. The type of grief which God can see as a deep regret. I felt a halo surrounding her and her pain.
LOPEZ: You write, “It is almost as if two people died on the surgical table, one physically and one spiritually and emotionally.” How do you explain that some women say they have no regrets? It seems patronizing to assume every woman who says this is in denial.
LASTMAN: I accept fully that some women feel no regret following abortion, and this even makes sense, because the immediate difficulties which the pregnancy presents are suddenly gone. However, abortion is always situation specific, and the situations causing the decision to abort will not always be there. I do not think that every woman who feels she has done the right thing is in denial, but I do think that a woman is not designed to take her child to die, and, in time, in silence, as circumstances change, there will be a remembrance and regret. This I believe is good thing. It’s redeeming grief.