What my pain taught me about someone else’s

Broken Hearts All Around

Broken Hearts All Around

I was married for the past 26 Valentine’s Days so it was with trepidation that I went into this past Thursday as a new widow – not sure of what I would coast through and what would hurt me. I bought gifts for my family members and received a few dear things from kind people was proud of how well I was getting through the day until I took my smart phone to the cafeteria at lunch to check my Facebook.

As I scrolled through my newsfeed I came upon an image I never expected and was most certainly NOT prepared for. Someone had posted a photo of my husband’s rose covered grave which made it onto my newsfeed….his rough, rocky fresh grave …so rocky that looking at it the day of the burial so so visually disturbing that I was compelled to fix it as best I could. With no topsoil or sod available to me in my in my rental car and black dress, the best I could do was to cover the grave with dozens of roses my friend and I got from the nearby grocery store.

To say that I was angry that she would post this photo with no warning or permission (on VALENTINES DAY?!) was an understatement, I felt violated and I was incensed. Those roses were not placed there for the world to see, they were a sacred gift from a wife to a husband to help a broken heart and cover an ugly fresh spot of dirt which that day had consumed my beloved never to be retrieved again.

I share this story with you because grief is so intense that it can be hard to even remember how intense it can be once you recover from your most recent bout of it. It was with a grievers heart that I read stories in the news this week about a young woman who died having a late abortion.

As a Catholic who values life with everything I am, I am against any extermination of life. There was, however, simply nothing gained or learned about the issue in any way by the obscene invasion of privacy that this young woman and her family suffered at the hand of the “ProLife” media.

The fact that a “safe, legal” late term abortion can be  dangerous is not news to anyone, nor is the fact that people cross state lines to do them. The reasons people have for these procedures are ones we could predict without even trying. The fact that the Physician performing these procedures has little respect for life is not a surprise.

What we did learn in the course of prying into the life of this family is how incredibly mean and self serving to our agenda we can be. The release of her name, image and story were touted as some exciting scoop. Quick and instant information as well as access to photos of her found on the internet splattered her face, story, hometown, name of her employer, school history…everything on the internet – even photos of her funeral. I read nothing of her family being asked permission or granting consent for the story and photos that were used.

As if the photos of her wedding and funeral were not enough, someone found her online baby registry and even though the family took it down from the original site, some “clever” person had thought ahead to make a screen shot of it & posted it. What kind of a sick, vengeful person does this?

When I reflect on how painful it was for me to see even one thing about my late husband posted on the internet without my knowledge or permission, I truly cannot fathom what this family has been through. The very type of person we claim to defend is the person we used and violated.

She is being called a “victim” of the abortionist. If this is true why are we prying into her life and splattering her story all over…wouldn’t a “victim” deserve their privacy?

As a Nurse, I am acutely aware of confidentiality laws in healthcare. Those laws were made for specific reasons (with very stiff penalties) but if you think about them, they really are simply based in respectful decency. I don’t know where those who “broke the story” with her identity got the information and I have no idea why they seemed so proud of themselves.

This woman’s story didn’t belong to anyone but herself and her family and we will never know if or how they might have shared because we stole it…we took what wasn’t ours to take and we used to because we thought it proved our point.

Or should I say THIER point because I no longer want to be associated with people who act like this. If you ask me if I believe that abortion solves issues of unplanned pregnancy and fetal illness, no I don’t think it does, but if you ask me if I am “ProLife” and align myself with people who are this mean to the grieving, then your answer is “no, I’m NOT ”.


  1. Vicky

    It’s funny because today I was remembering how involved I was with the prolife movement when I was young and how different it seems now. Full of hate. I would never get involved again or let my kids, like my parents encouraged me to be. And that is just sad to me.

  2. We have had periods of being more involved and less involved…now I gravitate towards the constructive. We’re really blessed here to have local Homes for women in Crisis that we can support where women find love and support. I can’t stand groups who do nothing but throw stones.

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