"I'll never know you. I never got a chance..."

The letter and rose, shown below as a part of JFA's Stop and Think Exhibit, were originally found on a JFA Poll Table at Colorado State University in 2004.  This panel was first displayed at Colorado State University in 2016 in approximately the same location where the note was originally left.

Photo by Katherine Clark

The letter reads:

Dear Rilegh,
I will never know you
I never got a chance
But I love you so much
She was never going to tell me about you
She was going to pretend you never existed
When she told me
I was truly speechless
Iv never cryed myself to sleep before
But for the past 2 weeks
It’s the only way I’m able to sleep
Theres this void in my life now
a bottomless hurt
that I’ll never know you
you, my first child
I’ll never see you grow
I can’t bring you back
I don’t even know where you are
So I gave you a home
You’ll be with me forever
I love you so much
Your Father
Rest in Peace

Many women and men (such as the writer of this letter) deal with grief following an experience with abortion.  No matter where you currently stand on the moral question of abortion, consider these questions for a few moments:

  • How do you feel when you read this letter?  Can you empathize with the writer's experience?
  • Do you know anyone who has had an experience with abortion?  Have you ever asked if he/she would like to talk about it? 
  • How do you think that the current US laws and social norms related to abortion affect people struggling with grief after abortion?
  • Do you believe that a father's wishes should have more weight than they currently do in an abortion decision? Why or why not?
  • The writer intended this letter for his child, but states that the mother "was going to pretend [the child] never existed."  Do you believe this father really had a child?  Why or why not? 
  • When in development does the unborn deserve legal protection?

Share your thoughts on any of these questions in the comments section below or at our @7conversations Twitter page.

(See also JFA's "Healing after Abortion" page for more resources for helping friends with abortion in their past.)

Recent and Upcoming Events: April - September

Please pray with us that God will cause hearts and minds to change as a result of conversations created by our staff, volunteers, and audience members (partial list):

CO — 4/21-26 — Fort Collins – Seminars and Large Exhibit Outreach (3 Days) at CSU            

CA — 4/22 — Irvine – Presentation at SFLA California Leadership Summit — Steve Wagner

KS — 5/1 — Wichita — Presentations at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School

CA — 5/21-23 — Los Angeles — Seminar and Kiosk Outreach at UCLA

VA — 7/7 — Fredericksburg — Workshop at SFLA Wilberforce Program Kickoff — Steve Wagner

MD — 7/20 — Baltimore — Workshop for SFLA Regional Coordinators — Steve Wagner

MN — 9/30 — Chanhassan — Workshop — Steve Wagner

All Recent and Upcoming Events: JFA Event Calendar ; JFA Event Photos

Staff Updates: JFA Blog ; JFA's Facebook Page

JFA Prayer Team Updates: Sign up for prayer team updates.

Featured Resource to Equip Yourself - May

“Sam” was so rude at the start of his conversation with JFA trainer Rebecca Haschke that she nearly gave up talking to him altogether.  Despite her inner frustration, she repeatedly made a choice to love him and was surprised by the conversation that followed.  Rebecca shared the story in her letter, “A Lesson in Love — Part 1.”  As you read, notice how Rebecca sought to understand Sam, find common ground with him, and humbly share aspects of her own experience.  As pro-life advocates seeking to create good conversations, we should work to master these skills.  (Want to read the rest of the story?  We’ll feature Part 2 of the letter as next month’s free resource.)

Read Part 1 or Download a Printable Version here.

See More Dialogue Examples. 

Featured Conversation Starter - May

You can start a conversation with a friend in a natural way by sharing Steve Wagner’s recent post, “Identifying with Her Uncertain Future.”  The post features a beautiful painting by Mexican artist Saturnino Herrán (from JFA’s Art of Life Exhibit).  The post and painting can help us start a conversation with important points of common ground: Many women who find themselves pregnant are in very difficult situations, they feel that their future is very uncertain, and we need to take this into account by discussing abortion with sympathy and compassion for the women experiencing these things.  To view the painting and share it on social media, use the links below.  If you use this conversation starter, please let us know how it goes!

Share the Post: Twitter (@7conversations) ; JFA Blog ("Start the Conversation")


About the Making Abortion Unthinkable with JFA Resource Bulletin

For friends of JFA who ask, “What can I do to make abortion unthinkable?” this resource bulletin offers some answers.  Beyond supporting JFA financially, which enables JFA’s trainers and volunteers to create conversations that make abortion unthinkable at JFA’s events, you can PRAY for the conversations the JFA community is creating (including your own), PREPARE for conversations, and START conversations. 

Identifying with her uncertain future

"Uncertain future" from JFA's Art of Life Exhibit.

This panel from JFA's Art of Life Exhibit features "La ofrenda" ("The offering") by Mexican painter Saturnino Herrán (1913).  It may not be possible to know exactly what is pictured here, but since the marigold is a flower frequently associated with death in some Latin American and Hispanic cultures, this may be a funeral procession.  We can imagine that the woman and children pictured may be grappling with an uncertain future after the death of a husband and father.

Let's consider the woman who finds herself pregnant unexpectedly.  Many times she is facing a very uncertain future.  Will I be able to care for this baby?  What will happen to my prospects for a career or even my prospects to be able to eat and provide for myself if I give birth to a baby?  Will I be able to handle the pains of labor?  Will I be able to find a loving adoptive couple to care for this baby if I am not able?  Will I lose my scholarship and then be forced to work in menial jobs for the rest of my life because I had to abandon my education?  Will I be dependent on others instead of being able to care for myself?  Will my friends abandon me?  Will the father of this baby stick around or will he just move on because I'm no longer desirable to him?

Unless we've been in a situation of unplanned pregnancy, it may be difficult for us to identify with these sorts of feelings that a woman faces when she finds herself pregnant unexpectedly.  But we must try to identify with her and understand how difficult it is from her perspective to think about carrying the child to term and giving birth.  Do you agree that it is helpful to give attention to these fears a woman has when she faces the uncertain future a pregnancy presents to her?  How should this change the way in which we discuss abortion?  Do you agree with the panel above that makes the claim that facing an uncertain future is better than killing a child by abortion? 

(For more information about the painting, including a link to a high resolution image of the painting, see JFA's Art of Life Exhibit page.)