"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.)