The Philosophy of Choice

The prompt at dVerse Poets Pub yesterday was offered by Brian Miller, back from a 5-month break from the pub. During his absence, he took a philosophy class and so is calling us to write about philosophy, with the requirement that our poem be titled “The Philosophy of ______” or “A Philosophy of ______.”

When I first read the prompt, I thought of writing something lighthearted and funny. The title “The Philosophy of Dogs” came to mind, but that’s as far as I got with that idea. I remembered that Bjorn once commented on one of my poems that my writing is better when I write from the heart. Although I do love dogs, and mine in particular, what is really on my heart these days is something much more serious. And so this poem was conceived.

The Philosophy of Choice

The philosophy of choice says
that the convenience of one life
is equally as important as
the continued existence of another

I once bought into this philosophy
and  I chose convenience
I had my whole life ahead of me
my college plans, my career, my life

And so I chose my convenience
and her death

I thought I was justified because
the conception was not my choice
It was forced upon me and so
I shouldn’t have to be inconvenienced
by this life I didn’t want

It was supposed to be so simple, so easy
but no one told me about the regret
the shame and the anguish that would come
that would inconveniently lead to depression
stealing seven years of my life
coloring every day thereafter

The tears I’ve cried over that one choice
would drown a small army of giants
Perhaps I had to cry every tear
she never got the chance to cry

The time for choosing is long past
But if I had it to do over again
I would choose my inconvenience
and her life

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


34 Responses

    • Thank you. I never thought I would write so much poetry, and I keep thinking of other posts I want to write, but all I seem to ever get done these days is the poetry. 🙂

  1. Perhaps ironically, I suspect that she has shaped the person you have become, shaped that person for the better as you have lived through grief for her. Imagine the joyous reunion ahead.
    God bless you for sharing, my friend.

  2. Bjorn was right.
    You have spoken bravely and freely from your heart…the result is very touching. This not only benefits the reader, but I hope it has some healing factors for you too. (((hugs)))

  3. This is so powerful. I’m so glad you shared this, for you and for us. I wish I could hug you.

    These sections are so moving:

    “The tears I’ve cried over that one choice
    would drown a small army of giants”

    “But if I had it to do over again
    I would choose my inconvenience
    and her life”

    The beauty in making choices you wish you could change is your ability to walk with others who are or were in similar situations. Our mistakes and pain enable us to counsel and liberate others. You can turn your hurt, and hers, into good by helping another mom through this, whether by helping her decide or going through the grieving process with her. So much love for you and your sweet baby. I believe that her soul is eternal and that you can be reunited with her. I will pray for you tonight, Miss Linda. I’m sending you very deep and genuine hugs, sweetheart. And so much mama love, from one to another.

    • Thank you so much for your prayers and hugs and encouragement. They mean so much to me. I do hope that God will help me to comfort and show compassion to others so that what I’ve been through doesn’t go to waste. Peace, Linda

  4. And by God’s amazing grace, you have become fearless, Linda! Thanks for sharing your painful truth with clarity in hopes it will spare another the same grief. Women are also victims of this “philosophy of choice”.

  5. Another very heartfelt poem, Linda. As you said the time for choosing is long past, but I think others can learn from your experience and your honesty and humanity!

  6. A testament to strength and value of your heart.. spirit.. and soul.. is the regret.. the anguish.. the depression.. and the value you place on all human existence.. as well as your courage to talk to this.. in both secular and Christian life.. in public.. for all the world to hear..:)

    And another lesson in this.. not often spoken with courage in ‘Christian’ public.. is that in SOME of ‘our’ ‘Christian’ Churches.. when ‘we’ stand up and suggest that people who are natural GOD created homosexuals do not have a HOLY right to enter into the sacred sacrament of marriage.. ‘we’ too are aborting human life in heart.. spirit and soul..

    And truly many cases of abortions are an indirect or DIRECT result of people in marriages having children.. who are not innately cut out to do THAT by the GOD of Nature.. and would never naturally do it.. if not forced by the heavy handed rule of patriarchal controlling.. subjugating religions.. cultures and churches through fear.. for power.. reproductive control.. and materialistic gains.. who do NOT know and UNDERSTAND IN LOGIC AND FEELING the ALL natural rules of GOD..

    And to be clear i have no idea what your stances OR FEELINGS are on these specific ADDITIONAL issues.. but the TRUTH will set all of US free to have greater potential at a happy.. thriving existence.. in well being with GOD.. as social cooperating human animals hand-in-hand.. no less than Bonobos who in nature.. overall.. Love greater in the TRUTH AND LIGHT of what ‘Christ’ really is.. than human beings.. overall.. sadly enough in THAT Truth and Light..:)

    Anyway.. thank you for your inspiring words OF FEELING.. as Truth in Light creates greater and greater LiGHT in life for HUMAN BEING..:)

  7. What a honest and heart warming read. I thank you for sharing your thoughts, and hope this has at least released a little burden off from your grieving heart. Best wishes.

  8. The Japanese are very sensible, they have rituals to honour the sacrifice. I think much harm is done in the West by pretending it is just a procedure.

    • Somehow I don’t think a ritual would make the killing of my child any easier to live with. At least I hope it wouldn’t. But I do agree that acknowledging it isn’t just a procedure would be a good thing.

      • Rituals allow us to grieve. Funerals are for the living, not the dead.

        Until the Seventies miscarried babies were often disposed of and burned until it was realised that this caused enormous trauma because parents had no chance to grieve. We need rituals for grieving and processing. In Australia and I imagine elsewhere things began to change quickly with photographs being taken, perhaps of just a hand or a foot, and parents being encouraged to hold the baby. Parents are now encouraged to have funerals for miscarriages etc.

        Abortion perhaps even more so requires rituals which allow people to grieve and process and the Japanese sensibly acknowledge that.

      • You’ve focused on this idea of ritual several times now, as if having a ritual somehow makes choosing abortion okay, as long as you grieve properly. But I’m curious, have you ever personally experience either a miscarriage or an abortion? I have experienced both and they are not the same. They do not evoke the same feelings at all. The only “ritual” that I can see being of any benefit when a mother has chosen to kill her own child is one of confession, repentance, and plea for forgiveness. It’s not a mere issue of grieving.

      • You misunderstand, Linda, ritual does not make choosing abortion okay, although sometimes abortion is okay because there really is no other option, but ritual allows and enables us to process the experience, effectively.

        No, I have not miscarried or had an abortion but women very close to me have and I have been a student of psychology for decades, particularly in the area of grief.

        There are psychological maxims which apply to grief in general, whatever the source, and it is evident, demonstrably, that rituals which support us in our grieving are highly effective, whether that grieving is conscious or unconscious.

        Your comment regarding the ‘ritual’ for abortion sounds very judgemental and punitive and quite fundamentally Christian actually. Why would a woman who has chosen this course require forgiveness? Why would she need to repent? And to whom would she need to confess? Even if she believed in some sort of God, any God would know all so that it happened would be a given.

        It sounds as if you think there is someone or something out there who has been offended and who delegates forgiveness.

        I don’t believe in such things and think they are counter-productive for any grieving or resolution in the psyche.

        The women I know who have had abortions did not do it lightly and some were so at peace with their choice that grieving was minimal.

        I fully respect the right of any woman to choose if she has a abortion or not and consider it basically her business.

        My concern over abortion not being recognised for what it is, the sacrifice of a life, is merely for the psychological damage that can do, to lesser and greater degrees, depending on the woman involved.

      • I did not misunderstand you; I disagree with you. You say that “sometimes abortion is okay because there really is no other option.” There is always another option, another choice. I believe that, except when the choice is between the life of the mother and the life of the child (which is rarely the reason for abortion), abortion is always the wrong choice. It amounts to the person God has put in the position to protect and nurture a child instead killing that child. And yes, I believe in our Creator. The fact that you do not does not make Him any less real. The denial of His existence and sovereignty is at the heart of the philosophy of choice and the devaluing of life.

      • Sorry, but you did misunderstand. You suggested I was saying ritual made abortion okay. I was not. That was your misunderstanding.

        I was saying ritual supports, allows and enables the event to be processed in a healthier and more effective manner.

        No, there is not always another option. Some women get pregnant and they have no financial, emotional, physical support for the pregnancy, let alone what is required to give a baby up for adoption.

        More to the point, for some women it is worse to have a child and give it away than to terminate a life before there is a baby or a child. That is their right.

        In the best of worlds there would be no abortions but we do not live in the best of worlds. For some babies brought to birth there is a life of horrors which is far worse than never having lived it.

        And you clearly believe in a conventional God. I don’t and neither do many women. I know women who believe that the soul enters the baby when life becomes viable and abortions are performed prior to that. They apologise to the Soul, who understands anyway, and acknowledge what they are doing, believing, as makes sense, that if this Soul is meant to come as their child it will come again.

        I respect the beliefs of others but just as I do not believe in imposing my beliefs on others, nor by judging from my perspective, I think it is wise for anyone who holds a religious belief to do the same.

        There is no proof that the conventional version of God exists and in fact, most of the concepts of God in all religions are beyond reason in terms of such a being existing and are really God made in the image of petty men.

        It must be harder for someone like yourself who believes in this sort of God but abortion as an option, is handled differently by women who do not believe in this sort of judgemental and punitive ‘father’ God.

        I have a great deal of time for God as an intelligent, organising entity, but that has nothing to do with religion and neither is it defined as gender.

        It is not the denial of that sort of God which has led to the devaluing of life but denial of our inherent spiritual nature and our connectedness. But I digress.

        Take care, we have diverged, but life would be boring if everyone thought the same.

  9. What a difficult subject. You are very brave. There is a daily grief, and you have expressed yours eloquently. But sometimes, also, there are “necessary” griefs and that is what you endured at the time. And grace is–or will be–what heals. Thank you.

  10. Linda, my heart goes out to you. The people who offer so much advice prior to the choice never seem to touch upon how long a woman carries that pain afterwards. It impacted one of my family members profoundly. I applaud your courage in writing about it. That seems to me a sign that perhaps seven years of tears have begun to heal the wound. We cannot change the past. But what I know about souls says there is a baby angel hovering somewhere nearby who is distressed by your sorrow and wants you to be happy and all right. Even the souls who do not arrive here have their purpose, and they do get to come to earth when the time is right. I believe this profoundly. Also I believe that the souls we are meant to meet, we meet, and you will see her again on another plane.

    • I do believe that I will see her (I always assume it’s a her, I don’t know for sure) in Heaven one day. In fact, it was when I mourned the loss of my third child to miscarriage and found comfort in knowing I’d see that child again that I realized truly what I had done. I have healed, or else this poem would not have been possible. My hope is to help others, like your family member, to heal as well, to not feel alone in the loss and the forgiveness. Peace, Linda

  11. Wowza, this is heavy, Linda. God is merciful and full of grace, so you have that. I had a friend long ago, a non-Believer, who made this “choice” 3 times because of the selfishness of her husband. Mind-blowing, right? The marriage didn’t survive, and then he died shortly after the divorce. I know how badly she wanted those children, so the lasting weight of heartache must be indescribable. God bless you BIG today and always–Dell

  12. Mmm. You are writing of the child you did not keep, the one you talked about a few weeks ago. Hard topic to touch – and comment on, knowing the significance to you. We are a product of our choices. Thankfully there is grace – something we need not only accept from the creator, but that we need to learn to accept from him.

    Hugs Linda.

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