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Cupid’s arrow

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Grace O. Few things irritate me more than people griping about how much they hate Valentine’s Day. “It’s just a Hallmark holiday,” they whine, “Why can’t people say I love you every day instead of waiting for Valentine’s Day? I hate chocolates. I never have a date. Roses are a waste of money. It’s stupid.” These petty complaints crop up every year. And I have to stuff my response, resist the temptation to stun the complainers out of their self-absorbed grousing about how tough it is for them to tolerate another Valentine’s Day. So I let them sulk about romance, or polish their tiresome hipster cred […]

Congenital Heart Defects

Even Better Than Before

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By Grace O. It was a full six weeks after making ending my wanted pregnancy before I had even a glimpse of feeling normal. My loss was in February, 2000 after learning that my baby had irreparable heart defects and Down syndrome. I had found the support website, but it took me until April to screw up my courage and share my story with strangers via the old Yahoo listserv, where our grief support group was at that time. That was when my healing actually began. The time before that was like being at the bottom of an ocean of grief. I carried a dishtowel with me to mop up the […]

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Catholic Doctrine & Merciful Choice

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Cathedral - Catholic Doctrine & Merciful Choice

Our Catholic priest gave us his loving support for our decision. He told us that in the face of hopeless suffering it is sometimes right to pray for death. By A Catholic Mother Our Catholic priest supported our choice to end our pregnancy. We’ve known this priest for years and have been through most of the sacraments with him. When we had pretty much made our decision, we asked him to come to our home so we could talk it over. My husband and I trust him and value his point of view. We weren’t asking for his blessing but wanted to know where we […]

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When God is Silent

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By Rev. Karen W. Burton Just lean on God … The words were whispered in my ear. My thoughts crystallized in the middle of that agonizing day. I thought, “How can I lean on someone I can’t find?” I figured it couldn’t get any worse. Our unborn son was diagnosed with a hypoplastic right ventricle at 28 weeks gestation. Joseph Allen “Joey” Burton was born on May 24, 1993 and died nine days and two heart surgeries later on June 2, 1993. I held him in my arms on that last day after we requested his life support be withdrawn. I held him for the first and […]

Congenital Heart Defects

A Voice for Shelby

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By Erin Greenough Shelby Madison Greenough came into this world without a sound. She never opened her eyes, or took a breath, but she had a voice. My voice. It is a cruel injustice that any parent should be asked to choose between the life and death of their dying child. My husband and I learned all to well the agony involved with such a barbaric request  when our second daughter, Shelby Madison, was diagnosed via ultrasound with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a severe congenital heart defect. Sitting in that ultrasound room, I felt the despair set in. My daughter was extremely sick, and there […]