That empty feeling hasn’t gone away and I don’t think it ever will

Dearest bear cub, I love you and miss you more than I thought it was possible to love or miss anything. Especially something I never really had.

I’m so sorry about what I did. Taking care of you was the most important job I’ve ever been given but I didn’t recognise that until it was too late.

Old pre-conceptions and new fears got the better of me when I should have been brave enough to overcome them on your behalf. I was scared about being alone, about how I would support you, about it meaning an end to fun and spontaneity, although ultimately I knew I could have handled all of those things.

Mostly I was worried about having to share you with someone who didn’t love me and who already had a family of sorts. I knew it would break my heart to have to hand you over time and time again and be excluded from half of your life.

I tried to think of this as some sort of understandable protective instinct. Actually it was just incredibly selfish of me. Yes, I would have missed out on half of your life but because of me now you have to miss out on all of it.

Looking back I’m not sure either of us tried hard enough to work things out. Or maybe we tried too hard and ignored our feelings. It seemed impossible to know what the “right” thing to do was.

Now I think that it wasn’t so much a case of right vs. wrong or even head vs. heart. It was basically a case of fear vs. love and I was weak enough to let fear win.

I hate myself for that. If I had a chance to do things over then I would never give up on you.

I relive memories of those nights when you were still here... I would lie awake with my palms resting on my stomach and my mind adrift in the future and it felt like you were laying there with me. I could sense you as a blissful and comforting presence.

It was so weird to be by myself and yet not feel at all alone. I should have taken more notice of that feeling because it was important. It was the only thing that mattered really.

When I got home from the hospital it was gone and there was an overwhelming emptiness inside me instead. It was the worst day of my life. That empty feeling hasn’t gone away and I don’t think it ever will.

What I did to you has repercussions that will last as long as I live. There will always be a space in my life, filled with unanswerable questions. Your ghost will haunt every milestone in my life, every significant date and every symbolic reminder.

I thought a termination would be an ending but it’s just as much a beginning... of an imagined life. I won’t ever stop wondering about who you would have turned out to be. I know you would have amazed me.

Even though you never grew bigger than a bean you already amazed me and changed the way I feel about everything forever.

I will love you always and I think your would-be Dad will too. I know he feels guilty about letting you go. Losing you will always be my greatest mistake and biggest regret.

The truth is that you deserved better parents than either of us, parents who were strong enough to fight for you. We let you down and words will never express how sorry I am. You’ll never be far from my thoughts or my heart.

Sleep tight. xxx

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