The day after Halloween is called All Saint’s Day in the church and it is a day for remembering the people who touched our lives while alive. And so I was pretty sensitive and sad that day, although it took me until nightfall to figure out way.  It would have been nice to figure out why I was so sensitive and emotional earlier in the day, so I could have taken better care of myself, but oh well-I can’t change the past.

My church had celebrated All Saint’s Day two days before and fortunately I attend a feminist Christian congregation, so it is perhaps the only church I know where I can speak openly about what I am experiencing without fear of judgment.  That means more than words can express.  We got an opportunity to share a memory that involved a person that we wanted to honor and I shared how I have decided to remember my fetus.

I guess because I have always wanted a girl, the fetus always seemed female to me.  At first, I hesitated naming the fetus I had aborted, but I needed a way to give meaning to what I’d done.  I just could not escape the fact that I had aborted something that had been alive and precious and I felt giving it a name would help give its short existence some meaning.

So what should I name it?  I had no personality traits to go on-no romantic story to inspire me, so I did the best I could-I figured out what her birth signs would have been and tried to make do with that.  I discovered that she would have been an Aries and so I named her Ariel. I think the name is beautiful and I like the connection with the story of The Little Mermaid for two reasons-1. In the original, Hans Christian Anderson version, the little mermaid is fascinated by souls and falls in love with the idea of having a human soul herself (as merpeople do not possess souls), which does seem apropo. 2. In both the original and the Disney version, the little mermaid has a beautiful voice and loves to sing.  I also love to sing and I would like to imagine that that might be something that I would pass onto my own child.  That, and Love.

The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen