Learning about Love through Death, Guest Post: Mandy

Today’s Guest Post is from Mandy of the awesome blog Healing Beyond Survival.  Please check out her site as you cannot help but be moved, inspired and educated there.

Learning about Love through Death

 The words so many women have said, “I gave up my child for adoption” don’t apply to me. True, I had a baby girl I named Hope when I was 15, but I didn’t give her up. She was taken from me against my will. I had planned to keep her. For 44 years I’ve held anger, sometimes rage, at those involved, including my parents, doctor, and social worker.

My anger hasn’t come from a place of not understanding (now) that I was too young to give this baby any kind of life that would have produced the woman she is today—especially considering the lack of support I had from a family sick with secret keeping. It was the deception; and being led to believe I’d be dressing my baby in the tiny, hand-me-down baptismal gown I took to the hospital for her to wear home.

Even when Hope found me years later and told me everything had turned out great for her, that she’d been placed in a wonderful, loving family and had no regrets for how her life had turned out, I didn’t believe it. My guilt and shame for allowing it to happen consumed me. I couldn’t believe that there could ever be a situation where a natural mother should be separated from her child. I believed that even if they lived in poverty, the physical connection between a mother and child is necessary for the healthy development of the child. And I knew first-hand the damage it had done to me, the mother, to lose the child.

This last week my daughter lost a family member—her brother. I’ve followed her and her adoptive family’s grief played out on Facebook and I’ve witnessed full-on love. She wouldn’t have experienced that had I kept her. My family barely acknowledged my brother’s suicide. When my mother died, I couldn’t get a straight answer about what happened to her ashes—my dad was too drunk. I don’t know if my dad was buried or cremated, none of the family was speaking to one another by then.  So when I watch my daughter’s family love and care for one of their own, see him through his journey until they know he’s safely passed to the other side, I’m grateful. Grateful for the family she knows will always be there for her, and that she can trust. I feel a weight lift off me now. I know my daughter is in good hands. I only have one regret: I wish her family would have adopted me, too.



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My forthcoming memoir “Secrets In Big Country” is the story of childhood sexual abuse, betrayal and abandonment. I hope by sharing my story, I can reach adults molested as children, to let them know they are not alone. Together, we can overcome the shame that comes from secret-keeping.


About the author

I am a King without a Kingdom, in a world with many masters, wrapped in the spoils of a jealous heart, and my people’s callous laughter.


  1. I have never read anything like this before, I too would have wanted what she had, maybe the one thing the parents did right–but at what cost? At what cost. I am more than moved, I am shaken.

  2. Thank you for writing this incredibly powerful piece. I am angry that you were forced to give up your child and sad that you had such a painful childhood. I wish you had been adopted into your daughter’s adoptive family too!

    I love the way you write and want to read your book. Will it be available on amazon.com?

    1. Karuna, I appreciate your comment. I am wrapping up my book now and hope it will be published this year. I’ll put it on my blog when it comes out. Writing the through the shame has been empowering. Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging this. When I wrote it I had no idea anyone would ever see it. I’m so touched by the comments and those who have visited my blog. All of YOU touch my life is such a powerful way.

  3. Both moving and raw. Thank you for sharing. I have a plethora of feelings regarding the subjects that you wrote about here, but I will stop here. I wish you the best as you pen your memoir, Mandy. Moreover, I wish you the liberation that comes from the transformation you will undoubtedly experience in TELLING it. Do tell it.

    1. SomerEmpress, thank you so much for your comment. I just ready your About Me and find you to be amazing. I just started reading a book called THE HAPPINESS PROJECT and your philosophy on life reminds me of where this book is going. I look forward to reading more of your blog. BTW–you are an incredible writer. Thank you for your kind words of support/encouragement.

      1. Thank you Mandy. How kind of you! I appreciate your visit as well as the follow. I look forward to reading more of your work. Enjoy the book you’re reading. One can never aspire to too much happiness! In some ways, it very well is a project. 🙂

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