A woman sitting on a wooden table.

GriefSPEAK: Mari’s Musings – Mari Nardolillo Dias

By: Mari Nardolillo Dias

Rock a bye baby on the treetop

When the wind blows the cradle will rock

When the bough breaks, the baby will fall

And down will come baby, cradle and all.

The conundrum of Roe vs. Wade is not clear cut. At least not to me. It is no surprise that I have had several clients grieving an abortion. Although it was a choice for many, it does not erase the pain and loss of what could have been. None of them seem proud. They range in age, social class, and ethnicity. Yet their pain is universal and palatable. Some are grieving the loss due to an abortion that took place over a year, and some, years later. When we are at a different age and psychological development, we may experience a delayed grief. I wish I had a Zamboni to clean and smooth the surface of their grief in order to melt their frozen emotions and get to the hard stuff. The core.

However, I also work with women in recovery from addiction. Some have used abortion as birth control, having up to five in their young lives. Others chose to have their babies, who unfortunately have been taken away from them and housed in foster care or adopted. Their substance abuse served as the impetus for losing the children they chose to keep. These girls have medicated any and all emotions with drugs. Recovery is analogous to a newborn seeing and feeling the world for the first time. The ache they feel for their children and their need for reconnection, forgiveness and amends, is their largest emotion. Some have given their children up to human trafficking for the promise of a “hit.” When the drugs are gone, the pain, guilt and remorse become very loud.

I prefer to encourage women to be proactive and aware. Keep a morning after pill at the ready. Try to refrain from unprotected sex. Yet, mistakes occur in the heat of the moment. Condoms break. And the result is a pregnancy. A human being that we are responsible to raise. Some are incapable of raising a child. Some are capable but unready or unwilling. It never ceases to amaze me that as a society, we require training and oftentimes licenses for virtually everything. Except parenting. Parents have an overwhelming lifelong responsibility. It’s a role that cannot be taken for granted. One needs to be prepared.

Pro Life or Pro Choice. A choice that is not cut and dry. There are many variables and cases need to be taken on an individual basis. Do you prefer the federal government mandate abortion laws? Or states? Are you a proponent of the heartbeat law? Fifteen-week law? Up until birth and after? Let’s hear your musings. Thank you for reading mine.


To read more articles for RINewsToday by Mari Nardolillo Dias, go here:

Dr. Mari Dias is a nationally board-certified counselor, holds a Fellow in Thanatology and is certified in both grief counseling and complicated grief. Dias is a Certified death doula, and has a Certificate in Psychological Autopsy.

She is Professor of Clinical Mental Health, Master of Science program, Johnson & Wales University. Dias is the director of GracePointe Grief Center, in North Kingstown, RI.  For more information, go to:


Dias is the author of GriefSPEAK, Vols. I and II