NDREA RONCATO is an Italian actor, comedian and television personality. He aborted his son approximately 30 years ago. He now opposes abortion: “I miss having a child. It was the mistake of my life. When I was very young, I had the chance to become a father, to have a child…but I had him aborted. Now, I’ve become very strongly against abortion. I even wrote a book for this child who was never born, which I called: I Would Have Liked You.”
Here are a few lines from a poem he wrote to the child he murdered so long ago:
I would have liked you to be small, so I could hug you.
I would have liked you to be big, so I could lean on you.
I would have liked you to be looking out the window in winter, watching the snow begin to fall.
I would have liked you to be lying under the covers during a storm, silent so you could hear the sound of the rainfall.
I would have liked you to be kind to dogs, so you could pet them, and affectionate with the elderly, so you could love them.
I would have liked to sing to you, to make you fall asleep, and continue the dream that woke you up.
I would have liked you to be at my side, so the two of us could walk in silence, trying to understand what the other was thinking inside and couldn’t manage to say.
I would have liked to teach you all the things I don’t know how to do.
I would have liked you to leave someday, so I could have the pleasure of seeing you come back home.
I would have liked you near me on the day I must leave this world.
Paolo Antônio Briguet, a Brazilian journalist, also regrets aborting his child. He wrote this letter:
Today, you would be turning 27 years old, if I had allowed you to be born. Each day is born, flowers are born, the morning star is born […] but you were not born, through my fault, my most grievous fault.
Your mother, who today lives in far-off lands, really hesitated. A doctor that we knew tried to dissuade us from that fateful idea—now I see clearly he was an angel of God—but we refused to be moved. I even got angry at that friend, for saying “no” to the crime that I was about to commit. Oh, how I would like to go back in time and say to him, “Thank you, doctor! Thank you! You are going to be this baby’s godfather.”
But time machines don’t exist; they aren’t part of the structure of our reality. The only way we have to travel in time […] is our own soul. In those days, however, I didn’t believe in the existence of the soul. I was crazy, crazy with egoism and vanity.
You were just waiting to see the light, my son; however, what came was darkness. I denied you the morning, the afternoon, the night, the dawn, water, heat, cold, books, symphonies, poems, friendship, the bridge in our city, the smell of rain falling on the earth, lullabies, bread and wine. I denied you smiles and tears. I denied you eyes, hands, a heart. I denied you the right to cry out in the darkness, “Mom!” I denied you the right to be born. The only thing I didn’t deny you, was that which I could not: The Passion of the Resurrection. That already belonged to you. If only I had known. If only I had known that it hurts. If only I had known that it hurts so much, son. I was your Herod.
I write these words at the distance of a quarter of a century, but it seems as if my sin (my crime) had been committed yesterday. Your goodbye is omnipresent, your presence is an eternal goodbye in my life. Yes, the wound was cured by the hands of the merciful doctor, but the scar is so great that it fills my whole soul. I am the scar of my sin. Look: everything I do is an act of reparation. One day I hope to meet you, son. According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, all of us will be reborn at the age of Christ. Today, somewhere in the universe, you exist at the age of 33. You have a name, a face, and a voice that are unknown to me. Sometimes I wonder who you would have been: a doctor, an engineer, a musician, a mathematician, a philosopher, a professor, a priest, a worker, a carpenter? How you would love your youngest half-brother, born so many years later! It doesn’t matter now, son. Your profession will always be to be born. On the day we meet, my son—after leaving behind the sorrow of this life—I will hold your hands in mine, and hug you with all my strength. And you already know what my first words will be: “Forgive me.” Son, sometimes I think that you exist to forgive me. That’s the only way I would be able to contemplate the face of God. And so, every day for me is the day of the unborn child. Every day is the day.