Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 169–172 | Cite as

A Genetic Counselor’s Story of Birth, Grief, and Survival

  • Cecelia Bellcross
Professional Issues


I wrote this essay when my son was 5 years old, when I still practiced prenatal counseling. He is now 18. I had intended at the time to share it with my genetic counseling peers via some form of publication, but somehow never could find the courage to do so. When the call came from the journal for “Defining Moments”, I knew it was time, and I was ready.

Summer, 1997

Long has this narrative been in my heart to write. Many times the words and thoughts formed in my mind, but I could not seem to put pencil to paper, fingertips to keyboard. Perhaps now, enough time has passed that I may put my thoughts in writing without the emotion overwhelming me. Time—the hurdle, time—the healer. I write these words now for myself, as a catharsis, a meditation. I write them for all the genetic counselors who have ever shared my fear and pain, through their own experiences or those of their patients. I write them for all the families, couples, and individuals who have been, or will be,...


Defining moment Genetic counseling Grief Loss Resilience 

Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human GeneticsEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA

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