Moving Forwards

A post for World Childless Week

During the deepest years of my grieving, I felt frozen. Time was ticking on, inevitably, but I was just frozen, stuck in despair and desperation. Lost.

I’d lost any sense of who I was, any purpose, and any hope. It felt like that was how it would always be.

But, having done a lot of grieving and faced some very desolate times, I now feel like something is finally changing for me.

I have realised that some of the coping mechanisms that I turned to in my grief have accidentally become important parts of the new life that I am living now.

One of the main things that I have by my side now is creativity. During my darkest moments I felt least understood by others, least heard and least seen; I knew that I was crying out for a way to express my pain, and I realised that I needed to try art as a means of expression. I was very scared of this, having always ‘known’ from my earliest years that I had no creative ability. But I was very motivated to try and learn how to express my own pain. I was so lucky: I managed to find a wonderfully gentle and supportive drawing teacher, who nurtured my learning, soothed my fears, and bolstered my very shaky confidence – and somehow managed to turn me into an ‘artist’! Nobody has been more surprised by this than me! But it gives me such comfort to know, now, that I have this to turn to when I need to express something. And it is more than that – for the first time in years I feel a sense of excitement and achievement in my own abilities. Who knows where this new path might lead me? It will be exciting to find out where this takes me.

Something else that I depended on in my grief was nature. I’ve always felt a sense of deep connection with the natural world, and I’m often deeply moved by the beauty that is all around us, just waiting to be noticed. What I hadn’t expected to find, though, was how interconnected the natural world was with my grief. It turns out that great comfort can be found while grieving with nature. Trees, grass, water, the sky, and animals can soak up endless quantities of tears, can listen to my story, absorb my rage, bear witness to my despair – and always provide solidity, reliability, and strength in return. And an important learning for me, in observing the continuous cycle of death, decay, renewal, rebirth of nature: whenever something dies, something else always, always comes to life.

This has unexpectedly fostered in me a sense of spirituality in nature, the holiness that lies within anything wild, and so my grief journey has become a journey of spiritual exploration, almost by accident. I certainly never intended that to happen, but that’s what it has become. I find myself, now, taking fresh steps along this path. I am delighted that I am walking, now, not just with grief but with curiosity, a sense of joy, and a kind of grateful excitement about whatever discoveries lie ahead in my future.

There have been many other gifts that I’ve found along the way, which I carry with my now, such as the pleasure to be found in silence, in stillness, in solitude. The joy of wild swimming or stargazing. The comfort of deep, vulnerable connection with someone who can allow themself to also be vulnerable with me. Singing and dancing (both of which scared me in my ‘before’ life). I am more open now to adventure now, to pleasure, to joy, to grief. I am more alive than I was before. I am actually much more ‘me’ than I was before – this is something that I feel very grateful to have discovered.

I do not think that I would necessarily have made any of these self-discoveries if I had been busy raising a family these past ten years. I would have other joys, other gifts in my life, no doubt, but I’m not sure that I would have these. So, I am choosing to be grateful, as I step towards whatever exciting things lie ahead.

The End of the Line – Grief Tending for Childlessness

First event: Introductory evening, Thursday 17th September

I am happy to announce a series of grief tending events this autumn, specifically for people who are grieving their unwanted childlessness. See links at the end of this post for details on dates and booking.

My grief around childlessness is what brought me to grief tending. I was looking for a way to let what was eating me up inside flow through me, and I needed to feel safe and held by others and witnessed in my grief, rather than just crying in my bedroom at home, alone.

But what is grief tending in community, and why does grief need tending anyway?

Grief tending in community is a way of providing space for grief to come up, but in a safe and nurturing way. It can be witnessed by others; it feels like a rare thing, to feel truly acknowledged and supported while I grieve. 

When I participate in grief tending in community, I see the importance of spending time building up that sense of safety and trust in others, so that we know that going into our pain honestly and openly will be ok. I can have confidence that nobody will be judging me or attempting to diminish my loss. We each have our griefs, and we can give each other the gift of our attention, our understanding, and our support, without judging or interpreting or commenting on it. 

There is something precious about being trusted by someone else to witness their loss and their emotions. And, in turn, to trust them to witness me as I grieve. It has led me to a kind of freedom which I’ve found hard to find elsewhere – a freedom to go as deep as I need to, to let whatever is within me flow out, and to release it. I am tending to my grief, honouring it, welcoming it, and letting it flow through me because I see it as a core and essential part of my humanity, an expression of my love.

I welcome the freedom to speak of the exact nature of my grief, or not to. To write down my pain, or not to, to cry, wail, howl, scream and shout, or to be silent. To move my body in grief, or to remain still. Everything is welcome. Nobody’s grief is the same, and however we are in our grief is accepted and validated by the group. That, in itself, can be beautiful and can feel like a blessed relief. It is important to note that, just as each person’s grief experience is different, the reaction they have to this grief tending work will be different, too; it may not be the right choice for everybody. 

I have found such love and tenderness in this work – in taking responsibility to nurture each other’s grieving, and to offer support in whatever way is most needed. It has given me some power back, to own my feelings and to take care of the feelings of others. Rarely have I felt such connection with others as I have when doing work of this kind. 

What am I learning about grief?

I believe that, for me, grieving is a process of breaking myself open and, once opened, my heart is bigger and has more capacity than before. That means that there is room for more love, more joy, and more grief to flow. I feel more alive and open to the joy in the world, in a way I was not before my grief. I think I was pretty numb to any deep feelings before, but now I can embrace them.

Through my grief tending experiences, I am continuing to learn about grief and often find myself surprised at how it flows or how it doesn’t, and at what comes up for me. I’ve learned that grief isn’t something to be afraid of, and that if I open myself up to it, it doesn’t become a tidal wave to completely overwhelm me, as I used to fear. I used to worry that if I really let go and started to feel and to cry, then I would never ever be able to stop; I am learning that this isn’t the case. I’ve seen that there is just as much healing to be found in holding others and witnessing their grief, as there is in being held myself. 

I am learning that when I open myself up, even just a little bit, and let those feelings be felt, then I feel a little bit more alive than I was before. Yes, it is vulnerable, but if we take care to create a safe space, then I have learnt that there is no need to fear that vulnerability. The feelings themselves might be painful, but allowing them to flow can bring a surge of relief as well as the capacity to feel other things, things like joy and love and excitement. So different from before, when there was just a stuck feeling of dread about the grief – I knew it was in there, but I was too scared to go near it.

I’ve learned that there are many ways to connect with grief and that they work differently for each person – grief is such an individual thing and we might get in touch with our grief through writing, through talking, through movement, through singing, through touch, through ceremony, through nature connection, through silence. 

I am learning that there is no right way to grieve, and that it is important to acknowledge that everyone is in a different relationship with their grief. There is no competition about who is doing it ‘better’. Everything is welcome – however you feel is welcome. For some, numbness might be the overriding experience, and tears might not flow – that doesn’t mean they are not grieving or that they are not doing it ‘properly’. It is simply their experience, and grief tending could be just as beneficial for them as for those whose tears flow freely. Some may find themselves filled with anger and rage, and that is ok too. All feelings are welcome and valid. And I am learning that this work is not for everybody, and that is ok.

I am learning that, no matter how much grief flows through me, there will always be more to fill me up again. Grief isn’t something that I can just do and then be done with it and finished. It isn’t something like an illness that I can recover from. It is rather a part of me, like love is. It is something that I’ll carry with me through my life and the more I can recognise, tend to, and give space to this part of me, the better. There will always be things in life to grieve for, and if I can allow myself to do that, I’ll be more emotionally healthy, less afraid of the shadow parts of myself, and more resilient to what life brings. 

But “Is it really grief if nobody has died?”

I haven’t had a physical loss, a bereavement, but the loss of my unborn, unconceived children feels very real to me. For a long time I carried a feeling of shame and a need to hide the true nature of my loss behind vague statements, worried that if I revealed my story, nobody would be able to empathise with my grief and I would face judgement and minimising and attempts to fix me. One of the things that I have found hardest, in all of the grief work that I have done, is to speak to others about the exact nature of my loss – this is because I know that, to many, it doesn’t seem like a real loss at all. To me, of course, it feels very real and the grief is no smaller because my loss is more intangible than some. But I am usually careful about what I reveal to others. 

And I have experienced judgement, and minimising. I have experienced attempts to fix my problems, to reframe my situation, and a great deal of frustration from loved ones that I’m making ‘such a fuss’. 

The nature of this grief of childlessness, often called a disenfranchised grief, is such that it can be hard for others to empathise with us. 

How would it feel to have the chance to grieve in community with others who are grieving the same thing as me? What a relief it could be, to know that every single person in the circle understood the nature of each other’s pain and shared it in their own way. 

Of course, all of our stories are different, and we all feel differently about our losses, but I am dreaming of what healing could potentially take place, not just from sharing our own pain but from bearing witness to the stories of other people, others with whom we can truly empathise. 

This is why I am so excited about the forthcoming workshops: The End of the Line – Grief Tending for Childless People.

I am so looking forward to grieving together with others like me. This is the kind of opportunity that I have been searching for, for years. I cannot wait.

We are starting with an introductory evening on Thursday 17th September.

Followed by two half-day grief tending workshops, on 24th September and 17th October, and then a ‘deep dive’ weekend on 7th-8th November.

For further details and bookings see our Facebook page or the grieftending.org website or download our pdf flyer:

I Wish Someone Would Ask Me…

Sometimes I wish somebody would ask me…

What does it feel like to be me? How do I manage to get out of bed in the morning; how do I find a good enough reason to bother? How do I keep doing it day after day, when sometimes it feels like there is nothing stretching out ahead of me in my life but a succession of further losses and then death.

I wish they would ask me what I have to look forward to, what my dreams are, what my hopes are. Ask me to explain what it feels like when all hope has gone, when your reason for being, your identity, and your sense of who you are in this world has shattered. What is left?

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I wish they would ask me how I motivate myself to go to work – who am I earning my money for? What is the point of doing it, day in, day out? Ask me why I continue to keep in touch with friends, with family, when their conversation, their presence, the circumstances of their lives can bring so much pain.

Ask me how I manage to leave my house anymore, when all around me I feel bombarded with the sight of people who have achieved my dearest wish, seemingly effortlessly. Ask how it feels when it seems like the universe is rubbing my nose in it, delighting in shoving things in front of me that just emphasise what I cannot have. How do I survive it? How do I not howl and scream when I finally pluck up the courage to venture out of the house and maybe go and sit in a café, only to find a couple with a newborn baby come and sit at the next table. Or how it feels to settle in for a long train journey, looking forward to some peace, and then the elderly women behind me spend hours talking of nothing but the joys of motherhood and how lucky they are to be grandmothers and how amazing their grandchildren are and what a precious and important job being a mum is. What does it feel like to be trapped by the ‘normal’ world in that way? What is that like – the feeling that there is no escape, no safe place in this world anymore? Ask me what it is like to feel tortured in my own home when new neighbours move in next door, and they have a baby and another on the way, and the walls are thin so I hear crying in the night, and when the sun shines I hear laughing and playing in the street, and all I want to do is close my window and shut the curtains and pretend that I am not here.  What is it like to run away from my own home because it no longer feels like the only safe place I have in the world?

Ask me how it is that my eyes cannot rest on a baby or a child or a pregnant woman anymore – they seem to just slide over her or him and then I have no choice but to look the other way. Or why I can’t enjoy watching tv anymore or films, or reading novels, or joining in conversations. Ask me how it feels to walk down the street and feel like I am tiptoeing through a minefield – because at any moment an unexpected blast of pain could assault me.

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

I wish somebody would ask me how it feels when I’m at a party, or a conference, or on the bus and somebody says, ‘do you have children?’, or, ‘do you have a family?’, or, ‘how many kids do you have?’, or some such ‘innocuous’ question, and I have no good way to answer without killing the burgeoning conversation, or making up some lie, or revealing my deepest heartbreak to a stranger.

Ask me what people say when they learn I am childless. Does it make me feel better when people say ‘have you considered adoption’, or, ‘lucky you – mine are nothing but trouble’, or ‘if you want it enough, you will find a way’, or ‘there’s always hope’, or ‘you can have mine if you like’? Does it help when friends say, ‘I don’t understand why you are still grieving this’, or when a family member says, ‘I do wish you’d make an effort to be cheerful – you’re bringing everybody down’?

Ask me whether it hurts me when all of my colleagues in the office joke or complain about something their kids got up to, or the fact that they have to attend yet another tedious nativity play, or how tired they are because their baby is teething; or when they coo over the latest photo or talk about maternity leave or due dates or birth plans or Mother’s day or stretch marks or morning sickness or labour pains or childhood illnesses or birthday parties or the naughty step or reading progress or SATs or homework or detention or being a taxi service or Christmas shopping or falls and scrapes or funny behaviour or frustrating behaviour or irritating behaviour or babysitting or the good schools or school holidays or…or…or…

Ask me what my dreams are now, ask me whether I mind that I’ll never be a grandparent, ask me whether I wonder what my children would have looked like, whether they would have inherited my straight hair and my sense of humour, or their father’s whatever. Ask me whether I miss the cuddles, the tantrums, the exhaustion, and the pain. The feel of them in my arms and the smell of their hair and the sight of their tiny fingers and toes.

Ask me what their names would have been.

Ask me whether I am frightened of dying alone, or living alone, or being ill, or having dementia, or falling and having nobody there. Am I frightened of having nobody to advocate for me when I cannot do it for myself?

Ask me whether I mind not becoming somebody’s ancestor, or not having anyone to leave my legacy to. Does it matter that my precious possessions will probably not be valued or kept by anyone when I’m gone, or that nobody is likely to visit my grave? Ask me if it matters that my surname dies out with me.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Ask me what it felt like when my hopes were dripping slowly through my fingers, month by month, year by year, inescapably. Ask which is worse: the last desperate hope or the grief that sits alongside it. Ask me whether it was a relief to finally put hope away and pick up grief fully, which had been making itself comfortable within my house for years, anyway.

Ask me if carrying this grief around, invisibly, is exhausting. If sometimes I’m just too tired to get up and pretend that everything is ok. If I sometimes retreat to the nearest toilet cubicle to cry over that thoughtless comment, that shared photo, that pregnancy announcement, that unempathetic response, that intrusive question, that assumption about my life. Ask me whether I am still the same person that I was before this happened (or rather didn’t happen). Ask me if I think I will ever ‘get over’ this, or whether the changes that this grief has wrought are permanent scars that I will always carry.

Ask me if I mind suddenly being ‘other’, suddenly becoming a minority, an oddity, somebody who doesn’t ‘fit’.

Ask me whether I mind never seeing somebody like me in an advert or as the hero in a story.

Ask me how it feels when somebody says, “As a mother…”, as if they have the monopoly on empathy; or when a politician talks about ‘hard-working families’, or when somebody jokes about how easy it must be to be childless during lockdown, or assumes that we must all be dripping with spare cash and sleeping peacefully every night, after spending our days enjoying ourselves sipping cocktails with hordes of carefree friends.

Ask me whether I sometimes feel shame and shamed, whether I get judged by other people for having failed at being a proper adult, for having nothing to show for my life. Do I feel that? Do I blame myself? How have I found ways to forgive myself and recognise that sometimes it is just down to luck and that I have been unlucky when others, seemingly less worthy, have been lucky? Do I sometimes rage at god, at the universe, at my luck, at my past boyfriends, and my parents, and my upbringing, and myself?

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

I wish someone would ask who in my life understands and supports me, and who does not. Ask me how many friendships have fallen by the wayside in this grief. How many new friends have I found through my grief? Have I managed to make friends with myself?

Ask me how I have survived.

Ask me what I have done to grieve my griefs, and what this has taught me, and how I have grown and thrived. What strength have I found within myself to get through this? What can I do now that I could not do before, and what new skills have I learnt, whether I wanted to or not? What other emotions come in the wake of grief – do I find myself more receptive to joy now, having been broken open by grief? Ask me what are the gifts in my grief.

Ask me if I would swap these gifts for a chance to become a mother.

Sometimes it won’t be ok

I used to have a safety net. It was just a feeling, but it was very real. And the funny thing is that I didn’t notice it was there until it disappeared.

Photo by Andrés Canchón on Unsplash

It has gone now, but I remember it well. It was a sort of confidence in the universe, a sort of faith or certainty that everything would somehow work out alright in the end. Not very logical, I agree, but it was absolute and unwavering and always there. It didn’t really matter what I did or didn’t do in life, or whether things were tough at times, because eventually, when it really mattered, things would just work out. It would be ok in the end. There would be a balance of good luck to counteract the bad luck, happy times to outweigh the sad ones. And the general order of things would be maintained. The things that were supposed to happen would happen. My life milestones would be reached without any difficulty.

There was never any awareness of exactly how it would work out, just that it would.

For example, I always took it completely for granted that my life would turn out to have the same kind of shape as my parents’ life did, or my friends’, or the life of everyone else I saw around me, or the way novels, films and TV showed life to me. At some point in my twenties I would meet a man and we would fall in love with each other and then get married and then have several children. And, indeed, this is what has happened to almost everyone I know. Maybe not in their twenties – things have changed; but certainly at some point in their thirties. But it didn’t work out that way for me – not through lack of wanting it or trying to find it, or wishing or praying for it, or doing everything I could to achieve that outcome. And gradually my confidence that ‘things would just work out’ started to diminish. I knew by my late thirties that I was cutting it a little fine, but things would somehow work out ok, because they just had to. Any other outcome was inconceivable and I couldn’t allow myself to go there.

Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

By my early forties I was really frightened because I couldn’t see how the universe was going to manage to work everything out in the way it had to be, but I still had some hope left that somehow, miraculously, it would.

But it didn’t.

Around the age of 44, I got real and my hope left me. And with it, this safety net, this feeling of the universe having my best interests at heart. A security blanket of reassurance to wrap around you when scary things happened. “It will be alright in the end”: I’ve woken up to the fact that this is the story I have been soothing myself with my whole life. It worked really well when I was a child, but I have learnt that it is a lie. Of course the universe doesn’t have my back – why should it? Terrible, unfair and undeserved things happen to good people all the time. I’m not special, so why should things miraculously work out the way I want them to? Sometimes, in low moments, I feel like the universe is actually trying to torture me (for unknown reasons), such as when I need a moment of peace and a heavily pregnant woman or someone with a newborn baby comes and sits down next to me on a train or in a café, or when someone at work asks me if I ever wanted children or why I don’t just adopt, or when my heart feels so broken that I’m surprised I am still alive.

But most of the time I realise that it is all completely random and that there is no reason why things didn’t work out the way I desperately wanted. It isn’t my fault, and it isn’t the fault of god or the universe. It is just that I had it wrong all along – and sometimes things just do not work out in the end. Sometimes things just are not ok and will never be ok. Sometimes our worst nightmares do come true. And we have to learn how to live without that treacherous safety net – it was never real anyway.

When my hopes of becoming a mother left me, all of my other hopes departed at the same time – it seems that they were all interconnected. When I ceased to believe that things would be ok, I found my eyes opened to a much clearer view of our shared future on this planet. I stopped believing that things would work out ok, in terms of humans waking up to the damage that we have caused to the climate and to our biodiversity. I had been hopeful for the previous couple of decades, and had been trying to change things in every way I could think of, knowing that somehow, eventually, we would all wake up and fix the problems we had caused on this planet, and that everything would be ok. But when I stopped kidding myself in one area, I couldn’t continue to delude myself in other areas. So all of my hope went. I now no longer feel any sense of denial that we are heading for very dark times – it seems impossible to avoid the future we have driven ourselves towards and I don’t believe that everything is going to work out ok in the end.

It makes the world a lot scarier, I can tell you. Living without hope or expectation is very hard and I don’t quite know how I’m doing it, but I can tell you that it is possible. Things like resilience, determination, integrity, and respect are what keep you going when you reach this place, instead of hope and faith. I no longer expect things to be ok in the future, even if the alternative is unimaginable. I do feel that hope is a kind of denial and is perhaps no longer helpful for us. Maybe the world needs more of us to live without that kind of denial, in these dark times. If we can bear to face head-on towards our likely future, then maybe we can mitigate some of the worst of it before it arrives. But if we continue to stick our fingers in our ears and lie to ourselves that ‘surely it’ll work out alright’, then I truly think we are in trouble.

Unlike the random chance of whether or not somebody will get to have children, there are actually things that can be done to change our future on this planet; we don’t have very much of a chance left, it is true, but we do know that if we continue not to act it will be much worse for us than if we start to act now. So I think we should act now, not in hope, but in determination to do the best we can in a terrible situation. We can grieve for what we know is lost and what we’ll lose in the future, while also working to preserve whatever we can of life on this planet. And we must do this hard work ourselves, because I don’t think the universe has our backs anymore.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The Grief of Childlessness

It’s more common than you might think.

In recent years, ONS in the UK has reported that 1 in 5 people reach their mid-forties without having children, and there are similar statistics from other countries including the US.

One of the many painful things about unwanted childlessness is that other people tend to assume that if you don’t have children, you didn’t want to have them. And while this is true for lots of people who remain happily childfree, it is also likely that many others without children experience some grief around their childlessness.

Photo by CHIRAG K on Unsplash

In fact, of the 1 in 5 people who reach their mid-forties without having children, only approximately 10% have chosen the childfree path. The remaining 90% are childless not by choice. And you might be forgiven for assuming that most of these people have experienced medical infertility. Actually, medical issues preventing pregnancy account for only a small proportion (perhaps another 10%) of those childless not by choice. The vast majority find themselves childless by circumstance.

And there are many many different circumstances that can lead to unwanted childlessness. As Jody Day, founder of the wonderful Gateway Women community (which provides support for women struggling with unchosen childlessness) says, “The room called childlessness has many doors; not just the ones marked ‘didn’t want’ or ‘couldn’t have’. She has written a blog post called ’50 ways not to be a mother, though she reckons that she has identified more like 100 ways since she started counting them. It could be anything from lack of a suitable partner to lack of money, lack of support systems, other health factors, or a whole host of other reasons.

So, for every 100 women in their mid-forties, 20 will not have children. Two of those will be childfree by choice (didn’t want children) and 18 will be childless by circumstance, and quite possibly in the throes of their silent, invisible grief. It isn’t quite as black and white as this, of course, and there are many shades of grey in between definitely not wanting kids and definitely wanting them – there is a whole complex area of ambivalence for many women who find themselves in circumstances which aren’t ideal for having children.

For many of these childless women, the last years when they are still hopeful of becoming a mother and the years when they have to accept that this will never happen for them are the most painful times in their lives. Many women find that they struggle to cope with everyday life, and it is common to feel depressed, isolated, even suicidal, as it can seem like they are the only person in the world who feels like this.

In part, this is because the subject of childlessness is such a taboo in our society that it is very hard to find people to talk to about our feelings. It is common for women to think that they are going mad, before they realise that what they are feeling is actually grief.

And, of course, it isn’t only women who suffer from this grief. There is a lot less attention paid to childless men, and fewer resources out there to support them, but thankfully there is increasing recognition of their pain. Hopefully a support community for childless men will soon come into being; as far as I know there is not one yet.

Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash

It is a kind of disenfranchised grief, which means that it is widely misunderstood and unrecognised. The pain of having your feelings judged, ignored, belittled, denied, or ridiculed can make the grief itself that much worse. It is shocking, considering the numbers of people dealing with this, that it is such a hidden grief that even many grief counsellors are unaware of it and therefore may do more harm than good when their help is sought.

Many of us have had the experience of having to educate our own counsellors about what not to say and what is helpful to us.

Brene Brown has said that childlessness is one of the major areas of empathy failure, and empathy failure is certainly a very common experience for those of us living with this grief. This increases our feelings of isolation, and removes our sense of safety in being authentic with others; when our pain is so often received without empathy and we so seldom receive a response which helps us, then it is natural to withdraw and to close off from people and hold our pain close to our chests.

For this reason, it is vital that those suffering in this way seek the help of others who are able to provide understanding and support. It is very difficult for people who are not in this position to understand why it is so painful – either they didn’t want children so find it hard to empathise with our grief, or they were able to have their own children and can’t imagine what it must feel like not to have them.

Many people make the assumption that you cannot grieve for what you have never had.

But other childless women (and men) can and do understand. Even a decade ago there were no support networks or groups for childless women, but these days it is becoming much less of a taboo and more and more communities are arising. One of the first was Jody Day’s Gateway Women community, which has thousands of members from all around the world now, and which provides some invaluable resources to those suffering and those who feel alone.

There are also Gateway Women meetup groups worldwide now, so you can join up and go along and socialise with women in similar positions as you – it is so helpful to meet others and it can really help to ease that feeling of isolation.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

There are also many other resources for those grieving unwanted childlessness. Here are just a few of them:

The Dovecote Community – Facebook Group

Childless Path to Acceptance – Facebook Group

World Childless Week – 16-22 Sept 2019

Walk in our Shoes

Living the Life Unexpected – Jody Day a wonderful book, written specifically to help you deal with the grief of unwanted childlessness.

There are many other books and resources out there, and I’ll be adding these in future posts.

The most important thing to know, right now, though, is that you are not alone. There are many of us out there who do understand. Finding ways to connect with others who understand is invaluable and can really help you, if you find yourself grieving this loss.