Microblog Mondays – Reflections of grief

Microblog_MondaysI  met someone who was childless not by choice.  You know how some people just gush over their friend’s kids and want to know all the details of their lives and others just kind of stand back and look at them and just smile? She was the latter. I kind of got that.

When I was in the throes of infertility, I always felt a little awkward around children.  It’s not that I disliked them, I just never had any real experience with them. A parent’s life was not relevant to me in any real way.  My life was simply different. I never really knew I was going to be a parent, so why immerse myself in that world.  I wanted to hold a baby, but inevitably, I would be asked when I was going to have one, and then I’d fake a smile to hide the sadness at being left out of that whole female experience so it was just easier to stand back and smile.  Eventually, I did get to a good place where it was okay for me to be around babies and enjoy their preciousness.

This woman was about 10 years older than me, and I thought, wow, that sadness just never goes away.  She may have led an incredibly satisfying life, but still that grief lingered.  I guess I knew that in my heart, but when I saw it in this woman’s eyes, it just reminded me that infertility is not something you just “get over”.   What I saw and felt, lasted a few moments before we went on to talk about other things, yet I never forgot that moment.  Infertility impacts lives forever.

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6 thoughts on “Microblog Mondays – Reflections of grief

  1. I wonder if she would have been relieved to talk about it if you had asked, or if she would have rather not discussed it at all. It’s hard to know without asking. I guess you have to sort of just feel your way through the conversation in the moment.

    • I actually know this person, but I was not comfortable sharing her personal details, so I had to rewrite this post so I could share this story without violating her privacy, so I just retold it from my perspective.

  2. I’ve been the person who was always awkward around children. I never had much to do with younger children when I was growing up (the occasional cousin, but I didn’t see them regularly), and some nieces when I was in my 20s. Perhaps oddly, I’m much less awkward these days as a childless-not-by-choice woman, having had much more to do with children in recent years.

    I really feel for your friend – I wonder if she’s ever talked to anyone who really understands what it’s like. For me at least, healing freed me to relax around kids, and to choose to interact wtih them or not, depending on how I feel at any particular time.

    PS. Thanks for linking to my post.

  3. I feel so sad for people who have to give up on their dream to have children because it just doesn’t happen for them. Not something you ever really get over, like you wrote.

  4. Being childless not by choice seems really hard to work through. When we adopt, we get to the end goal even though the infertility lingers. When left with the reality that it’s not going to happen at all, that has to be devastating.

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