Response #
Current experience of grief
Respondent details
35-44 | Female | British
Q1: What was the nature of your relationship with the person who died?
My grief is about not having children and not being able to conceive due to early menopause
Q2: How has the person’s death affected you during the hours, days, and weeks that followed?
For weeks after the diagnosis I was extremely depressed. I shut myself off from family and friends and found every day tasks difficult. The following months are quite blurry, I don't remember it much.
Q3: How, if at all, have your relationships with other people (particular individuals and other people in general) been affected by the bereavement?
I have fallen out with good friends because they were unable to recognise my grief or understand why I was suffering so much. Particularly friends with children. My relationship with many has changed with my circumstances and I have formed stronger friendships with people who have been through similar experiences.
Q4: Does the surrounding world seem any different to you while grieving? If so, how?
I didn't really engage with the outside world in the weeks of deep depression, but now the world is very different to me. I used to see the world as a one-day-mother and now I see it as a childless woman. I appreciate different things and try to take one day at a time; I am more mindful.
Q5: Has your experience of time changed in any way?
I feel the last four years have gone in a blur and I struggle to remember things from many years ago.
Q6: Has your body felt any different during grief?
I put on weight which I now struggle to lose. My sex drive has disappeared.
Q7: Has grief interfered in any way with your ability and motivation to perform various tasks, including paid work?
Yes, I felt unable to continue in a career as a teaching assistant and child social worker and changed my job. I now work as an account executive in a non-child atmosphere.
Q8: Is your experience of grief changing over time? If so, how?
I am learning to find other meaning in my life. The grief will always be with me but I have grown around it.
Q9: Have you ever found yourself looking for the person who died or expecting that person to appear?
I often imagine what my child would have been like.
Q10: Are there times, places, and occasions that have made you especially aware of the person’s absence?
Whenever friends get pregnant or have babies, anything related to pregnancy and raising children.
Q11: People who are grieving often report experiencing the presence of the person who died. Have you had any experiences that you would describe in those terms?
Q12: Do you still feel a sense of connection with the person? If so, could you say something about when you feel this and what the experience is like?
No, I never got to meet the person, they never got to exist.
Q13: Since the person died, is there anything that you have been doing in order to feel close to them?
Q14: Is there anything that you do in order to avoid being reminded of the person or of their death?
I avoid anything baby related.
Q15: Has anything in particular helped you to cope with grief? Has anything made you feel better or worse?
Finding other women who have had similar experiences has helped immensely.
Q16: How understanding have other people been? Have others said or done anything that you've found especially helpful or unhelpful?
Others within the childless community have been understanding, patient, kind and supportive. Others have been confused by my grief and often do not recognise it.
Q17: How, if at all, has your experience of bereavement changed you as a person?
I am a completely different person, it's difficult to quantify.
Q18: How, if at all, does grief over the death of a person differ from other forms of loss that you have experienced?
When my grandmother died, I was able to remember her fondly because she had a long and happy life. With my childless grief, I have no one to remember, so it's more like a dark hole of nothingness.
Q19: Are there any aspects of grief that you find particularly puzzling or difficult to put into words?
Q20: Are there any important aspects of your experience that we have not addressed?
This type of grief is not recognised but it is very real.