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 current state of grief is related to me being childless. I'm finally having to find some acceptance that I will not be able to have my own children.
Q2: How has the person’s death affected you during the hours, days, and weeks that followed?
I feel sadness at times, this was specific to the unsuccessful IVF attempts but also monthly when my cycle as come... I had hope for many years that I might get pregnant and each time it didn't happen I felt sadness. I have felt sadness when my friends and family and friends have announced pregnancies. I have felt anger when mothers have not understood what it must be like not to have children. I have felt sad that I will never be a grandmother. My husband also feels great sadness that he has not been able to have children and we are now having to navigate our life together without the bond of creating a child. I feel like an outsider in some circles too when asked if I have children.
Q3: How, if at all, have your relationships with other people (particular individuals and other people in general) been affected by the bereavement?
Not becoming a mother has affected my relationships with my friends who are mothers. It has affected my relationship with my husband. We are now having to plan out lives without children and this causes some strain at times.
Q4: Does the surrounding world seem any different to you while grieving? If so, how?
Not right now. My grief comes and goes and might be triggered by certain situations.
Q5: Has your experience of time changed in any way?
Not at this time.
Q6: Has your body felt any different during grief?
I have felt tired and depressed and unsure of what to do next in my life.
Q7: Has grief interfered in any way with your ability and motivation to perform various tasks, including paid work?
Yes, I have felt a lot of apathy and a sense of being stuck. Not knowing what to do with my life.
Q8: Is your experience of grief changing over time? If so, how?
Yes, it changes all the time. It's not constant intense grief but like I mentioned I can get triggered by certain situations.
Q9: Have you ever found yourself looking for the person who died or expecting that person to appear?
I find myself looking for a connection to my brother's children, I'm an aunt but I look for a more motherly role and have to check myself when it comes to keeping a healthy boundary.
Q10: Are there times, places, and occasions that have made you especially aware of the person’s absence?
When I'm with my niece and nephew.
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?
Q13: Since the person died, is there anything that you have been doing in order to feel close to them?
Keeping close to my brother and his family.
Q14: Is there anything that you do in order to avoid being reminded of the person or of their death?
Yes at times I avoid being around mothers because I feel sadness or anger. I never felt like this when I was younger when I had the hope of being a mother myself one day.
Q15: Has anything in particular helped you to cope with grief? Has anything made you feel better or worse?
Talking to other women who have struggled to have children and are now facing later life without having become a mother.
Q16: How understanding have other people been? Have others said or done anything that you've found especially helpful or unhelpful?
I don't feel that mothers/ parents understand what is like not to be a mother when you wanted to be. It's a taboo subject and people will often brush it off saying. Well, you can travel more. You're lucky we just feel tired all the time. Or they just don't ask what it's like for me.
Q17: How, if at all, has your experience of bereavement changed you as a person?
I'm becoming more resilient as a person. I'm the sort of person that likes to learn from all experiences good and bad.
Q18: How, if at all, does grief over the death of a person differ from other forms of loss that you have experienced?
It's a long slow grief that comes and goes. It's not like the sudden death of a loved one. My first husband died when I was 36 and my grief was raw and deeply painful.
Q19: Are there any aspects of grief that you find particularly puzzling or difficult to put into words?
Yes - that's it's misunderstood and not talked about in our society.
Q20: Are there any important aspects of your experience that we have not addressed?
Not that I can think of.