Response #
Current experience of grief
Respondent details
45-54 | Female | USA
Q1: What was the nature of your relationship with the person who died?
Due to medical issues I am unable to have children. This has been an ongoing grief in my life. I tried to conceive for over 10 years before requiring an early hysterectomy.
Q2: How has the person’s death affected you during the hours, days, and weeks that followed?
Left out, isolated, sad.
Q3: How, if at all, have your relationships with other people (particular individuals and other people in general) been affected by the bereavement?
Many other people have children & grandchildren that they spend time with, vacation with, & talk about. I do not so I often feel different than other people. I don’t acquire friends the same way others do such as through sports activities or parent groups. At work I am sometimes expected to stay late because I don’t have children to care for.
Q4: Does the surrounding world seem any different to you while grieving? If so, how?
Again I feel alone & different than others.
Q5: Has your experience of time changed in any way?
I know that people suffer in different ways & not having children is my cross to bear. Time has given me some peace & ability to see other blessings that I have in my life.
Q6: Has your body felt any different during grief?
I often felt stressed & exhausted.
Q7: Has grief interfered in any way with your ability and motivation to perform various tasks, including paid work?
The inability to focus combined with the sadness made many activities very difficult.
Q8: Is your experience of grief changing over time? If so, how?
Again I feel that time provided me with some peace & the ability to see the blessings I do have in my life. Grief will always be part of my life but now it isn’t as overwhelming.
Q9: Have you ever found yourself looking for the person who died or expecting that person to appear?
I sometimes wonder ‘what if’ I had been able to have children and a family of my own. What kind of parents would we have been? How much different would my life have been?
Q10: Are there times, places, and occasions that have made you especially aware of the person’s absence?
Holidays are difficult when the focus is on family. Starting a new job or meeting new people who ask ‘how many kids do you have?’ These questions are sometimes still difficult.
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?
No, but wondering what my children would have been like at different stages of their lives.
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?
Q14: Is there anything that you do in order to avoid being reminded of the person or of their death?
I don’t attend baby showers for other women & sometimes chose not to go to certain children oriented events.
Q15: Has anything in particular helped you to cope with grief? Has anything made you feel better or worse?
Finding other women like me who wanted children & couldn’t have them is very supportive There are online groups & books that are supportive & help me feel less alone.
Q16: How understanding have other people been? Have others said or done anything that you've found especially helpful or unhelpful?
People close to me have been supportive. They know my experiences & emotions & are helpful by calling, asking how I am doing etc.
Q17: How, if at all, has your experience of bereavement changed you as a person?
I feel more compassionate to others who couldn’t have a family of their own. I have set strong boundaries that allow me to avoid situations that are difficult for me.
Q18: How, if at all, does grief over the death of a person differ from other forms of loss that you have experienced?
Other losses such as death from an illness are more acceptable & easy to understand. Grief from wanting desperately to have children & not being able to is not recognized in society, at church or among friends or family.
Q19: Are there any aspects of grief that you find particularly puzzling or difficult to put into words?
The ongoing sadness & thought of what could have been.
Q20: Are there any important aspects of your experience that we have not addressed?