Response #
Current experience of grief
Respondent details
45-54 | Female | USA
Q1: What was the nature of your relationship with the person who died?
She was an unborn child, due to being a single, childless not by choice woman who tried and failed at IVF.
Q2: How has the person’s death affected you during the hours, days, and weeks that followed?
I was in unrecognized grief for 8 years up until June 2020. I haven’t been able to read books, and lost all of my friends.
Q3: How, if at all, have your relationships with other people (particular individuals and other people in general) been affected by the bereavement?
They expected me to just get over it. They treated me as if nothing happened. They were often times insensitive and sometimes even cruel with their comments.
Q4: Does the surrounding world seem any different to you while grieving? If so, how?
Yes! It seems like this family centric society and global media does NOT see me, recognize me or acknowledge I even exist.
Q5: Has your experience of time changed in any way?
Thankfully, yes. It has eased a little since I joined an online global community called Gateway Women for support, community and friendship.
Q6: Has your body felt any different during grief?
I suffered from horrible, disabling migraines for years up until recently.
Q7: Has grief interfered in any way with your ability and motivation to perform various tasks, including paid work?
Yes. Filling out forms and documents takes enormous effort. Reading has been a challenge, as well.
Q8: Is your experience of grief changing over time? If so, how?
It now comes in waves. It has lessened somewhat, but I am still easily triggered by the general lack of compassion and sensitivity of society, so it can also be like a rollercoaster.
Q9: Have you ever found yourself looking for the person who died or expecting that person to appear?
In my dreams and fantasies, quite often.
Q10: Are there times, places, and occasions that have made you especially aware of the person’s absence?
Every time I watch TV, walk outside, do anything where children and families are celebrated. There is no escape.
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?
Sadly, no.
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?
Yes! I have a deep real soulful love for my baby when I am the most distraught. It is very painful, but the connection is there.
Q13: Since the person died, is there anything that you have been doing in order to feel close to them?
You need to reword your questions or at least acknowledge unrecognized grief in women and men who are childless not by choice!

The GW community has had grief tending ceremonies in which we can honor our unborn babies and pray for them.
Q14: Is there anything that you do in order to avoid being reminded of the person or of their death?
There is nothing to be done other than Warrior up to face a world in which I don’t matter.
Q15: Has anything in particular helped you to cope with grief? Has anything made you feel better or worse?
Gateway Women has made me feel better and all platforms that acknowledge my very real loss. Family friends the media and society at large makes me feel worse, all the time.
Q16: How understanding have other people been? Have others said or done anything that you've found especially helpful or unhelpful?
People are the WORST. They think grief is a dirty word and are afraid they may be burned by it if it is acknowledged. It is a true failure of society to never integrate it into the fabric of our lives. Shameful really.

One friend said shouldn’t you be over it by now 1 year after I stopped trying due to lack of funds. My Mother said so many women don't have children, as if that could make me feel better. I don’t trust people anymore as they are not safe.
Q17: How, if at all, has your experience of bereavement changed you as a person?
It has awakened me to the deepest darkest part of Life. It has made me world weary yet tough as nails as nothing could ever hurt me more than being childless not by choice (CNBC) when my whole Life it was not just my dream to be the matriarch of a beautiful family, it was expected of me. It has shown me just how weak society is and how clueless and compassionless it really is. There is no humanity in human beings despite what they think.
Q18: How, if at all, does grief over the death of a person differ from other forms of loss that you have experienced?
It is FOREVER and not EVER acknowledged!
Q19: Are there any aspects of grief that you find particularly puzzling or difficult to put into words?
Being unable to relate to seemingly good people because they continuously say hurtful ignorant things. Being unable to concentrate and focus on tasks or even what the next stage of my Life will look like.
Q20: Are there any important aspects of your experience that we have not addressed?
Yes! Please address the loss of a dream instilled in me by society and family since I was a little girl! Millions of men and women are childless Not by choice. We participate in and contribute to a society that is incapable or unwilling to recognize our existence. Should millions of us just kill ourselves? That’s how it feels!