Monday, 13 February 2017

Coping with children in our lives

Saying “it gets better” may at times feel meaningless to a grieving childless person, because it is so vague, not specifying how, or when, it will happen. So I’m going to try to articulate something that I realised today, after reading two different blog posts about spending time with children.

When we’re infertile, and going through the initial grief of childlessness, every child and every pregnant belly we see are reminders of the children we wanted, the children we have lost, the children we will never have, and the parents we will never be. They feel so close, such an intimately painful part of us that has been wrenched away, that having them around us is at times unbearable. We’re acutely aware they are not our children, the children we wanted, but yet … in ways … all children are the children we wanted, our children. 

As we heal, I think we manage to put a distance between ourselves and our wounded hearts, and other people’s children, recognising that there’s a difference between the children we wanted to have, and the children who are there in front of us. That separation in my heart and my mind certainly got easier over time, as children who were babies at the time we were pregnant (or trying to get pregnant) grew and developed their own unique personalities and bodies that didn’t and couldn’t have come from us, even in our imaginations.

These children are not the precious, unformed beings we had hoped to have and had already loved with all our hearts, but I now see that this is a good thing, as it gives me a freedom to love and appreciate these children for who they are, untainted by my ideas of who I wanted them to be, and without the awful yearning for them as my children.


8 comments:

  1. This shift, and all the feelings that go with each stage...you put it into words so beautifully. I loved this, "it gives me a freedom to love and appreciate these children for who they are, untainted by my ideas of who I wanted them to be, and without the awful yearning for them as my children." How interesting to think of being freed from imposing your own hopes and dreams on these children as parents often do. I worry about that myself, should we be so fortunate -- how not to impose my self on this tiny person who has no genetic link to me? How do I manage not to nurture the heck out of the situation since I have no nature in the mix? Things to think about. Great post.

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  2. This is so true. Children used to be a source of great pain for me, but now I'm to the point where I can actually enjoy spending time with them. It does get less hard with time.

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  3. Gorgeously put and something concrete to understand vs. the amorphous promise of things changing with time.

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  4. This is a very good explanation, Mali. It does help me understand what is going on with my feelings :-)! Thank you for this!

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  5. yes, it has been exactly the same for me as well.

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  6. Powerful and beautifully said. Thank you.

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