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a grief like no other

July 18, 2016 , , , , ,


There is a grief that is like no other, the grief of childlessness.

Of wanting to be a mother, but not yet having the time or space, the gift, nor blessing…call it what you want, there are not enough words of the right colour + weight to describe this.

But what makes this grief ripple outward, far beyond me, is all the other griefs that come from this epicentre, this core.

The grief of not being able to make my parents grandparents.

I had the capacity, once, two Chinese New Years ago, to tell them that I wanted them to meet their grandchildren from me more than I wanted to meet my own children. It not only breaks my heart, but it breaks me, to imagine the complete love they would give to my children, and the joy they would experience.


I have not yet had the courage to say it again, except to myself, because I cannot form the words and speak them again without doubling over. That I could want them to be grandparents more than I want to be a mother tells of the magnitude of this grief, because my longing to be a mother is deep and immeasurable.

leunig prayer

The grief of not being able to turn to my friends who are parents and share that bond. And yes, they turn to me, and I turn to them, and some are exceptional enough to see me for the childless mother that I am in nature. But do not for a minute tell me it’s the same.

Unspoken brokenness. That bond is but a dotted line.


The grief of having to live my life, day by day, finding every ounce of courage sometimes to just get through the very minute I am standing in because something has caught me unawares. And I am a beautiful, courageous young woman, lit up from within. I know this to be true. I love life with a joy and fierceness that even I cannot explain, I am completely in life. But, there will always be times, when, because I am living life with my whole heart, open arms, heart alight, something will undo me. Unravel me. And the fact that I am not a mother is tattooed again, raw and red, onto my open, vulnerable heart, my aching self.


The grief of my joy of living and life being misinterpreted, though lack of understanding, through pity or pain. That others around me do not see the courage, minute by minute, of how I choose to live my life, that I call myself to stand in my truth every single day. With compassion and joy, with courage and strength, with tenderness and not an ounce of scarcity or sacrifice. That costs me more than I can explain, but it is the only way.


The grief of pity and judgement. In my own self, I may stand, tenderly and authentically. I can find my equilibrium and self because I am fierce, and free, and beautiful. I love life too much to live any other way. But all those careless words, those stupid encourgements, those throw-away comments about being too good, too picky, or, the most heart-breaking, such a career woman, or how good a mother I’d be…you don’t know how much they hurt, and how long they take to recover from. The sting is there for months, that one careless word, that one comment. And then there is my own grief to carry, without the assault of careless comments. That grief is enough.

The grief of wanting to connect. And others with children being too tired to cross the boundary, or I am too tired to cross the boundary, because I am different, but I am not.

The 4:30am grief that rips my heart and drenches my pillow in tears, unannounced, before I am even awake and understand what is happening. What is this unrelenting, bodily ache that clutches me and takes every ounce of my courage to pull myself through? Every conversation with myself, that I am enough, that I am loved, that I have the courage to love in my life, to stand in this place without hiding, without fighting, without poisoning the world around me, without apology…just telling my story, with all its grief and sadness, and living completely…there are days I am buoyant from life and I know all the different colours of joy. But this roller-coaster ride is as regular as it is as painful, every single time. And every single time, I find my pathway back to myself.


Know this of me, please.

Hear me, that I love my life so much that I intend to live every minute in colour and joy.

But know this grief of me, simple, accurately, completely.

Know my strength.

Know my tenderness and courage.

Know what I do that I may be at peace when I talk about your families and children.

That my not being a mother is not the choice I want, but my life is absolutely the choice I want, and that I will do everything I can to live a good one.

That I am more than myself, and more than enough, and I need to be seen, valued, and heard.

That I am truly beautiful.

That you have the courage to meet me in the middle.

Hear me please.


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