Grieving what’s never been…
“How do I grieve what I’ve never had”, is a question I get asked quite a lot.
I hear this a lot in my infertility practice from people who have sadly not been able to create a family, fall pregnant or suffered a pregnancy loss.
I believe part of the answer to this can be found within the question itself (‘what I’ve never had’). The other part of the answer is very much linked to ‘expectation and desire’.
If you have always dreamt, imagined, hoped, thought, believed or desired to be a parent of one or more children and for whatever reason this dream has not materialised, this can potentially create a significant loss and will appropriately deliver a sense of grief and mourning around the emptiness that now exists.
Consider some of the small and on the face of it, inconsequential things you may have wanted at various times that didn’t come off. That date, going to the cupboard to get a treat only to find there’s none left, the exam result, the item of clothing you wanted to wear but it’s too creased or there’s a mark on it – the list goes on and all may present a sense of irritation, sadness, anger, disappointment to some degree. These are all things you may not have had BUT wanted.
So please find compassion for yourself (also others to please do the same for friends/colleagues or family members they know of) the next time you reflect on not having been able to conceive, create the family you’ve always wanted or suffered a pregnancy loss. This loss is true, valid and as real as any other and grief and grieving is a wholly reasonable and appropriate response.
I appreciate this may not be the most light hearted Valentine Blog ever written though at it’s heart, this is about loving yourself and I’m sure St Valentine would agree with this!