Last year when our world was first gripped with coronavirus and lockdown began, I thought my experiences of isolation might prepare me better than others. Often being the only childless person in a room, I know what it is to feel isolated and have developed coping strategies.
Then, as stay-at-home orders were put into place, many children returned to their parents’ homes. Families became each other’s bubbles. In time, my feelings of isolation that stem from being involuntarily childless were stirred up. Suddenly, instead of coping well, my isolation and childlessness felt magnified.
I have come to realize that I will always experience life through this different lens. For me, it is not about accepting being childless, or getting over/letting go of wanting children – that’s not going to happen. There will always be moments that create a certain wistfulness.
For me, it’s about learning to live with being involuntarily childless. It’s about learning how to avoid what provokes grief and pain, about discovering new ways to experience peace and joy, about getting get out of my head and out into the world to experience life, people (friends old and new), movement and creativity again.
My new ways to experience peace and joy tend to be simple. They involve small shifts inside. For me, feeling peace and joy these days is about…
During this year of heightened isolation, I've realized and accept that my learning how to live with being childless is a work-in-progress. The grief of involuntary childlessness doesn’t ever really go away. While the pain of loss softens, grief continues like unexpected waves. Some are gentle and easy to withstand. Others smash without warning, leaving me bruised and breathless. This past year has been full of smashing waves.
May we all find simple, beauty-filled moments. May we help each other through the waves. Take good care & stay safe. xo
Inspirations and otherwise, as a woman without children. Welcome to share yours too - please be in touch using the Contact form.