018 Infertility and Grief: Does the Pain Ever Go Away? [Podcast/Video]

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Dear Sheridan,

I have just finished reading Resurrection Year and loved it, although at times it was a difficult read. Like you, my husband and I haven’t been able to have children, and we’ve tried almost everything to do so. The hardest thing I find is the pain and the longing that never seems to go away. I resonate with what Proverbs 30 says: the barren womb is never satisfied. You and Merryn have been able to move on with your lives. What I want to know is, does the pain and longing ever go away, or just lesson over time?

Yours sincerely,

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Question: How did you get over the loss of something precious? Tell me now

Dear Becky,

Merryn and I share your sadness. The longing that Proverbs 30 points to is so real. If you ultimately don’t have children, it will probably always hurt a little. But we’ve found that the ‘time between the tears’ gets longer as time goes on. The pain does lessen. However, for this to happen, you need to grieve well. And to grieve well, you have to properly farewell the dream.

Unlike other losses, which are by definition so definite, the issue of infertility just hangs there, dangling forever over you, the idea of a child always a ‘possibility’ in your mind and heart. Merryn and I could only move forward, and see everything I’ve written in Resurrection Year happen, when we drew a line, stopped the search, and declared the dream over. Without this we wouldn’t have been able to get to where we are now.

Remember that bit in chapter 3 of Resurrection Year where Merryn packs the baby stuff we’ve collected over the years into our sister-in-law’s car and she drives it all away? That was the moment we truly bid ‘farewell’ to the dream and felt free. I heard of a woman who was only able to move on once she redecorated the nursery she’d kept for years into a regular room. Then the broken dream no longer held her captive.

God may not be calling you to bring your dream to an end yet, but if He is, please know this:

There is life without children.

Your life won’t be over.

But it will hurt for a bit, and then it will get better.

And then you may find God using your pain in surprising ways, as he has with ours. He works most powerfully through weakness, recycling our pain into comfort for others. The empty womb may never be satisfied, but God has always brought good things out of nothing.

So, yes, the pain does lessen. The ‘time between the tears’ gets longer as time goes on. And for this to happen, we need to grieve well. I’ll be praying that God clarifies the next step for you to take.

With love,

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Question: How did you get over the loss of something precious? Tell me now
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