Retro Dear Michele: Losing Hope for the Future

Losing Hope for the Future

Hello Michele,

I am a 42-year-old woman and I now must adapt to the idea that in fact all my hopes for a husband and having my own child /children are pretty much disappearing. This is unpleasant and the reality is that I have to downsize my ideas for the future again.

All the questions come running back to me. My prayers and those of many others too were reinforced 10-fold over the last few years with never a success from there either. A few years ago I experienced the worst ‘grief’ years for me and now it’s a kind of numbness and just a lull after the storm kind of feeling.

My question to you is, do you know of any information that can help me come to terms with all of this disappointment and I am sure it must be close to a grief? Also, are there any other members who are going through the same or have gone through this phase? I would so love to talk to someone single as it is not the same when you are in a marriage or loving relationship.

So this is helpful for the ones who haven’t been successful. Before you say I can still find a husband—please! I know, but its dealing with the loss of those children never born.

My only inspiration so far was Kylie Minogue!! After her illness, breast cancer, she appreciated how much she had been given to be given her life again and her health back again. She would love children of course but the feeling of gratitude has overwhelmed her. I try this attitude but…it runs out sometimes.

So appreciative of anything you come along.

God Bless,

M

Dear M,

I can hear your heartbreak and disappointment. Desiring a mate and children is one of the most natural dreams that is placed upon our hearts. Yes, you are experiencing grief, because you are experiencing a tremendous loss—the loss of your hope to one day find a mate.

For now, your reality is that you do not have the family that you so very badly want. The fact that you may meet someone one day does not diminish the pain that you are now experiencing, so I respect your desire to give yourself space to mourn.

Our Pain doesn’t have to be Kept Inside

pain inside

I imagine hearing that “one day you will” is not a comfort but just seems to increase the pain because it is just not tangible for you. As with most great losses, the only way through it is through it.

In other words, give yourself permission to have whatever feelings you have about it. It may be anger, or sadness, disappointment, or just straight-up hurt. There is no one way to react to what you are going through. Remember that getting married at any age does not guarantee that you would be able to have your own children.

One way we increase our suffering is to believe that what we don’t have would answer all of our prayers. You may want to take time to journal about your feelings, talk to God, or offer up a Mass for your suffering.

Turning Toward Mother Mary and Her Son

Mother Mary and Her Son

Our Mother of Comforts, the Virgin Mary, understands loss and grief. She lost her only Son and the pain in her heart must have been unimaginable. You may want to mediate on Mary’s life or ask for her intercession. Many people have found peace through their difficult times by calling on Mary.

C.S. Lewis has some great writings on “The Problem of Pain” and “A Grief Observed.” Your struggle can have meaning, although it does take searching through it to find its unique meaning for you.

The reason I think it’s important to grieve this loss and to touch that place in your heart that aches for a family and marriage that may never happen, is because it is the path to acceptance and renewal. In reality, you don’t know if or when you will meet someone. But for now, if you believe that you will never have a husband and children, now what?

Act As If There’s More—Because There Is

There's More—Because There Is

What do you want your life to be about? Do you want to be in great pain and agony over what never was for the next 42 years? Rather than thinking about “downsizing” your dreams, what about “upsizing” them? What could you time here on earth mean, if it’s not going to be the plan you envisioned. Do you have private dreams in your heart? Give them a voice.

Some great advice I once heard, “Don’t die with your music still in you.” When you stop dreaming, you start dying, and you’re too young to start dying. Think about how you want to live, from here forward. If someone comes into your path, great. And if not, see if that can be great too. Is your heart open to adopting?

I do invite you to reach out to other singles. Being single is a unique pain, and I agree that people that have not endured it cannot always understand it. However, when it comes to getting relationship advice, ask a married friend whose marriage you respect.

There’s nothing that can take away your pain, M. Know that you are brave to give it words, even if you feel very fragile right now. I know there is many other singles that feel the same way you do, and these blogs are a great way to reach out to others.

God Bless,

Michele

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