'Grief: A Study of Human Emotional Experience' Lecture
On average, one in five women in the developed world is reaching midlife without children, 90 per cent of those not by choice, with the greater part of them childless by ‘circumstance’ rather than infertility. There are similar, if not greater numbers of childless men too. Yet despite these figures (which often come as a surprise to many), the experience of involuntary childlessness is a silent one and the non-death grief of childlessness is often missed or dismissed by grievers themselves, their families and communities, and often, sadly, by the helping professionals around them too. The grief of involuntary childlessness is a form of what Doka (1989) termed ‘disenfranchised grief’ – a grief which is not socially recognised or acceptable. In this talk, psychotherapist, author and childless campaigner Jody Day, who has worked individually and online with thousands of childless women over the last decade through her organisation ‘Gateway Women’, will share what she has learned about how to understand, support and advocate for those grieving this ‘living loss’.