Barbara’s Story: It never occurred to us to find out why we could not have children

I am in my late 70s and had been married for 18 years when my husband passed away 30 years ago. I never remarried. Having children just never happened for us. In those days, there was not much in terms of knowledge of infertility and so it never occurred to us to find out why we could not have children. To be fair, it never bothered us that much and the fact that we had a Goddaughter whom we doted on helped. We were both understandably devastated when she committed suicide in her 20s. To this day, no one knows for sure what drove her to take her own life.

I have a fairly busy social life; I am involved with two churches and I also volunteer for a local charity and so loneliness has never been an issue. I also have a group of friends that I see fairly regularly and funny enough none of them have children either.

I am grateful for the life that I have and although I would have liked to have had children, I believe strongly that everything happens for a reason. For me life is what you make of it; what is the point of dwelling on something if you are unable to change it?

Having a dedicated group of friends has definitely helped and in a way, I consider them my family. I am not sure that I would be as contended as I am now if I didn’t have them in my life. Having said that, I have found the inner strength to deal with my Goddaughter’s death and that of my husband and I am sure that I would have found a way of getting on with life, regardless of what circumstances I found myself in.

Would you like to share your story? Send it to: [email protected]

The impermanence of all things


  1. Hi Barbara,
    Thanks for sharing your story and for being a source of inspiration for others. I couldn’t agree with you more that ultimately life is what we make of it. None of us knows with absolute certainty what is around the corner and so it makes sense to make the most of every single waking moment. I do understand that not everyone has the inner strength to deal with issues such as the loss of a dear one and being childless in a child centric world, which is where this community comes in. As more people come forward to share their experiences, the more people this community will impact on.

  2. The stiff upper lip that has come to describe British people when faced with adversity is a quality that is lacking today. Yes it is true that we cannot all be strong, however, we should also make sure that we do not become a nation of ‘poor me’. Today, showing emotion in public is expected of grieving families and anyone who does not show such emotions is seen as not normal. I am not advocating that people stop showing emotion, that will be naive, what I am saying is that self pity limits our ability to grow as people and that inner strength is what ultimately helps us deal with difficult and painful situations.

  3. Many of the those who have lived through the war have seen so many atrocities that it has toughened them up. This generation has become far too self-centred. I am glad that you have managed to get on with your life.

  4. RachaelLondon says

    Amazing strength. I dare say this lady’s spiritual practice and charity work helped empower her. As the saying goes, if you feel helpless, help someone. If you feel lonely call someone else and ask how they are doing. Much to be gained from giving.

    • Giving is definitely key to a happy life and whatever you give you get back. Yes Barbara has shown absolutely strength in the face of some major adversities and I admire her for that. As I have said before, trials and tribulations are the undoing or the making of us and it is up to us whether we rise or fall.

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