Coping with grief and loss

Emotions and Self
Key Points

  • It’s inevitable to experience grief and loss when going through infertility.
  • Grieving one loss in a purposeful way, will empower you to make decisions about next-steps with more clarity.
  • Try these strategies to help you cope with grief and loss.
Grief and loss are an inevitable part of every infertility journey. Grieving each loss is an integral part of the process toward parenthood. It starts with the need of grieving the loss of not being able to get pregnant easily as we thought we would. Sometimes we may also need to grieve the loss of not being able to get pregnant naturally, and having to consider fertility treatment. Or the loss of a pregnancy or baby. Or sometimes, grieving the loss of a genetic connection to our baby, when we have to consider egg or sperm donation. Or grieving the loss of our image of what motherhood/parenthood look like to us. When it comes to infertility, there is no way of avoiding grief.

In order to fully make next-step decisions with clarity, it is important to grieve losses in concrete and purposeful ways. This is not a linear process, and often there are compounding losses, of ongoing cycles of hope and loss that go on for years.

The Process of Grief

The Process of Grief has several stages. It is normal to go back and forth in this process of grief, as we try to cope with repetitive losses.

The process of grief

Allow yourself to feel your emotions, as go through these experiences. But know that where you are right now, doesn’t last forever, and this too shall pass.

With time, it is possible to learn how to cope with the loss, explore new options and live a meaningful life.

Strategies to Cope with Grief and Loss

There is no one right way to cope with grief and loss. Try some of these strategies, to validate and acknowledge the loss, and hopefully bring some comfort to your life.

  • Writing can be a powerful way to take the thoughts and emotions that are inside you, and put them in paper. It makes them more real, and you’ll be able to start coping with them.
  • Engaging in activities, like gardening or going for a walk, can bring you a sense of connection with the natural world.
  • Speaking with others, who have been through similar experiences.
  • Geting professional support, if at any point you are not being able to cope with these emotions.
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