Yes dear, I think other women out there really needed to hear that. In making sense of and sharing what I’ve learned about disenfranchised grief (grief that is not acknowledged by society), I began to actively mourn the losses we’d endured and found peace. By giving voice to my experience, I tapped into a well of strength and resilience and cultivated a community of women whose lives don’t involve parenting. We see families of two where we used to see couples. Today, birth announcements or photos of newly pregnant, aging celebrities in the supermarket checkout stand no longer evoke envy or anger. I’ve learned to appreciate my body, my life, and my relationships in a new light. Still there’s awkwardness when meeting people with children for the first time, who routinely inquire if we have any of our own (where to begin?) or when hanging out with friends who chat about the challenges of raising a family. For my part, I tread lightly in our newfound joy and our life lived without the limitations they face so as not to appear indifferent to their struggles and the demands on their time. My husband and I continue to push forward, to shape and define a life outside the beaten path. We challenge each other to uncover new possibilities, to seek new adventures and discoveries that will enrich our understanding of the world and our place in it. That’s what we would have encouraged our children to do.