“I am Judi and I live in Auckland, originally from the UK.  I have had a corporate career in insurance, however, I have just resigned to set up my business as a coach; more about that below.  I am childless for a whole host of reasons. 

Briefly, my mum was very negative about her pregnancy experiences, and particularly about being pregnant with me.  She said had she fallen pregnant again she would have killed herself.  In our teens she made it abundantly clear that if we got pregnant we would be thrown out.  She never desired grandchildren, and also made it clear that she would never help us if we had children.   Indeed when my sister had a child, mum held him once for a photo, and had nothing to do with him until he could walk and talk, and then contact was minimal.

In my late teens I developed an autoimmune condition, which has led to life long medical issues, and the medication I have taken since my early 30’s cannot be taken while pregnant.  At 28 I married, and within 3 weeks of the wedding my husband told me that he didn’t want any more children (he had one from a previous relationship and had told me that he would have children with me).  That marriage lasted only 3 years, it was downhill from there! I then met the love of my life, and we planned the full future, including children, and how we would manage my health during this.  However, he then decided he couldn’t marry a divorcee, and the relationship finished.  I found out I was pregnant, but later miscarried.  I was completely devastated and had a breakdown.  

I met my current husband at 35 and married at 36.  I didn’t really consider children with him until my early 40’s, as we were by then living abroad, and had been busy travelling and setting up a new life.  I had it in the back of my mind that we would have them when we could afford them/win the lottery etc.  I did raise having a family at this point, however, my husband was in a terrible headspace with work, and cannot remember the conversation.  However, his response to me at that time was negative.  It took me years to tell him how upset I was with him, and though he couldn’t recall the conversation, he confirmed that at 40 he wouldn’t have wanted children.

I then went through the grief process, largely alone, and was also dealing with the fallout of a less than idyllic childhood.   One day I was listening to a podcast and had a bingo moment.  I had always wanted to help people, and decided then was the time.  I went home and immediately started making enquiries as to what I could do.  Coincidentally, at the exact time of my epiphany, my mum had a stroke, which led to her death 10 days later.  Sad to say, but this released me from the mental prison of my upbringing, and is probably the best thing that could have happened to me.  I quickly trained as a life coach (well it took 6 months), then decided I would really like to help people who had been through something similar to myself.  I therefore trained as a Grief Coach, and am now and ICF accredited coach.  I am setting up a coaching practice to help people suffering from grief, particularly to help those that are childless, but also those that have grief from huge changes in their life such as divorce, living the life unexpected, loss of a fulfilling career due to retirement or ill health, loss of a family member, close friend or beloved pet.  I have found working with people in this arena so rewarding, and have been through so many grief producing events in my life, that I can relate to clients and empathise with them.

So I have set up Embrace Your Future – happiness, grief and loss coaching.  I am in the throes of setting up a website. 

My advice to anyone in a similar situation is to work through grief with someone such as myself who can help guide you towards living your best life, and putting together your Plan B.  Grief never leaves us, however, we find a way to live with it and incorporate it into our lives going forwards.   I see so many posts on Facebook groups from people who are in that grief spiral and finding life so difficult.  However, grief and despair can become a comfortable place to stay, and change is uncertain and unpredictable, therefore they can be reluctant to embrace the belief that a future with joy is out there for them.  There is no magic wand, no one else’s journey is identical to mine or theirs, and therefore we all have to trust in the process and get out there and make our best life happen for us.”

Contact Judi at judi_7@hotmail.com