Image description: A blue forget-me-not with a yellow and white centre – the World Childless Week logo.

 

We recently presented a free webinar on writing for wellbeing for World Childless Week. World Childless Week was founded by Stephanie Phillips in 2017 to raise awareness of the childless-not-by-choice community. It also helps members of the childless-not-by-choice community find the right support networks, that can both understand their grief and help them forwards to acceptance when the time is right. We are both supporters of World Childless Week (workshop leader Meriel Whale is a World Childless Week champion, and co-workshop leader / founder Annie Kirby has written for World Childless Week in previous years) so we were thrilled when Stephanie invited us to present a webinar.

We decided to select some of our favourite writing activities from the other webinars and online workshops we have run in 2020, but to adapt them with some of World Childless Week’s daily themes in mind, particularly ‘Our Stories’ and ‘Moving Forwards.’ We were aiming to be positive, upbeat and affirming, with no writing experience needed, so we were over the moon when over 70 people from all over the world joined us on the night. Everyone seemed to enjoy the writing activities and the chat box was abuzz with people sharing their very special words throughout the webinar.

 

Some amazing writing was done during the webinar and afterwards. We always say, the object is not to write something beautiful or artistic, but only to write what you feel, or where the pen takes you. The aim is to write therapeutically, not creatively. But, so often, this approach results in beautiful, powerful pieces of writing. We would like to thank and honour everyone who took part in the webinar, whether they shared their writing in the chat box, sent it to us afterwards or, equally, whether they chose to write privately.

The following incredible pieces were written by participants in the workshop and are shared here with their permission. The final piece was written by one of our workshop leaders a few minutes before the webinar as an example of how the activities can empower us to write.

Dreams I had so many
About how my life would be.
Never having held you in my arms
Is now reality.
Ending this chapter is a new beginning,
Lovingly I keep you in my sweetest memories.

Another day is coming filled with grace.

 

Grateful forever having been able to hear your heartbeat for once.
Right or wrong, it doesn’t matter anymore.
Always with me for the rest of my days,
Childlessness is now part of me.

Ending the silence is now.

 

NB: Grace was the name we had chosen for our baby.

by Daniela Pfaltz

Surviving is what I do

Truths ruminating my mind through

Allowing myself to grieve the loss

Calling out to those who understand

Yearning for a purpose to show its hand

 

How did I get here?

One day and then the next

Purpose unfolding all around me

Emotions coming to a rest 

 

-Stacy N. 

Timber

When I was young I never gave it much thought
I assumed I could and would when I met ‘Mr. Right’
When we couldn’t, my tree fell apart
Just a stump of a woman was left
Slowly  I have begun growing again
The stories of others help me feel less alone
Less of an ‘other’
Sharing with others, journaling, singing
Drumming, dancing, kayaking, biking, crying, wailing
Wondering, waiting, kneeling, thanking
As long as I can breathe

I will live life fully

 

by Joni Thompson

Image description: A baobab tree, which has a very tall trunk and a small crown of green leaves, against a bluy sky and clouds.

Image credit:  Bernard Gagnon – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3646805

Sometimes I doubt my worth
Today, I don’t
Everywhere I look I see strength and understanding
Positivity Surrounds me
Hope envelopes me
All about me there is love
Now, I pause
I look deep into my heart

Every part is filled with joy.

 

by Stephanie Phillips
There is laughter and love
Confusion and denial
More laughter
Much more laughter

Understanding, friendship and love

 

by Stephanie Phillips

Awesome
Nurturing
Adventurous
Sensitive
Tender
Amiable
Strong
Integrity-full
Authentic

by Anastasia MacDonald

 

Image description: Purple writing on white paper of poems, other pieces & instructions written during the Writing for Wellbeing webinar.

Image credit: Anastasia MacDonald

Special Object – Bingley’s Chili Pepper Toy

Smells like good old house smell.

It looked loved but not destroyed – still has life to it.

His first toy – that he still played with at the end.

Did he really know the word ‘chilipepper’?

Bury it? Keep it as memento.

 

by Anastasia MacDonald

 

 

 

Image description: Black writing on cream paper of Hayley’s acrostic poem based on the letters of her name.

Image credit: Hayley

 

My name is HAYLEY &

Helping others is my….
Ambition & purpose, keeping me….
Young-at-heart & ….
Loving life, approaching it with
Energy, giving myself & others a feeling of total
Yumminess!

by Hayley 

In the beginning.

Wanting, waiting to be a mum. I never thought it would be so hard. I carried on waiting, hoping. I was patient. And then, not safe, I made the biggest sacrifice of my life. I gave up my chance to be a mum. I didn’t know it would be my only chance. Then I met S and I had hope again. Infertility was like a bomb, blowing us apart. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move, slipping down into darkness, when hope becomes toxic.

And then.

Yuki and Kiko. Their smiling faces. Their unconditional love. They needed me. New friends, a community of others like me and I wasn’t so alone. I started to write, to write, to write. I kept writing, the words poured out of me.

And now.

Hope. The non-toxic kind, hope that lives in the moment.

Happiness.

by Annie K

Image description: Illustration of a dark brown tree with dark green leaves on a light green background. Words such as writing, happiness, can’t breathe, hope and waiting are typed onto the branches.

Original image credit: by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay