Life Advice



Ask Amy: Grieving woman doesn’t want ‘suggestions’

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My husband and I married later in life, after both of us swore we would never marry.

Cupid hit us both over the head when I was 38 and he was 42, and after 5 years together, we tied the knot. We never explicitly discussed having children before or after getting married; we really only said, “if it happens, great, if not, fine,” and we did not use any form of birth control.

A year ago, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer and had emergency hysterectomy surgery very quickly after my diagnosis.

Since then, I have found myself deeply grieving this loss. Having children is something I don’t even really think I truly wanted; it’s more the choice and option being removed from me with such finality that I am struggling with.

My problem is that when I try to convey my grief to people I am close to, they immediately bring up adoption.

When they ask if my husband and I have considered adopting a child, I want to snap, “No, what a great idea! You’re the first person in history to EVER suggest that!”


I know they are only trying to help by offering the only “solution” they can think of. But it really makes me angry when they do this.

Is it that difficult to understand I am grieving the fact my husband and I, who finally found each other, will never parent our own “mini-mes”? That I am grieving never being able to feel a child grow inside my body, will never give birth, will never nurse a baby in those quiet, pre-dawn hours while the rest of the world sleeps?

To put it rather bluntly, why do people think any old baby will do?

What do you think is the best way to convey to those who want to jump directly to the subject of adoption when this is discussed, not to? It’s getting harder and harder for me to be polite about this.


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