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Goodbye to the Children I Never Had

Goodbye to the Children I Never Had

How can I say goodbye when I never even had the chance to really say hello?

by

I find it so hard to say goodbye. I think I'll never see the person again. On the other hand, I can always call or send an e-mail, so saying goodbye shouldn't be so hard.

But what happens when the person is no longer there? When they've lived out their 120 years and they are gone? Then I say goodbye and it's permanent. They're no longer there to share things with, to support me, or vice versa, or commiserate with. I can't communicate with them directly. I can pray for their soul, but that's not satisfactory; it feels one-sided. It's very sad for me to say goodbye to someone this way.

What about a situation where the person never actually existed? They existed only in my visions of what I wanted for myself, but not in flesh and blood. How can I say goodbye when I never even had the chance to really say hello? We never spoke or touched in life.

But in my dreams we did. In my dreams, it was all so real. I held them and cuddled them. They were so cute! Some had curly hair, some had straight; some were blonde headed (like their mom) and some had light brown hair (like their dad). They smiled and cooed. We celebrated the bris or the Kiddush ... and I even allowed myself to dream about their wedding. They learned to walk. These children of my dreams brought home gorgeous artwork from school that I hung on the fridge. In some dreams, there were twins - of course a boy and a girl! So we celebrated a bris, a Kiddush ... and in the wildest dreams even a pidyon ha'ben (redemption of a first born boy). Wow - the people that came! These were global celebrations; if you couldn't come to the event in our town, you celebrated in your town. And in places like Jerusalem, there were celebrations in several neighborhoods. In my dream, there was incredible unity because of our Simcha (joyful celebration).

These children existed - they seemed so real. Until I woke up and realized it was a dream. It was a dream that recurred for 25 years, in one form or another. The particulars may have changed, but the basic story line remained the same: I became pregnant, went through a birth, was granted a healthy child, and participated in the ensuing celebrations.

But this never happened. I never really said hello. And now it's time to say goodbye. Goodbye to the potential children, goodbye to that part of my life that allows this to happen, and goodbye to the dreams. I don't want to let the dreams go. I don't want to part with the potential that I can create life. I'm forced into that space, like stuffing too many things into a suitcase and pressing them down. I feel the pressure of having to say goodbye before I'm ready.

The last time I felt this pressure that was when my grandfather, ob"m, passed away. I was only 17 - he left too soon. I didn't have a choice; I had to say goodbye on that early fall day. I never saw him alive again. I wasn't ready - God took him anyway. It was God's time, not mine.

It's the same with these goodbyes. I'm on God's time line. In His infinite wisdom, He's decided that it's time to say goodbye to the children I will never have. He has a plan for me, and being able to biologically create life is not part of this plan. I'm having a hard time accepting this plan. I question it. I struggle with it. It's painful to live out this idea. I'm sad. I'm saying goodbye in the hardest situation possible ... I won't be able to have regular contact. I won't even be able to pray for their souls because they never existed.

But maybe, just maybe, they did exist ... in a previous lifetime. Maybe, at some future date when God reveals His Master Plan, I will meet all of these souls and will realize that indeed I was somehow able to create life. Or maybe the Master Plan was that I helped others create life and I will meet those souls who will recognize me as part of their heritage.

In hope, there is life. By living in hope, I can learn to say goodbye.

Published: June 30, 2007


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Visitor Comments: 93

(90) Melissa, December 21, 2012 1:42 AM

Oh how I pray for children of my own

Anyone can get pregnat right? Wrong!! I have prayed for this one thing ever since I was a little girl, and it has not come. I am scared that each year as I get older and past my child bearing days. I have 3 stepchildren, nephews and God children, which I am grateful for but it is not the same. I long for a child of my own, and so fearful that it will never happen. I have never been preganant, and my husband is not sure he evern wants to have children. My only comfort is knowing that one day when I am in Heaven, I will have all the children that I wish for. I keep praying and hoping I can have children of my own, to feel that life growing inside me. I can only accept what God has in store for me. I pray for the strength of whatever answer he gives me.

(89) Tori, August 11, 2012 8:25 PM

SAYING GOODBYE IS NOT EASY

AFTER TRYING FOR SO LONG AND THEN GETTING PREGNANT ONLY TO FIND OUT THAT I WAS PREGNANT IN MY TUBE. WHAT A MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT THAT WAS. I HAD SURGERY AND THE DR TOOK OUT THE WRONG TUBE WHICH LED TO A VERY LONG DRAWN OUT RECOVERY NEEDLESS TO SAY THAT NOW I HAVE NO TUBES AND ONE OVARY LEFT AFTER ALL IS SAID AND DONE. SO I KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE WHERE ALL MY FRIENDS HAVE CHILDREN EXCEPT ME. SO I NOW HAVE THREE LITTLE DOGS WHICH ARE NOW MY LITTLE BABIES. THERE IS A SAYING YOU NEVER MISS WHAT YOU NEVER HAD BUT COMING FROM A WOMAN AND THE ISSUE AT HAND HAVING A BABY I THINK IS EVERY WOMAN'S DREAM. TO HAVE A LEGACY TO LEAVE BEHIND A SMALL IMPRINT IN THIS BIG WORLD. I FEEL WHEN I LEAVE THIS EARTH I HAVE NO ONE TO LIVE ON FOR ME. SO YES, IT'S VERY SAD TO ME AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT GOD HAS PLANNED FOR ME. I AM NOW 53 YEARS OLD AND NO CHILDREN. I JUST HAVE TO LEARN TO LIVE MY LIFE WITHOUT EVERY KNOWING WHAT IT'S LIKE TO HAVE A CHILD.

(88) evie chavah Goodall, September 13, 2011 2:24 AM

I too feel this pain........

I know this pain, I never could bear children, my life has felt so incomplete without a loving husband and the 3 children i wished for, they never came, because it isnt in the plan this lifetime i suppose, but i cry sometimes thinking of their names, how fresh and soft they would sod will. thank you for your smell after a bath, their gentle cooing, it never was to be so i pray that perhaps i can foster a child if i get married care for a child who needs love, i want to give that love of a mother so much, if it is Gods will.

liebeskind, April 3, 2012 12:14 AM

there are many children who need to be fostered even in the jewish community. Sadly there are those for one reason or another whose parents have not got the capacxity to care for there children or bring them up saftley, so if you reached out to care for these children ,just one or two it would be a blessing a mitzvah

(87) maxine, May 23, 2011 6:23 AM

my daughter can not have a child we think

she is now 36 years old and she been trying with her husband for over seven years now. they been to doctors they done so much and my heart breaks for her. her two sister had babies and she is so sad. I worry she be a lone in life with out little ones.

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