Childless: Reflections on Life’s Longing

Author: Gillian Guthrie
Published by: Short Stop Press, March 2012

At the age of forty-five author, Gillian Guthrie, finally knew – empathically and unequivocally – that she really did want to have children. Her belated clarity coincided with meeting her life partner whom she believed – without doubt – would make a wonderful father. But she also knew they would never have children. By then, it was too late.

From that point, the author became preoccupied by a grief that had lain dormant – deeply personal, private and troubling – which she found hard to understand or explain. How do you grieve for a child who never lived? Why should that absence cause grief as intense at times as the loss of a loved one?

Childless: Reflections on Life’s Longing for Itself sets out to find answers. Her quest led her into the minds and emotions of scores of women who, for any number of reasons ranging from choice, through to circumstance, infertility and abuse, had found themselves without children. It led her also to the experts in IVF treatments, to counsellors and to participants in IVF programs, including AccessAustralia’s Sandra Dill and the Fertility Society of Australia’s Prof. Michael Chapman.

Because so many women find their childlessness a difficult thing to talk about the topic gets only scant public acknowledgement and even less sympathy and understanding. Gillian Guthrie’s book is full of information and insights which illuminate the childless life – its sorrows and sometimes its joy.

Childless: Reflections on Life’s Longing for Itself is available at bookstores and online through the website