Women's journey to honour infertility: an inquiry into the grief process
LE3 .A278 1999
Master of Education
This study is a subjective inquiry into the process of grief for women who live with infertility. The central thesis of this study is that women's infertility involves a process of exploring and understanding the origins of grief and recognizing the power of grief to be a positive healing force in their lives. Three women participated in a three-stage research process which involved a one-to-one interview, a weekend retreat group experience, and a process of collaborative data analysis. Five themes were identified in this research: an infertility diagnosis begins the suppression of the early phases of grief, in particular, denial and frustration; women with infertility suppress grief; suppression of grief leads to a negative impact on women's bodies; women with infertility link grief to societal and cultural expectations; when infertility is honoured and grief emerges it is hope and faith which sustains women on their journey toward healing--a Re-birth. These themes present common elements in women's experience and describe how women's grief around infertility is influenced by suppressive social influences. Verbatim excerpts from interviews, journals, and follow up meetings are integrated with related literature in the presentation of these themes. This research confirms the importance of women's need to honour infertility through their personal and social inquiry into their grief process. They can reclaim their voice, their bodies, and their place of Be-ing in the world.
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