World Childless Week – ‘Invisible Legacies’ by guest blogger Meriel Whale

The Power of ‘connection’ has never been more prevalent, as World Childless Week reconnected our community around the globe this week.

Through the amazing community that Jody Day of Gateway Women has created, I’ve been really fortunate to recently be introduced to Meriel Whale. Meriel is a counsellor for ‘Childless not by Choice Women’, who very conveniently lives very close to me, in the lovely town of Lewes, on the South Coast of the UK.

Today I’m very honoured to have Meriel as my guest blogger, talking about her thoughts on ‘Invisible Legacies’.

Its also a very exciting day for me, as Meriel has kindly offered me the opportunity to be her very first guest blogger, so if you’d like read my thoughts on ‘Finding a place in your family, as you embrace childlessness!’ follow this link to her website!

Over to Meriel………

Some might say that just having children is a lazy legacy. But there are other legacies that are invisible. Legacies that are about making a difference, on a tiny level or on a big one. Legacies that are the little things we do every day, the kind voice we use with ourselves, with animals, people, with the plants we nurture, every colleague we support, every shop worker or person at a bus stop we greet with a smile and a hello, every little thing we do that makes a difference. That’s a real legacy. That’s how we make our mark on the world.

Real legacies can be creative, in the broadest sense of the world. Every day life is creative, creating environments, creating food, a plant in a pot, a window box, a garden. Some of us might be artists, writers, crafters, scientists, designers, innovators, for fun or for work. This is legacy, regardless of what happens to the thing created when it is done.

Legacy is sharing what we love with others, sewing seeds that can grow anywhere and everywhere, in our families of origin, in our chosen families, in everyone we meet.

It’s in the support we give to ourselves first, then to others. For some of us, legacy might come from our work. I am proud of the work I do as a counsellor for people who are childless not by choice. I want to use my painful journey to support others, so those experiences can be of use, were not wasted. I want to turn around and support the people coming up the mountain behind me. It’s a tough terrain made easier if you walk it with others.

Legacy is about creating families that work for us, our partners, our friends, the rescued pets we nurture back to health. It’s about broadening the definition of a family, it’s about small challenges to the child-centric communities we might live in.

For some of us it is speaking truth to the powers in society, for some of us it is about speaking truth to the painful messages we have absorbed over the years. It’s about seeing yourself as worthy of support and love, and offering that support to others in those tiny gestures of care that can mean a lot.

We don’t need to set out to do anything big to create a legacy.

It’s all the little things we do, the little promises we keep, the words we write, the things we say that join up over the years to create a beautiful web of connection, of love. This is legacy.

This is love.

We can all have this kind of legacy, and those of us without kids might have more of an impact because we are making our legacy every day, with everything we say and do.

There are no ‘lazy legacies’ for us.


For anyone that feels like they may need some support on their journey through childlessness, there’s no real simple answer to whether counselling or coaching is right for you, as it really comes down to what stage of your childless journey you’re on and what you hope to gain from the relationship with your coach/counsellor.

My recommendation would be to research all options available to you to see which feels like the best fit and if in doubt, reach out if you have any questions. Finding the right coach or counsellor, is such a personal decision and one that can only come from you. Meriel and I are both here if you have any questions, we wish you well on your journey.

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