By Karen Malone Wright
It’s been almost a year since I wrote a post about childless only children, my first on the topic, and apparently, one of very few online. As older posts on this site go, it’s been a leader in continuously attracting comments and personal stories.
It’s one thing to find another person without kids; it’s another to find one who understands the unique perspectives of child-free only children. It’s logical to think the Internet could help in the search.
It seems that many child-free adults who are their parents’ only child are hard-pressed to find another like them. If they are aunts, or uncles, it’s by marriage, or friendship. After a certain age, their close family may be what others think of as extended, built of non-blood relationships. I’m an only, and that’s certainly true in my life.
But without sisters or brothers, your family line ends with you. Thoughts of legacy and fears of aging that we all have may be magnified. That’s what I thought of when I read this comment from William in August 2014: (What? You thought only women read this blog?)
“I too have been searching the internet for people with this same issue. I am an only child, and I have just turned sixty years old. My father died ten years ago, and my mother is nearing ninety. My wife and I could not have children, and for some years I thought that this would not be a big deal. But it really is a big deal. My wife has five siblings and that is great, but things have happened over the years that have estranged us from them all a bit. I know this is a selfish thought, but sometimes I wonder what the purpose of it all can be. I guess I am just going through something tonight, and tomorrow it will be better, but for right now, I am glad I found this website.”