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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Grief, by any other name...

      I haven't felt like blogging much lately, some big changes in my life have left me wordless.  A while back I wrote about empty nest, suggesting that it was a normal transition and I would use the free time to "stop and smell the roses."  I was so wrong about that! 
      No-one told me that empty nest is forever, that it would cause an hollow that cannot be filled or that when my father died after the holidays the combination of the two would put me in a world of hurt. 
      Parents spend 15-20 plus years caring for their Kiddos. It's a long term relationship. Then one day it abruptly ends. Maybe they go off to college, learn to drive or find a special friend, each Kiddo is different. The result is the same, however, they fly away and everything has changed. It is normal, so I convinced myself: it's ok. Actually it wasn't ok, it was confusing.
       I wasn't sure if it was ok to call, text, ask questions, make plans, offer advice or any assistance. As a single Mom, I had no other "roomie" to hang out with except the cat. ( just send me the crazy cat lady starter kit now please-thanks).  I realized that when I flew the nest at 19, I never looked never even occurred to me, now it was as plain as day. Did my parents feel like this when I left?
       Then my Dad passed away. He'd been ill with dementia, but his physical health was good, so it was a surprise. The Kiddo was out of town with friends. I was alone for several days before a whirlwind trip for the funeral and then back to the empty nest. The grief overwhelmed me, I couldn't stop crying, but only privately.
      Both situations are "normal transitions of adult life", but I wasn't transitioning well. I cried privately because I felt guilty about my grief. Most people were sympathetic about my Dad, but took the empty nest lightly. The reality was, Dad had been "gone" for some time, the Kiddo for just a couple of months. The roses smelled cloyingly of funerals and crayons.
      I have a life aside from being a mother. I work, write, create intentional jewelry and have other interests as well. Still the vacuum of empty nest took my breath away, while Dad became his old self in my memories, in a way I missed him less. I knew both of these days were coming, but nothing prepared me for them, for the intensity of my feelings.
      Since then, I've been working on healing...meditation, mantra, nature (thank you spring), subliminal mp3s and prayers for the best for everyone- the only thing I actually pray for. I restarted a modified yoga program. Those things help, but it's taken months and I have to accept the disparity in my grief. I'm crying less, but I still never know when the tears will come.
        I understood losing my parents would be forever and luckily my mother is a spry 80+, but the empty nest...well that Was the goal, I just didn't realize it would hurt so much or be so final. Would I do it again? Sure, but I can only wish now that I'd had a realistic "heads up" long ago.
        blissings to you and yours,  amberspiral

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