My Divine Note #49 - Facing my grief: The empty nest during spring break - Isaiah 58:9

Saturday, March 6, 2010
Isaiah 58:9 Then when you call, the LORD will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.

On Tuesday, March 2, I spent the day celebrating my only child’s 19th birthday in the town where she attends college. We enjoyed shopping, eating and talking – all our favorite things to do together. This weekend it’s her spring break and she’s flying to Boston and then to the San Francisco area to spend time with friends and family.

For the last 18 years, we’ve spent birthdays at home and spring breaks together. Birthdays in my family were always a big deal, so I made sure my child's birthdays were extra special. My heart feels heavy as all my traditions change and I move on to live my life apart from my child. It seems wrong to not be on spring break with her. A few months ago I thought that I would schedule time off to take a vacation in March, but time slipped by and it didn’t happen.

I feel grateful that I am fully aware of my need to recognize my grief, so that I won’t succumb to depression or isolate myself.

How I am coping
• I know that my feelings are real and that I must be completely transparent with myself.
• I looked through the scrapbooks and remembered our many mini spring break vacations.
• I spent time with one of my best friends. Sometimes you just need to be with people who know you and love you.
• I’ve been asking the Savior of my Soul, who knows me intimately, to help me help myself hang on to him for comfort.
• I’ve shed a few cleansing tears. OK, so I cry at the drop of a hat...
• I am acknowledging that my heart is heavy because things changed in my world. But I’m thrilled that my child is enjoying time with her closest friends and family.

I will continue writing about my empty nest grief as I experience new phases and as I become stronger about coping. It is my prayer that this note helps you recognize changes that are happening in your life, which may involve a need for you to grieve appropriately. Whether you’ve lost a job, moved, ended a relationship, retired or received a troubling health diagnosis – all of these are life events that rock our worlds. Be aware that you need to honor your grief and I cannot emphasize the importance of seeking help.

Next year I plan to schedule time off and take a fun spring break. Meanwhile, I am relying on friends, family and my relationship with the God of the Universe to see me through this transition.

Big God Hugs and love,
Blanca




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