Post-Parting Depression: Saying Good-bye to My Adult Kids

Veronica Writes

I’ve got an issue and I need help! I’m hoping I’ll get a lot of suggestions on this post from our amazingly insightful readers.

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” -Dr Seuss

This past holiday season, we had a lot to celebrate.

In addition to our typical yuletide festivities, we were blessed to celebrate my in-law’s 60th wedding anniversary two days after Christmas and our own anniversary a week after the new year started.

As wonderful as it was to have such momentous events smack-in-the-middle of the holidays, it led to more good-byes to our adult kids than I’m normally used to.

Having The Spawn come and go in such short and hectic celebratory spurts gave me some interesting insight into how I deal with my empty nest good-byes.

Not well, it seems.

No matter how long they’ve been out of the nest, no matter how happy they are, no matter how I prepare myself, no matter how much I write about it – I can’t seem to keep myself from being head-over-heels depressed every time I have to say good-bye to my young adult offspring.

It hits me like a ton of bricks. Seriously, I cry like Tammy Faye Bakker on the second day of her period — a regular air-sucking, mascara-dripping, please-God-nobody-see-me sob fest.

One would think I’d be used to good-byes by now. Or that I’ve somehow figured out how to prepare for the letdown. After all, The Spawn are all finished with college and it’s been over six years since we’ve had a full time, live-in offspring.

Prior to a visit, I’m obnoxiously ecstatic. Bouncing off the walls happy. I certainly don’t want to tarnish that feeling with the planning of the inevitable pit of despair at the end. So instead, I’ve been leaving an open void of time — just waiting there for me to fall into, dragging self-pity in behind me.

Seeing The Spawn never fails to fulfil me. I am always surprised at how easily I can slip fully back into Mommy mode, it’s a huge part of who I am. When I’m around them I smile bigger, laugh harder and feel so comfortably myself. The heartstrings sing — and dig in hard.

Having to let go from those good-bye hugs at the airport is literally physically challenging. I feel like I’ve just run a marathon (okay, I’ve never actually run a marathon, but it looks really difficult). I can’t catch my breath, there’s a tightening in my chest and exhaustion soon sets in.

I have to force myself not to take to my bed with my smelling salts.

On the plus side, I’m finding that I have a quicker recovery time. What used to last weeks is now a matter of days.

Growth, right?

Does this mean it gets gradually easier until the post-parting depression goes completely away? Or do I need to learn to brace myself for the inevitable and learn new ways to cope with it?


YOUR TURN: Do you have similar experiences? Any advice on how I can avoid post-parting depression? Suggestions, please!

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313 thoughts on “Post-Parting Depression: Saying Good-bye to My Adult Kids”

  1. Just moved my youngest into an apartment. He graduated college in May and has been living home since then. He has a job and now has an apartment with 3 friends. I am happy for him – he will have a much shorter commute to work, will be living with friends, and he is financially independent. But I am SO sad. Like others here, I am proud of the fact that I have successfully raised and launched 2 boys (now men). I just feel empty. I have a husband, job and a couple of close friends. I have 2 dogs. Yet I feel this huge hole in my heart that I am not sure will ever be filled. I don’t have any hobbies. I am 58 and just can’t imagine this next phase of my life. I cry constantly. My husband tries to be supportive but he does not understand the feelings I am experiencing. When my oldest was home for Christmas, I cried for days after he left. My kids are only 30 minutes away; they both live in the city and we are in the suburbs. But unless we make the trip into the city, we never see them. My oldest rarely calls. If I text him we will have a quick conversation via text, but that is it. I know they have their own lives now but it is so hard to let go.

    1. I completely understand what you’re feeling. My 28 yo daughter just moved to San Diego and I’m on the east coast. I’m a 58 yo married woman with a good job struggling to adjust to the next chapter of my life. My daughter and I are good friends and this is not the future we talked about. No one understands how hard this is.

      I wish there was a support group or some way to really connect with other parents who share the same concerns. Does anyone have any suggestions?

      1. A support group would be great. I am also on the east coast (Boston area) and would welcome the opportunity to connect with others who feel the same way. I do wonder what this next phase of life will bring. I don’t feel as needed or as important as I used to. My kids are grown, my job is changing, my social life is not as active as it used to be. My social life was centered around the parents of my kids’ friends; now many of them have moved away or moved on. My husband is very content with our empty house, but I am not. I do know that I have a lot to be thankful for, but it is still so very hard.

      2. Hi Trish- I understand completely!!!!what you are going through. I am 57 yrs old. My 29 yr old daughter is moving 600 miles away. I am emotionally distraught. I am crying so much to the point that I am sobbing so hard my body is heaving. She is my best friend. I am hers. While we both have other friends there is this amazing relationship that we share. It’s exactly what you pray for once you have children. We are certainly different personality types but we’ve always been so good to each other. She is the one person in the world that I have the best time with, doesn’t matter what we end up doing it’s just a great time. It’s never a dull moment. The world just reacts positively to the two of us, we laugh about that all time, because we have had such fun experiences.
        I am in mourning. It would be ridiculous to follow her. I know that it’s important to let go. She needs to discover what’s out there away from home base.
        I am also watching the emotional reaction of my husband. It is painful to see him so upset that our daughter is moving away. Since my husband is at the tail end of his working career it will be tricky if not impossible to relocate with a job closer to where our daughter is moving.

        Please feel free to respond back. I get the impression from your post that you and I are experiencing very similar emotions. I am embarrassed a bit to share how I feel with other people, even my own sister, it seems a lot of people dont identify. I certainly wouldn’t call anyone and let them hear me cry about it. Maybe the people I know don’t share the same very close relationships with their children.

        1. My small family of 4 moved from the north, to the south ten years ago. Its been a rough go of it for all of us. With the kids~ making some new friends, that come and go. And many jobs after high school. My husband and I never really “fitting in” to the non-existent “southern charm”. We thought at the time, the move would be good for all of us. We have each experienced good times, and hardships like everyone else. And for ten years, as a family, have talked many times about relocating again, but haven’t been able to decide where we could all move and yet be close to one another, while the 27 & 29 yr old sons, could still be on their own; but within a decent hours drive or less. I guess, we’ve all been “afraid” to make another mistake.
          Now, my youngest, is 3 months into a new job, and they have him flying all over the place. Which- quite frankly, horrifies me. On his “travel days” I am glued to my cell phone and literally track his flight from start to finish. I cannot put my phone down, and cannot breath, until I know he is safely on the ground.
          Well. In the past week, he tells us that his boss, made an offer to him for a higher paying position. Which sounds great right? . But, the condition is, that he has to relocate to the west coast. By dreadful plane, it is over 4 hrs away. I cannot even fathom, him being more than an hour from home on a “normal” day.
          Since the kids moved out 3 yrs ago, I have been completely miserable. I miss them on a daily basis. At first, I saw them all the time. 3-5 days out of the week. It slowly got down to 4 then 3, then 2 days a week, and then one…. because their father and I felt like we should back off a bit, and let them “miss” us alittle. Let them appreciate us more, while they each grow up and become more
          mature etc.
          My youngest bought his own home at 24, and his brother moved in, and has a room, while two friends rent rooms. They all have use of the rest of house.
          We Thought the two brothers would look after one another, and that it would be a good thing; for the most part, they do, But, truth be told, the oldest doesn’t respect his brother and takes advantage of his generosity. Lets just say, on the financial end of it, he doesn’t pay a cent to live in the big (little brother) house, and he doesn’t appreciate it at all.
          The younger son strives to get ahead. He Plans on making a 6 figure income before or by turning thirty. With this new job offer, he just might. I am just afraid, that the circumstances at his home, might be the driving force in pushing him to move so far away.
          Two friends, and a brother, in which disrespect him, and each treat his home as if it were nothing to them. They do what they want without asking for permission and expect our younger son to just go along with it. (which, he does, but isn’t happy about it, and doesn’t want to ruffle feathers within the group). He is just too damn nice. As parents, so many times we just want to take over and tell the friends to take a hike and get out. But, its not our place to say, so we keep our mouths shut.
          I see the need for our children to spread their wings. I do. But, knowing each of my sons, and also the state of the world we
          Live in, I feel like (the love of) family is truly all we each have in this world. Money is nothing and especially without those we love by our side. It only buys “things”. I want each of my children to grow up. Mature. And long for them to each have families of their own.
          I have seen, read, and heard of those who cross the country to make a life of and on their own, to never feel the same way about living “back home” near their loved ones again. How then, could I ever experience family life again, with either of my children, or future grandchildren, if they live hours or days away.
          My husband (54) and I (52) do not work outside the home. We also, have pets that prevent us from getting away for any real length of time. Financially, we would not be able to afford flight travel OR drive time to go cross country for visits. It takes us years before we can even afford to take a vacation for a simple wknd. I just don’t know how I can survive without being in close driving distance from my children if they needed me, or if I just want to go for a visit. I know I cannot ask my youngest to not take the job. Even though my heart tells me to beg him to stay and find other work. My heart is breaking and the tears are pouring even as I am writing this. The mere thought the he is sleeeping on this, and making a decision only hours after his return flight from a week long meeting with his boss and the rest of his (west coast) workforce. (He currently works from his TN home for the same company.
          I feel like I waited too long myself, to sell our home here, and move the four of us further south. MY fear for uprooting them again, just may be the reason the family breaks up and goes in all separate directions. I feel like I let not only myself down, but might cause my kids to make the wrong decisions. Or maybe right decisions, but for the wrong reasons.
          I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to handle this. I know my youngest son said many times before, that he wanted to move further south, to the east coast. (FL to be exact). But because of this high paying job offer, I feel he will value the money over what he really wants. I know he wants a change from the life he has here. The four of us do. But, I was and am- hoping that the change would come for all of us, and lead us in the same southern direction.
          I know I am rambling here. For that I am sorry. I tend to bottle up my feelings and not speak my mind on certain things, in order to keep the peace or to not cry (which I tend to do alot because I can’t put my words together due to emotions).
          I saw this post, I don’t even know how I found it. But I just had to give my response.
          I pray for every Mother and Father
          Out there who is going through this type of experience right now. I hope you all find a way to cope with it. Someway, somehow.

  2. I I am struggling all the time and my girls have been in college for you is out of state. I am extremely lonely and feel empty. I can’t leave my marriage because of money I wouldn’t be able to support myself but in my mind my marriage is dead and over. I sometimes regret allowing my daughter to go to college in another state four hours away. Because she now does not want to come back to our home state. I have tried therapy antidepressants but Nothing helps

    1. I feel the same way. It has been 12 years now. My only daughter has been married for 6 years now and lives 4 hours away. I am always happy to see her, but it is still sad and lonely to see her go. We have grown apart anymore and don’t have alot to talk about because our lives have gone in different directions.
      Her husband went out of town for a few days for Thanksgiving and I was so happy to go out and spend time with my daughter. She was polite the first day, cool the 2nd day and down right rude by the third day. I ended up leaving a day early because it seemed she no longer wanted me there. I will never put myself through that again. I have decided it is best to just have a tea party relationship with her and not to try to be close or best friends anymore. It is just to painful. She is often rude and disrespectful. If we just go out to dinner once or twice per year it seems to work out the best. I have just decided to move on with my life and not to bother her anymore. If she wants to come to town, we can go to dinner. It seems to be less painful for us not to get too wrapped up in eachothers lives. We get along better this way.

    2. My son and daughter-in law are moving to Tampa I am in NY. I lost a daughter in a car accident, my other son lives in Pittsburgh. My daughter is married with my 5 granddaughters. They are only reason I go on. I am 63, however 3 of my four sisters passed away, the latest being only 3 months ago. None of them got out of their 60s. My son has been my rock. Always there for me, never one bit of trouble. Husband has Parkinson’s with some dementia so not much interaction with him. The only reason I go out is because my son and his wife ask us to go to a movie and dinner, my daughter has the 5 girls, works full time and when she’s free, she needs time with her husband and girls. I am very close to granddaughters and babysit her two youngest twice a week. It’s not enough. I will miss my son terribly, he lives a mile away from me. I am looking into rentals or to buy something inexpensive so I can go live there in the winter. Then I will miss my granddaughters. My daughter is buried here and I keep her grave neat and beautiful. I know I sound awful, but I don’t know how to get along without him and his wife. No matter how busy one tries to be, the void will be there.

    3. It’s even harder when you are divorced and your only child is in a different country as a Marine. I wish my son was only 4 hours away and not 25 hours of flying away

    1. My daughter graduated from college and got married last Spring. My son is in grad school and so busy that we don’t see him often. After the wedding people kept asking me if I was Ok? I didn’t understand then, but I do now. I miss them so much! I feel like my mom job is over. There is nothing to look forward to now, just my empty nest. I adore my new son in law and I know how happy my daughter is, but the tears just flow and depression has set in.
      I’m happy that they are both successful and happy. We raised them to be independent and they are both great people. I just miss them. I miss having them around. I even miss their mess! I’m glad to know that I’m a normal empty nester

    2. My daughter graduated college and got married this past Spring. My son is in grad school and very busy so we don’t get to see him often. After the wedding people kept asking me if I was ok? I didn’t understand what they meant then, but I do now. My nest is empty and I am so sad. They are both successful adults and we raised them to be independent, but the tears still flow and depression is tugging at me. It’s like there is nothing to look forward to. I feel like my mom job is over. It’s not a fun feeling. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only sad empty nester out there!

  3. In 2009 my sister moved across the country she used to live next door. We both took care of our aging Mom who got cancer and passed in 2009. My daughter of 30 moved 13 hours away 2months before my Mom passed. Big changes in my life, but my one daughter was still close and I invested lots of time helping her raise her daughter of 8 years old. Then she remarried and her husband got a job 10 hours away. I was so sad. They moved and she got pregnant and had a baby boy in June. I am trying to keep chin up, we can’t move we have a farm. I am an active senior but all the people I associate with are very invested with grand kids and it is the light of there life. Seems that is what we live for in our senior years. I think about all the time my sister and I spent helping our Mom, and Mom had 4 kids and 8 grand kids living around her. I find myself crying like a baby in the middle of the night in a semi sleep. My husband says you have to get over it, this is not healthy. I know it, but can’t seem to mentally pull it together and find any positive in this situation. I remind myself, that they are still living life, and my heart goes out to parents who bury there children. My situation seems selfishly small.

  4. I needed to read all of these so very much. I have five children, 27, 26 , 19, 16, and 14. The older 2 are on their own, married and 4 beautiful granddaughters between them. My son, the 19 year old is moving down the road, really a drive away. We just bought a house, I need to mention this because we bought it specifically for the space, so he and his 2 friends could move in with us to go to school not far from here. It’s all been wonderful, big family extra mouths to feed, we didn’t mind. Then yesterday, he and his girl and another friend decide they are getting a place together. My heart broke, I cant stop crying all day and night, never have I done this, not even with my first two children. I keep thinking of him playing with his Spiderman figure , it had to be the one that moved just right, how he cried when he thought he lost his sisters at a church function (He loves them so), how him and his dad get along so well, he brings us coffee every sat. Morning. I know I have my daughters here, but I know he’s moving on to this next chapter. I just want to be happy and excited for him, its so hard.

  5. My daughter is 29 and she’s extremely independent and outgoing. She likes to travel, sometimes by herself even. I ball like a child who dropped their ice cream, everytime she goes away and then the depression sets in like a ton of bricks. She still lives at home and it’s because I am always telling her she might as well stay with me until she decides to have a family. Truth is, I want her to stay home forever. I don’t even know what to say, but admitting that much is a good start, lol.

    1. I completely agree. I just dropped off my daughter at the airport and every time I cry. It’s amazing, I’m not a crier but when she leaves crying like a baby. I think, my issue is that she’s my friend too. She understands me like my husband and son do not so its especially hard for me. I hope it gets easier, but my own mother tells me it doesn’t.

      1. I am struggling . My 25 year old daughter just got back from a 5 month missions trip . What a joy to see her again ! But now she wants to move away to continue in the mission field . I can’t stop crying and I’m very anxious . I know I can’t change her mind , and I shouldn’t , but I am heartbroken . My son moved to Chicago 2 years ago and I still miss him terribly . How do we let go ? She’ll be so far away

        1. You need to get busy with your own life. Have some new goals, make new plans, join a Church, develop some hobbies. Our adult children have to live their own lives. Our job is done. Of course we miss them! But we need to accept the fact that the days of their childhood are over. They are their own people now. They have made their own way in life. It is less painful if we just accept the fact that it is time to let go. I know that it is less painful for me to just accept the way it is. I don’t try to be too close anymore. I just keep it at a casual tea party relationship. It just seems to work best. But I always love my daughter forever, though I really do not like many things about the way that she acts.

          1. Thank you Summer Solstice! Your words have helped me so much. I know that I am grateful and happy for my children and want them to be independent, it’s what every parent wishes for. I start to feel sorry for myself, when I should be thanking my lucky stars for 4 successful children 4 4 grandchildren and 3 new son in laws! They all live in different areas of the states and I suppose that is what makes me teary eyed. We have 2 on the westcoast and 2 on the eastcoast all wonderful places to visit. That all being said I will get in with my life, appreciate and be grateful for all that I have been blessed with and start living my life.
            Grateful in CT
            Namaste 🙏

    2. I am in the middle of reliving a painful fourth autumn without my youngest child. The first year she only went 3 hours away to school. The second and third years she did study abroad in London (we live in California). She graduated in June of this year, came home to live, and then decided to go to grad school back in London! So, here I go again, heart broken over and over. This time she will be gone for at least a year, and wants to move there permanently. I am very proud of her and wish her the best, but I cannot seem to get past the sadness of missing her. I’m fine for a few days, and then it hits me again, and I’m hurting all over again. The time difference makes it very difficult to communicate, too.

      I have an older daughter who never left home; she graduated college and got a great job only a few miles down the road. She is my saving grace! But it doesn’t take away my pain for missing my younger daughter. I am sure that someday she will also leave. Maybe I will learn how to quickly stop the pain by then! I hope that someday it will be easier, but I imagine, like so many of you say, that every time I see my younger daughter, I will relive the pain all over again when she goes back to London.

    3. Carla,
      Your post is hilarious! I totally get it. How lucky are we that we enjoy our kid that much! My daughter is the best company I could hope for. She is 29 as well And is relocating for a job 600 miles away in 2 weeks. I sob every single day. If she saw me she would cancel her plans. I couldn’t/ wouldn’t do that to her.

  6. Hi everyone. Post-Parting Depression is a great title. I’ve been crying the last 2 days over my daughter moving into a house with her boyfriend, and I’m not a crier, and I don’t really show my emotions to anyone. So, this is extremely difficult for me. I knew this day was coming and have been perfectly fine, so I’m not sure what has happened to me. We moved her in, then the next day, I lost it. I just started crying in the morning and couldn’t hardly even look at her without getting teared up. Of course, I never said a word to my daughter, husband, or anyone. I just kept trying to hold it all in. I talked to a friend today, however, she has small children so it’s hard for her to understand. In fact, most of my friends all have kids at home. The thing of it is, my daughter lives very close. I can walk to her home. She will probably come over to watch our TV and Netflix shows we like to watch together while her BF is at work. I guess I’m so upset because it’s so permanent now. I won’t be asking: Will you be here for supper, what time will you be home, are you working tomorrow, do you need anything from the store, what are your plans, have any clothes that need washed, etc. etc. etc. It’s not as if she’s staying at her boyfriend’s for a couple of days, then coming back home. She’s out of the house for good. I’ve always loved having ‘free time’ to myself and always seemed stressed if I didn’t get free time– away from my husband, mostly. He was laid off for a LONG LONG time, so we were together EVERY day this summer. Then, on the same day, he went back to work, and my daughter moved out. I guess I jinxed myself all summer for wanting a few days to myself. Well, now I’ve got that!!! I’m off work for a few more weeks, so that’s not helping to be home alone all day. I feel really stupid for feeling like this. I know my daughter is extremely happy and has a great new home, so I should be happy. I’m sure she’s not crying and upset over moving away from me. I guess I just need some insight into what I’m feeling and going through. When does the sadness go away?? Especially, this crying!! I’ve never, ever done this, and I can’t seem to shake it. Thank you for any advice.

    1. Every single thing you have said I can relate to. My daughter moved out a week ago and I constantly cry, I am also not a crier and very private. It’s almost like I wrote your post. I have seen her most days this week but like you said it’s the permanence and not waking her in the morning, drinking coffee before work and all the little things we shared. The house feels so empty and quiet and i know my husband is struggling too. Even food shopping is difficult as I’m not buying for her. I feel so lost and have a constant ache in my stomach. Wish I knew how long thus awful feeling would last but glad I’m not the only one, so I guess it’s normal . Hope we feel better soon , the sadness is so profound even though I know she is happy. No-one ever really prepares you for your children growing buy they will always be our babies. Just takes time I guess. Wishing you all the best xx

    2. My daughter passed away in April 2017 and I have been crying ever since then at the end of august my beloved grandaughter my daughters eldest went to australia I feel like I can’t breathe some days the sense of saddness is overwhelming I can’t eat lost weight and don’t seem to come to terms with it all the tears don’t stop I can’t go on any more

      1. Hello
        I was reading your post and although I can’t relate to losing a child . I HAVE JUST lost my dear mother. I don’t know how I will go own but I will because my mother would have wanted it that way. And although I don’t know you. I can feel the love you have for your daughter and know she would have wanted you to go on after all she is apart of you and she apart of you. PLEASE LET PEOPLE AROUND YOU KNOW YOUR FEELINGS EVEN SEEK A CHURCH COUNSLOR OR PASTOR. GOD BLESS YOU

      2. I’m so very sorry for your terrible loss Joan. Don’t expect I have anything to say that will make you feel o;k in any way, but I want you to know that there are people who care about you and understand your pain. I care and understand your pain and emptiness. Know that as long as we remember them, they remain alive in our hearts. Plant a beautiful tree in the garden in her memory with a lovely seat nearby for a cup of tea. She is still with you Joan. Love lives on into the next lifetime. You will see her again 🙂 xxx

      3. Dear Joan, please know I am thinking about you and wishing you happiness. I am so sorry for all your loss. Big hug and best wishes, Monique

  7. I am so incredibly sad. My oldest son just graduated from Navy boot camp. It was so hard to leave him. I had a panic attack after flying home. Now, we are able to talk on the phone, but I get so choked up after. All I want is him to be happy and not have to even think that I may be saddened. I just feel so numb.

  8. I found this site while searching about loneliness. I am so glad I did. My situation is slightly different ….my two daughters live close by and have been out of the nest for almost eight years. I retired six years ago and six months later my husband, my rock, passed away. Suddenly, I felt so alone and missed my girls more than ever. They both moved close to mom and dad in our “golden years”. Even so, I keep wishing and dreaming about the early days. My depression is becoming unbearable. I live in a rural area without any close neighbors. My friends were my late husbands’ friends and now we have lost contact. As life goes on I can’t seem to go on with it! Thanks for letting me vent.

    1. I feel like I am in the same boat. Sooo alone. I wish I had a friend to travel with or just express my sadness with, and not be scolded for it. I wonder what town you live in?

      1. Lesa I need someone to travel with I feel like I can’t go on too I also do not have any friends in three months I had to finally divorce my abusive husband and my youngest daughter moved 700 miles away with my only other daughter, I thought I would be with my husband forever and be close to my daughters and now they are rude many times like my feelings don’t even matter. Hobbies I have plenty of none of it matters I need friends.

  9. I really feel lie I am over-reacting. My son is in a dance company and travels, the first time almost two years ago to China for 9 weeks, then all over the US last year for 4 months, China for 3mo. He was home mid Feb and had decided to go to college for the summer. I was so happy to have him home for a while. He is 21 and we are pretty close I think, we talk a lot and share things. he has a long time girl and a full busy life and really so do I so its not like we are sickly codependant on each other. Then, he got a call and suddenly will be leaving in two days to do a few weeks in the US and then 12 weeks in Ireland, returning at the beginning of Sept. It was the touer he had really wanted so I am so happy for him, But, I cant stop crying. I am hiding in the bathroom, taking walks, anything to avoid him seeing me cry. I always get weepy at him leaving, but I am fine usually once I get used to him being gone. This time though, I had no time to prepare myself and I am just a soggy mess. I hear my friends being so easy with their kids going away to college or jobs and I seem to hve a much harder time than they do. Any advice? Am I just a nutter?

    1. It feels so good to know I am not the only mother feeling this way. I have been so depressed because my 28 yr old only daughter is moving. She has lived with us for the past three months because she didn’t want to sign another lease for her apartment because she knew she was moving in the future. So I’ve gotten used to her living with me again and all of us have enjoyed it so much. She brings such a glowing life into our home. She is moving in two days and I dread it, I almost wish it was over with because I hate saying goodbye. After reading other posts I am thankful that she is only moving less than two hours away. We plan on getting together as much as possible and she wants me to keep her room for her. She gave up a successful job to move where her boyfriend is. They are planning on getting married and I feel once that happens the visits will become less. The thought of them having children and my not being close to them really bothers me but I guess I can’t do much about that. I proud of her and am happy she’s so excited and happy but I feel selfish because of thinking of how I feel. I wish I could be like other parents who say bye and thinks nothing of it. She knows how I feel but I am fairly good at hiding how I really feel. It’s so bittersweet. I love my children so much and I think my entire life because about them and I’m not sure how to get my life back. My husband feels complete neglected because he doesn’t understand how I feel. I should be glad she’s only two hours away right? If anyone feels this overwhelming depressed feeling like me please talk to me.

      1. I know exactly how you feel!!! I feel the same way!!! My daughter, only child is moving 4 hours away by car , I am in the doldrums. She is happily married and excited about this chapter in her life but I cannot feel happy no matter how hard I try !! I am trying to with through this.

        1. Deno,
          I have just one adult daughter also. When she was growing up we were very close. Now she is 4 hours away. She is married and they do alot of traveling. I don’t get to see them very often anymore. I am happy for her, but I feel that she has just left me in the dust. They both have their careers, their home, their own friends. I just don’t fit into their life anymore. When I go to their home there is not a single photo of her past (which includes me of course) it is just all about her and her husband, their travels, their friends, their dog. There is not a shred of anything her and I ever had. When I bring up her childhood and things that happened most of the time she doesn’t remember. It is like she has totally moved on. Her in laws are close by and she refers to them constantly. I feel totally left out and she doesn’t seem to notice or care. She doesn’t try to include me in anything that they do and treats me like she hardly even knows who I am. Its just heartbreaking. I do not enjoy driving 4 hours to see her and be treated like a total stranger. I guess it would be best to just let her come to me.

      2. My daughter just completed here sophomore year in college and was 2 1/2 hrs away from home it liked to killed me that she ways away then but now she wants to move 10 hours away to move where boyfriend at and continue her schooling there. I feel awful because she’s has her mind made up that she’s leaving and want to start her journey in life, my daughter is like the light of the family everyone is happy when she’s around and our relationship is one of a kind. I don’t know what I’m going to do when she leaves in less than a month. I find myself sobbing everyday and trying to pull back so it want hurt so bad when she leaves am I doing the right thing by pulling back? I’m hurting so bad as if I can’t live without her, I have five other children but it’s something about her spirit that keeps the whole family happy to be in her presence. What am I going to do???

      3. Hi.. two weeks ago my 24 year old daughter was ill, so I drove the 2.5 hrs to be with her..

        After four days I was back home..
        Sad but home..
        Then on Saturday just gone she rang and said mum would you like to visit on your way to grandmas.. I care for my 91 year old mum every weekend.. so I visited, my daughter was much better she made pancakes and we watched a movie..
        She then said mum can you give me a lift to Mandy’s, ( my older daughter ) who lives ten minutes away from the younger one.. so I did.. hugging both of my daughters, I was soooo proud and happy. I couldn’t stay as I had to travel 45 minutes to my mums to take over from my brother by now it was 6.30 pm..
        I’m usually there by 2pm..

        Today, sitting on the spare bed (where my ex husband had a nap on his way to a new job 1200 kms away.. he was here 4 hours passing through..) he lives 1700 kms away, in the other direction.

        Arriving home last night from mums around 8 pm.. I felt lost, today I feel more lost..

        Didn’t catch up with my sons and grand children on this weekend trip.. I try my best..

        I have to go to work soon.. feel like calling in sick but I just had time off for my daughter..

        I am sad and lost every time I leave my daughters, sons, mum even my now re married ex..

        I sigh..

        I hate this 😢

      4. Hi. I understand. Sitting on a flight to way late for takeoff which makes the parting sit heavy on my being. I feel it whenever either myself or 2 kids visit eaxhother. It’s akin to feeling panic, terror or grief of a passing. Divorced their dad in 08 and he remarried straight away. I never have. house and had to move away w parents

      5. I hope you are feeling ok I found this site when I couldn’t sleep I’m so anxious and depressed my son is leaving to teach in China for a year but has said he wants to stay out there. I feel lost and devastated we have always been so close I’m selfish I know it’s his life but I feel so sad and worried for him

    2. 3 of my 4 children live in Az and I live in Colorado. It’s a 10-12 hour drive to see my grandchildren. I miss my kids so much. I just want to say Thank you for all the comments on here. It’s so good just to know I’m not alone in missing my grown children so much!!!! You are not weird or anything. I think it’s Love. Isn’t it? Thanks……

    3. You are not a nutter!! It is amazing to me the depth of the love we feel for our children. Love to see them grow, take on challenges, and become kind, respectful adults. I am feeling the same way about an adult daughter leaving for an awesome internship experience. All I can do now is allow myself the tears. I don’t know what else to do.

    4. Hi Sandi. I see you posted in May. How are you doing now? I am wondering because I am feeling like you were – uncontrollable crying. I feel so silly! My daughter has moved out & she was my last child at home. Her brother moved out 5 years ago. I was fine then because I still had my daughter at home. I haven’t talked to my husband because the moment I even think about it, I tear up & want to cry. I’m never like this at all. So for this to be ongoing is really bothering me. Did you get better & if so, how & how long did it take? Thank you!!!

  10. I have been going through this since my oldest son left for boot camp 8 years ago. He joined the Army National Guard and is still in but working full time on active duty orders about 1.5 hours from us so that has gotten much better. Then 3 years ago my middle son left for basic training in the Marine Corps. He is total active duty and lives on the other side of the country. He has been deployed several times but each time he comes home (which is never more than 2 weeks) I feel the debilitating gut wrenching pain start before he even gets home because I know he has to leave again. He has 1.3 years left on this contract so I don’t know if he will stay in, get out, get out and move half way around the world?! Now my youngest son is getting ready to graduate high school and head to college. I feel like I can’t breathe. The medications I am on help when the times are mild but when it gets bad like this nothing seems to help not even my therapy. I loose all concepts of reality. I hate to even say it but at times I think it would be better for the kids not to come home so then this won’t happen… of course that thinking f’s up my head also. If anyone has the magic therapy/guidance please share.

    1. I have a daughter in the navy. She’s has been in 1.5 yrs. First deployment in a couple weeks. She will be gone for seven months. She is stationed 14 hours from home. It has been so hard. She has been home for the last week. I’m just like you, I start to dread her leaving before she even gets here. I have an empty, hopeless feeling in my gut. I keep telling myself to stay positive. Maybe get a new hobby or something ? I’m just so sad. She is my only child. I wish I could be stronger for her. It just doesn’t get any easier for me.

  11. Our oldest son always had a dream most all of his life to move to the mountains. So at 22 he moved to Jacksonhole Wyoming to work on a guest ranch. He never moved back home, fell in love and is now 33 with a beautiful family in Montana. That was tough enough and i missed him terribly and cried all the time. He is 6 1/2 yrs older than his younger brother but he too is still my baby. Well, the youngest married young and has a beautiful family as well but they are still young “to us anyway ” and are moving our precious grandchildren away to the Middle East of all places! He and his wife are very smart but do not use common sense. This is NOT the time for this move with us bombing over there! We are all terrified! He and his wife are determined no one will “tell them what to do” when all we want is for them to be safe and happy. We don’t try to tell them what to do anyway but they don’t even take advice. The children are so upset as well, already. My grandson ( he is the oldest of our 5 grands and the only boy) has cried in his bed for his Nini (me) and he is only 50 min away so to think that he will over there just upsets me to no end! Im devasted and cried most of the day yesterday and Sunday because it is sinking in. They took him away from us when he was a baby because i told them that i felt they were using us. She got smart with me first and i had a situation going on at the time and I wasn’t in the mood…. that cost me 8 months of hell and some therapy too! The one reason it was so hard was that my son is extremely stubborn (SO IS SHE!) and moved from where they were living and would not talk to us or ket us know where they were living. But apparently he does what she tells him. She was pregnant and then when their baby girl was born, they let us finally see him and the baby. Our grandson didn’t know us and we could tell our son was updset by that. We hoped he learned from that lesson. However, this is work related. He is 26 yrs old and has already invented something for this oil company. He was so young when he started and did not patent it first. He has probably made them millions but after 40,000 layoffs they feel they owe it to the company to ablige. He makes a lot of money but we all know money doesn’t buy happiness. He started first traveling every few weeks back and forth to Africa for this co. But now for the last 2 or 3 yrs it has been Saudi. So the rest of his family haven’t even visted there yet. I just wish she would go for a couple of weeks first. The culture is so much different than what she is use to and she is too opinionated to live there.. Of course we are hoping that they will move home soon. What we really want for them is that they stay home (in the states). Our son said when We do move back to the states that they would live in a bigger city and we are certainly more ok with that. At least a couple of hours away or more and I would much rather him do that than him to move his family to a country like Saudi Arabia! We are considering moving to Montana because our oldest son has always wanted us to. But I own a successful business and my husband has a good paying job he’s had for 20 yrs. However, they maybe closing down in Oct. so my life will change even more if we move because my elderly parents and my husband too live here. Thanks for listening and im so sad for you all too!

  12. My heart goes out to all of you as my husband and I are joining you. Our only child recently told us he, his wife and children are moving to Europe where our daughter in law is from. We tried for many years to have babies and when we finally were blessed we were so happy. He is a good, loving son as well our daughter in law is loving also but she misses home/family. Our son loves her homeland too and wants her happy and they feel raising their children overseas will be safer than here in the US. Plus their animals they have had for many years possibly will go to a shelter as not to burden with us to take care of older animals with our own. They tell us we can move with them but the US is our home and we are seniors and will not be able to afford to travel overseas very often. And when we will be able to go visit there we will need to hire someone to tend to our animals and watch our home. Also we have health issues and on daily medicine. Yes I know I am having my own little pity party but not knowing what to do. We want them to be happy and not feel guilty about moving so far away. When I moved 75 miles away from my Mother she was really depressed even though she moved all her children 1200 miles away from her parents years ago. We try to keep our minds active to not feel so sorry for ourselves but have not slept a good night’s sleep since they told us. I guess time will heal and the grandchildren are real young so hope they will not be upset when the time comes. Yes have the internet to stay in contact but we just cannot just drive to visit with them when we want to. We are trying to stay busy. Any suggestions?

    1. We moved 6 hours away from our 3 young adult sons for my spouse’s career 1.5 years ago. The pain only seems to get worse as time goes on. We are a close family, and I miss them so much it is destroying me. Weekends are the worst, because that’s when we would always see them. We go try to go back for a weekend each month, but it’s not the same as living close. I deeply regret our decision to move.

      1. This story sounds so much like mine. Husband and I moved 5 1/2 hours away from where we raised our 3 children. All 3 still live close in that same area. The eldest is married with my 2 GrandDaughters. Middle boy just became engaged, and the youngest shares an apartment with close friend.
        We sold the house where the kids were raised, and moved over here to be close to the job. I really really wish we wouldn’t have bought this house so soon after selling. I cry every day because I want to go home. Both my husband’s and my entire family live there. This was such a big mistake. I so wish we could take it back. I would get to see my Gramd Girls just about every weekend when we lived home.
        Sorry I made this long, but your story sounds so much like mine that I had to comment.

      2. Jb

        I agreed to retire and move to SW Florida with my husband this past May Our 25 year old single daughter is back in wis and there is no family for her.

        I am sorry I agreed to this decision. She misses me and I miss her terribly.

        I like you regret this move and hubby has no desire to go back to cold weather

    2. Reading these comments helps me feel understood and not so alone, but doesn’t take away the pain. Backstory: I lost custody of my only child when she was 5 years old to her abusive, lawyer father; got her back when she was 14, and spent a total of 17 years in various courts fighting on her behalf, which all brought us closer together. On full scholarship she went to a major university thousands of miles away 15 years ago and then lived in several foreign countries. We’ve had quality time together on lo-budget mother/daughter trips. But now, after 6 years in a cold, windy, city in New Zealand, my 33 yr old only child has married and wants to start her family there. She couldn’t be any further away ! She asked me to “seriously consider” immigrating there so I just went for my 3rd extended visit- 3 challenging months of “seriously considering” how I could make it work for me. My 2nd husband (of 20 years) has abandoned his wife (me) for another woman for the 3rd time and we’re divorcing. I am alone so it made sense for me to check out NZ. Not only has NZ closed it’s Parent/Grandparent Visa and doubled its $$$ requirements to more than I have; it has limited, expensive, and substandard (no heat or insulation, and earthquake prone) housing. Neither my daughter nor I have enough to buy homes so I suggested we share a duplex (so my part could be rented out when I wasn’t there or taken over if her family and finances grew), but my daughter’s new marriage includes promises to not live with or too close to family. (His divorced parents live in and near their city.) So….if I went to the exhausting effort of unloading all my world possessions and moved half way around the planet, I’d have to live cold, poor and on my own. Since this is unattractive, I am not only ending Motherhood, but also the future Grandparent hood.
      My daughter and I have survived too many agonizing airport goodbyes over the last 27 years …but this time, I haven’t stopped crying since I got home a month ago. I’m in my late 60’s and forced to choose between a comfortable and affordable home and lifestyle in the US and being poor, cold, physically, emotionally and culturally challenged in a foreign county to be near my only family is not something I feel strong enough do. Who knows how I’ll feel or what I’ll do when and if there’s grandchildren?
      All I know now is that I love my daughter, but I can’t endlessly struggle to be with her and I can’t cry any more.
      My solution: Meditation, spiritual practice, religion, and psychotherapy don’t seem to be handling my challenges well enough so I’m burning a candle for the End of the Family Woman Phase of my life; asked for a prescription for an antidepressant; and am trying to be as accepting, philosophical and emotionally numb as possible.

      1. Dear ET,
        I have been reading the many letters on here and I actually am crying for all of “us” that are in pain from basically the same cause, our loved ones leaving us, we are leaving them, etc. The pain is the same, the circumstances are just different. Somewhat like having different stories, but the same ending. I spent the majority of my youth crying from place to place because of multiple family members I was connected to, but NONE of them were on the same side or really tried to get along. There were about three or four places, but I loved the people at each place, the only thing was that I experienced that gut wrenching pain and uncontrolled sadness and tears every time I was left behind by the people I had just been with. I was just a little girl and didn’t really have anyone that could help make it much better. I think some understood and would try to divert my attention so I wouldn’t get so upset. But it just didn’t work. It has continued on, most of my life. I hate being left behind. It has always been like that for me. I now am in my late sixties too. In my middle thirties I moved from the middle of the United States to California with my new husband. All of my family is there, where I left. But I didn’t realize that I was putting myself back into the same situation of the super sadness and crying every time I would go home and every time (which wasn’t all that often) someone would come from home to see us. My son, my only child, married when I was 49 and had a baby girl right away. My career that I loved was pretty involved and took up the majority of my time. I didn’t really have plans to be “a grandmother” in the way that I was used to my grandparents being. But, (as life does many times) my world and life was in a major cycle of change. We became the weekend baby sitters for their new infant because they worked nights. My Son and his wife divorced when their daughter was two. He moved home with us. His little girl was already owning our hearts and became the center of our life. We loved having her here. I found that I didn’t have the super sadness I had had before with goodbyes… But I knew it would be a few days and she would be back. I also needed a little time to catch up on my paper work and things in life. My husband, who was her step grandfather, also became very close with her. She adored him, he adored her and I loved her beyond words. Time went on and on and we provided dance lessons for her bought her clothing, then pre-school, then more clothing and toys as she grew ….. All of her extras and much of her non extras were provided by us. We took her to the doctor, we taught her things, and provided a loving and great environment for her. Sometimes, she didn’t go home on the weekends, she stayed for a few weeks. When she started school, our responsibilities became more and more involved, etc. My husband was diagnosed with cancer right after he retired (He was more than decade older than I am). I still was at the top of my career and did not plan to retire for 8-10 years. But I found I had to step away from my career to take care of him. It was big. I learned a lot. We lost a lot. In the heart of it all was our precious little girl. She was eleven when he died and her devastation was beyond words. I had been 5 years out of my career, and found I was really changed. I never have gone back. I have had some financial struggles, depleted my savings a lot. I have continued to raise my granddaughter, but on far less money. (She goes to her Mother’s-but all of her schooling expense, clothing, much of her food, her extras, her sports fees, you name it come from me. Her Mother has a son older than her and he was always the one she has cared the most about. Now she has a little daughter 4 that is also her focus. The Mother parties every Friday, Saturday night… So her focus on my granddaughter is just not there. My granddaughter and I ARE very close. I have supplied all the prom dresses, glasses, etc. I am not bragging, but just trying to show you the dimension of how deep my love goes for her and how she has been the center of my life as well as my trying to help her be normal in a really tough world, the world of a teenager. She is now 18, graduated from high school this spring. My Mother died three months before her graduation. I am devastated by her death. But I am also devasted because my granddaughter is going out of state to college. I am mourning soooooooo much that I just don’t know where to begin. She is actually going to my home state to school, but plans on returning to California upon graduation. (we all know plans can change) . I am trying not to think about just how empty my life is going to be when she is gone. I am now the one left in the happy little home, listening to the loud silence of all the memories of happier times here. (My granddaughter usually comes by each day… in and out sometimes, and other times we have some big mission to take care of… of she is here just being here). You get the picture. ( I am happy that she is going to college. I have instilled that in her all of her life. She is the only person that I do worry about how she will be when I leave the planet). BUT, I have been mouring when I am by myself… for my Mother, but also for my granddaughter’s leaving. I can go there to where she will be, but feel it wouldn’t be fair for her if I move there (not to her college town, but the same state -I want her and she want to have the college type experience.) She has stated that she wants me to stay here just in case she doesn’t like it there . I have noticed that she is acting a little sad and seems to be deep in thought much of the time, so I am trying to have some good days and weeks with her throughout the summer before she leaves. I am not sure how I will keep from falling apart in front of her, but I know it will be very important. I am the Mother role in her life, whether I planned it or not. I am happy for our time, but I just ” didn’t really see it coming” even though I KNEW it was coming that she would actually be going away. It has just been talk and activity until now. Yes, I have plenty to do for a while after she leaves. I have toyed with trying to find some employment to help with our finances. But I am older than I look and have some of the issues such as failing knees, etc. so clerking in a store may be out of the question. There will not be a career out there for me, but I might find a little job somewhere… I just don’t know what to do with my sad sad heart. Some days, I look forward to my time alone and my tears. I know it is pathetic.
        But in reading your story, ET. because I too came here hoping to find a magic message that might turn a light on. (Something other than exercising more and getting physically fit, etc. which is what I plan to do. ) I am coming to the end of a major era for me. It will never be the same. I choke up in my chest just thinking about it to write here. She will be different our times will take on different tasks and the needs will be different.
        I read about you and your daughter, and the part about being cold and poor in N Z. Is there any way that you could start some type of an internet based business or a network marketing business here in the US that might encompass that country as well. This would give you some extra money and possibly make it seem a little more favorable financially for you to move there. Or if not that, what about a caregiver of some type for a child such as a nanny or governess? Do you have friends you could brainstorm for ideas of what you could do. If you are a seamstress or good at that type of thing, maybe you could start a cottage business from there. It might be impossible, but if I were you, I would say go with the girl, your daughter that you love. She owns your heart, you own hers. However much time you have on this planet (which may be many many years, decades) are precious times for the two of you. It is all so hard, I know. I hope you come up with a good solution for the two of you and also including her husband. Cross your fingers for me. I have had some major medical issues in the last two and a half years, and I know I must focus on my health. I think I am just going to pretend that my granddaughter is away on a long trip. Possibly with facetime or Skype it will help. There is no easy solution for either of our situations and others on here, as well. I appreciate your time. Wishing you happiness and health.

        1. Hello
          I was reading your post and although I can’t relate to losing a child . I HAVE JUST lost my dear mother. I don’t know how I will go own but I will because my mother would have wanted it that way. And although I don’t know you. I can feel the love you have for your daughter and know she would have wanted you to go on after all she is apart of you and she apart of you. PLEASE LET PEOPLE AROUND YOU KNOW YOUR FEELINGS EVEN SEEK A CHURCH COUNSLOR OR PASTOR. GOD BLESS YOU

      2. I thought no one could be as sad as I, but you guys are breaking my heart. At least I’m learning my “selfish” attitude is very common and is only caused by great love, and many losses.

      3. Hi ET, I feel your pain. Though my daughter has not left the US yet it is just a matter of time. Her fiance who had NZ citizenship wants to move there to practice medicine and my daughter wants to birth her children there so they can have duel citizenship. I am so scared to lose my daughter’s affection and attention as well as seeing grandchildren. So expensive to visit. Skype is not the same as shared experiences. Sick at heart.

        1. My daughter who is 26 moved to Australia, then on to New Zealand two years ago. She is renewing her visa and I am so sad. I miss her so much and she is so far away it’s very hard to visit due to expense and distance. I agree FaceTime and Skype aren’t the same. Actually when I do talk to her on FaceTime I get so sad all over again. She loves it there and I’m glad she’s happy but I really want her to move back to the States so she would be closer. It hasn’t gotten any easier since she left.

  13. Found this while searching for anyone going through similar – for me it’s the other way around. I moved from NZ to England more than a decade ago. NZ was always too small for me and my big dreams and I’ve made a really great life over here. I would fly home once every 2 years (due to the huge costs) and my parents have each come over once or twice. But every time I return to England, despite loving the place, I go through a good 2-3 weeks of feeling somewhere between wanting to ugly-cry and wanting to throw up. I crave being my mother’s garden, in my dad’s old car, just BEING there. I could not move back but a piece of my heart remains there and it hurts when I remember what it means to me. Ugh. Plus my parents are retired now so not getting any younger; they can’t afford to make the trip over again, and I am terrified of losing them or living with the regret of not having spent more time there. I have decided to go back every year now, but the pain of parting never gets any easier! Nice to know so many others feel the same.

    1. It must be so hard from a daughter’s view as well. Don’t feel guilty! As a mom I know she doesn’t want you to feel like that! I miss my only daughter so much and just cant stop crying. Its awful. But feels better to vent! Thanks for listening.

  14. I am SO glad I am not the only one out there suffering like this. Our son moved to Japan in 2015. We flew there and visited him last August (2016) and it had been a year since we had physically seen him. It was very hard saying goodbye in Tokyo but we knew he would be home for Christmas. He visited two weeks and flew home January 5. My heart has been breaking ever since. After graduating college we knew he would have a hard time finding a job in our home state of Oklahoma with a degree in Japanese. It has always been his dream to work in Japan and after 3 years of searching (the last year living at home) he landed a job teaching English in a junior high school. Teaching was not his first choice, but the only way he could get experience on his resume. He has a 3 year contract that is half over and I am praying he will find a job utilizing his language skills back in the US when it is over. At this point I just want him back in the US. Some days I am fine, but days like today, huge waves of sadness just overtake me. I find myself looking at anything Japanese on Instagram and watching Youtube videos taken in the town he is living in. Anything to feel close to him. Skyping every Saturday helps a lot and I’ll be fine for a couple of days. I try to keep busy with my hobby and my job, but the sadness seems to linger in the background. My husband doesn’t understand why the tears come so easily. He wants to know why I can’t just “be happy for him and move on.” Any ideas of how to do that? Ha!

    1. Sherry –
      I understand completely the tears. I just retired last month, and was so excited to help out with the grandchildren, who live 60 miles away. Then, last week my son told me they are moving to Florida (I’m in NC). He is being transferred and her family is down there, so I get it but for me personally I’m devastated. They want me to move also, which I may at some point as I have no other family here, but in the meantime I’m just so tired of the emotions. One minute I realize that this is NOT the end of the world, the next minute I think it is. I, for one, am ready for “time heals” to kick in. I wish that for you also.

    2. No. You can’t just be happy and move on. Husbands don’t understand. My daughter moved out from Mass and all the way to Nevada. That was last week. Now off to Korea for four months. I cant see how therapy could help this and I dont have any clue on how to get through this. I wish I still had my mom, my job and my yellow lab to help me.

      1. Get another lab . It will help you tremendously to have the companionship of a sweet lab, and avdog will comfort you. They know when we are sad.

    3. Hi Sherry. I can’t believe I just saw your post. I felt like I was reading the story of my son. He too teaches English in Japan and had lived there going on 4 years. Originally he said he was just going for 1 year. In April he got married to a Japanese girl and my family and I traveled to Japan for the wedding. Saying goodbye was heart wrenching as usual. I miss him so much and pray that they will move back to the US. Unless you are a mother in a similar situation you can not understand the sadness and empty heart that you feel when you live so far away from your child. I hope you post again and tell me how you are doing. My son and his new wife are coming here for Christmas. I can’t wait to see them 🙂

  15. I have been reading some of these comments. I am a father who is going through a very difficult time over my youngest child and son moving hours away for work. I feel uncomfortable being emotional in public. I know this is not the ‘contemporary’ approach for a man dealing with his emotions. I just feel better and safer to cry in private. My son is about to turn 30– he has been with us on and off while getting his MBA. Two years ago he graduated and came back home to look for work. The market being what it is, it was a hard search. Well he recently landed a job commensurate with his education and degree and is happy to finally see his career kick started. But he was very close to me and I feel such a sense of loss over the absence of his daily presence in my life. Today I took our dog to a park that he and I would go to walk the pooch, and i had to wear sunglasses as I wept walking the route we always did. I am finding this new transition very difficult, and think it is going to take a long time to make this adjustment.

    1. Three weeks later after my first post. Our son came home for the weekend, as it was his birthday and he wanted to be with friends and family to celebrate. He just pulled out of the driveway to head back to his new home. So I am feeling a relapse from the sorrow I felt three weeks ago.

    2. I, too am a father who is going through a very difficult time over our youngest (26 years old) daughter announcing she would like to settle down in North Carolina (3000 miles from us in California) with her boy friend. While our older daughter lives only 8 miles away, and we see her 3-4 times a week, it doesn’t ease my pain. Interestingly, my wife is perfectly OK with our younger daughter being so far away. We had a wonderful family life together, and it is difficult to see how children can so easily leave. I did the same, moving 3000 miles from my parents, who were also the best. It’s now been 4 months, and the pain is getting only slightly less. No advice to give – Just enjoy your children because, despite your best efforts, they sometimes leave.

  16. Well I knew I wasn’t the only one. Just found out tonight that our adult daughter, her husband and soon to be born baby girl will be moving away in a few months. While only moving a few hours away, they are currently 10 minutes away (my daughter and I actually work at the same non-profit) and come over a lot – it seems every week they call and say “hey – can we come over and watch the game/eat dinner with you” etc…We enjoy them immensely – especially the impromptu get togethers. They are moving for good reasons, and we want them to be happy. But oh this is just killing me! I know that there is Facebook and FaceTime and texting, and phone calls and road trips and that we can do it. I just don’t want to. Plain and simple – I am dreading this move like nothing else. It effects both my personal and work life and my world is rocked!

  17. Hi,
    I’ve been on the verge of tears all day and was feeling sorry for myself when I found this site. My adult daughter, husband and 8-year old grandson just left after having Christmas with us. We live in Canada; they live in the southern U.S. I see them only occasionally and it breaks my heart.
    We had a wonderful visit and when they were about to leave at 5:30 this morning, my grandson hugged me hard, saying “I love you Grandma.” I get choked up just thinking about it. By now they are in the air getting close to their home and I won’t see them again for months.
    I know this is not a new situation and it’s been difficult before (like every time I leave them), but it helps to talk about it to people who understand.
    I was a single parent (husband died) and one of the most difficult days of my life was the one where my daughter was packing up to leave for the South and the husband, she had met accidentally, online. We had been like roommates–very close when she lived at home even through university and I just assumed she’d stay here.
    Thanks for listening.


    1. It helps to put a date on the calendar marking the next time you’ll see them. I just did this today and although I won’t see my adult daughters for months, it softens the hardship of saying goodbye to them just yesterday.
      Sending you a hug Connie. ❤️

  18. Hi. I have just come across this website and it looks as if it is exactly what I need. My daughter went travelling almost 8 years ago and ended up settling in Sydney. I had brought her up on my own. We have been through the tears etc when saying goodbye at the airport over the years and the empty nest syndrome that you have all spoken of. My issue now is that my daughter, although she is 30, now acts a bit like how she used to when she was a stroppy teenager. We maybe see each other once every couple of years if that now. We don’t speak very often on the phone but do message each other most days. The last time me and my fiancé went and spent Christmas and new year with her in 2014 and stayed at hers. The whole 3 weeks that we were there I felt as if I was walking on eggshells with her or was invading her space, which I wasn’t. I got really upset about it towards the end and so did she because she admitted that she knew how she was acting towards me. She has just recently flew back to the UK as my fiancé and I got married and she was one of our bridesmaids but almost the whole time that she was here it was back to the attitude that she’d had when we visited her. It was only a flying visit and as there was so much to organise and so little time I didn’t say anything to her about it. Although from what I can gather she is aware of how she’s been acting as she spoke about it with a couple of my friends. It actually ended up being quite a relief when she left but now that the dust has settled I now feel really upset and frustrated that for my wedding day she couldn’t have made a bit more of an effort with me. I don’t know what has changed. I know that she hates coming back to the UK now but even so….

    1. Crying won’t stop. My eldest son is leaving for London for an extended time. My Dad is elderly but has stage 4 lung cancer. I have two other beautiful kids and a supportive husband. I’m just so sad. Crying feeling really sad. Can’t explain why. Not good. What should I do.

      1. You will get to the other side. Spend as much time with your dad as possible. Let him speak, interview him. Get his history and stories on tape.

    2. I find it very sad, that it is almost expected, that our children will move far away and only visit on holidays.

      Divorce and globalization has destroyed the family unit. Some feel it is only change, but I see it as mostly destroyed.

      I understand that there are circumstances, which make it necessary at times. However, very often it seems like a desired choice.

      I was best friends with my mom and hope to live within driving distance from at least one of my two daughters. I understand, that respect for her husband etc… is a must.

      However, Jesus is my Boss so He’s ultimately in charge.

      1. here’s the thing, raising xian kids, you dream big, and that dream has to be cut into pieces on the altar. i have only remnants of a dream that i would now prefer to not think about as its long lost its luster. not that the dream itself was bad, but the hand of providence has smited me as having that holy dream of family. seems all kinds of lusts of youth and mistakes have to be worked out and I just prefer not to wait and live through all that. it’s already been over ten years. by that time, Ill be ready to go home. grandkids seems to be another dream as well. sorry so negative. its hard to express

      2. globalization has destroyed the family unit.?????? you seem like a xenophobic,.. i mean all the time kids grow up and move far away ALL THE TIME ,.. and yes iam a mum too,.. however i know that someday they will have a life there own ,.. and you you as a mum become narcissistic and live threw your kids that why you are crying ,.. it s not about them ,..ITS IS ALL ABOUT YOU ,.. you selfish mums,.. it is VERY unhealthy to hold on control an fear with in your kids you have to let them go and know they are able to take care themselves ,.. get your own life ,…. other wised you just end up wasting your time being self intressed depressed ,…

        1. Gabriella,
          Wow, that’s pretty harsh. Have you EVER experienced what these folks are going through? Don’t you think we tell ourselves the same things? Have a little compassion.

        2. Well Miss Gabriella, you drop us another little note when “YOUR” children grow up and move away and then give us “empty nesters” your thoughts again. Until you have been there, YOU HAVE NO CLUE! Good day!

        3. Yes, every mom knows her children will go on to have lives of their own. That is what we spend most of our lives getting them ready for. However, from the moment we gave birth we have loved and treasured them deeply. We have been there through all the joys, fears and tears of their lives. We will always share that and when they no longer there it cuts like a knife. The more love that is shared, the harder it is to let go. If you have that kind of love with your kids you too will one day feel the pain and longing of separation. Good luck!

          1. Dear Irene,
            Thank you for your words of truth. You said everything I’m feeling in a nutshell, so perfectly! I’m sure many other parents of “free-range” young adults concur, as well as children of aging parents, with what you shared.
            It’s often very difficult to get through these times, but we all try hard to do so, and look forward to cherished reunions with our children, whenever they may be…
            Every moment with them has been and is now,so precious. We gave them strong, loving roots. Of course they have great wings~and that’s what we hoped for, as you said, but it doesn’t mean that missing them and longing for the next time together, or grieving after that reunion isn’t tough, and very sad.
            I read about much pain and longing from everyone that posts here, with the exception of those who are judgmental. For each writer’s sorrow, I empathize, but on a positive note, it is comforting to know that others feel as I do.
            This stage in life is really challenging and lonesome, but we can support each other,and find hope and encouragement.
            I wish that everyone will somehow find the peace and time together as a family,that they crave within their hearts, in the near future.
            Every person and every story counts a great deal. There is a moving song from the musical “Ragtime,” that I love, called “Our Children,” sung by Marin Mazzie and Peter Friedman, from the original cast album,that you might like. It envelopes the past and the future of the lives our sons and daughters with the tenderness, love and hope that we feel for them every day. Together or separated, we are bonded, deeply within our hearts. That never changes.
            Thank you again! 🌹🎼🎶

        4. Gabriella Smith,

          What a mean, heartless response, although much of it is unreadable with the poor spelling, grammar, and punctuation skills.

          “Xenophobic”? Are you also brainwashed?

          Was there supposed to be a helpful message in there somewhere? Or are you simply venting your own frustrations? Whatever the case, you rendered it totally ineffective, and I hope this lady wasn’t sent over the edge by it.

    3. Perhaps it is because now that you have a partner/husband she can’t have the close mother daughter relationship she had. It’s often painful when a parent remarries.

    4. That must be so hard; and I can sense what that must be like as I go through similar motions with my own mum when we do finally get together. We love each other so much but as I have built my own adult life somewhere new, when I am back with my parents, and I fall into that inevitable trap of reverting to the role of the child, I know I get frustrated and feel desperate to prove I’m not that teenager anymore, which only makes me act like it! It’s not that your daughter doesn’t care or want to be close – she may simply be figuring out how to marry her life as an independent adult with her role as a daughter and life before she moved. Speaking from experience that’s a very tricky balance to find and I personally then feel painful guilt and regret later for not having done a good job at making that work or for getting stroppy when I didn’t want to. It takes communication, patience and understanding from both sides: if you can let her know you see her as independent adult she has become, and appreciate her life is different now, she should find it easier to step out of the stroppy teenager role. It’ll get easier once you work out a way to communicate on a new level. Good luck.

  19. My daughter just informed us today she is moving out. She’s 31 and has a 9 year old daughter, they’ve lived with us since my granddaughter was born. I’ve been more like a mother to my granddaughter and now I feel like I’m losing 2 kids. It really comes as a surprise since she has been trying to get through college and only has 2 years left to go. I figured she would move out once she was out of school and had a good stable job, but since she’s met this guy things have changed. We don’t really care for the guy, he’s already lied, broken promises to her, convinced her to sign a $9k car note for him after only knowing him 4 months. Luckily she was able to get her name off when he cussed out the dealership. He got drunk and made an ass of himself at my birthday party, we feel he’s dangerous. So does most everyone else in the family that’s met him and some friends to. I think this move is due to him, but she says this is just something she has to do to prove to us she can live on her own. Keep telling her she doesn’t have to prove anything. To me the smarter thing is to stay with us while she finishes school, where it doesn’t matter if she can’t afford the rent. She’s borrowing money just to pay the deposit on the place she’s trying to rent. She wants to show us we raised her right, but all that shows me is she’s being irresponsible. I’m so worried for my granddaughter. I’m worried for my daughter too, cause I think she’s going to get her heart broke by this guy or God forbid, something worse. But I know she has to find her own love in life. I just hate her moving my granddaughter. I’ve lost a child years ago, she was stillborn and today I’ve felt all those feelings again like i’m losing 2 of them. I’ve cried for hours and just feel sick about the whole thing.

  20. Change is difficult, we do focus so much on our kids and when for those that have their kids close, try to live your life in case they ever announce they’re moving states away. I went through empty nest ten years ago and after few years adapted . This is when the other day I got news of the move, it was like reliving the episode of her moving out but worse, with the grandchild I bonded with. I need to be strong and try to reinvent myself and unfortunately become independent , take care as these are the best years of my life, I did my job. Have to think back of my youth and how my mom didn’t expect anything less than me making my own way, it was about me not her…I didn’t love her any less…can’t make this an obsession or accelerate my age or death for the sake of the natural chane of life. Life gets better if you let it, and let go with love…they don’t owe you anything but being independents

  21. I am so happy I found this, could I actually be normal? My daughter is doing a masters degree in England for one year. I have assumed that in September when the year is up, she would come home and look for a job. The thing is, she can’t drive due to seizures and England with excellent public transportation is a place that gives her so much more independence than our small Ohio town. I know she is happier there and may be depressed here at home. I’m happy she’s there because I love England. Maybe I’m a bit jealous because she’s living my dream! Anyway, I’ve been okay most of the time she’s been gone. I still have my 19 year old son at home, and my daughter was home at Christmas and Easter. Yes, the goodbyes were hard. But it was her 24th birthday 2 days ago and I had a breakdown the next day. Couldn’t stop crying. Sure, we had a nice Skype visit on her birthday, but I couldn’t handle the let down afterward. I just suddenly missed her more than ever. She’s been hanging out with a guy, I suspect he may be a boyfriend and she hasn’t told us yet. That makes me happy but scared that she really won’t come home. She did tell us she wants to stay the extra few months her visa allows to travel after September. Just those extra few months make me sad. Her brother is sad too, which doesn’t help. He’s very close to her and I feel bad for him missing his sister. I know this is the natural progression of life, but I am so hopeful for at least another 6 months (dare I say year?) of having her at home after she finishes the degree so our family can be complete a bit longer. I told her today how I was sad, crying and missed her. I don’t know if that was a mistake, she probably feels smothered even at a distance of 3500 miles, I just wanted her to know. It felt good to type all this out, I’m turning 50 this year so I’m an emotional wreck, but reading your post and all the comments has helped! Thank you!

    1. I’m 54 and was alone for 8 months, I never adjusted. I think it is sad, that we are almost expected to move far away from our families. Especially in the US it seems to be the norm to get a job far away.

      I think globalization and divorce has destoyed the family. For families to only see their children and grandchildren on holidays is tragic.

      I know there are circumstances when one must move away, but often it is not necessary. I hope to always live driving distance from at least one of my daughters.

      However, Jesus is my Boss and I pray there as well so if they must go I must be supportive.

  22. I’m so glad I found this web page! I’m here as a daughter , 26 years old, and have been married for about 3 years now. My mom is going through mid-life crisis and has been depressed for years now. It started for her when my younger brother moved to California a few years ago, he’s in the Navy. Every time he’d give her a call we all knew she’d have an hour of crying shortly after. She still does today. My husband and I are planning to move to Florida for his business and will be leaving all of our family behind in Indiana. I have recently shared the news with my mom and she has been crying, frustrated, feeling rejected by me and has questioned if we considered the distance between me and her in our decision making. My mom and I are extremely close, practically best friends. I want to assure her that I love her and our relationship will never change and that the distance will be hard on me as well. However, I am focusing on my marriage and what’s best for my husband and I in planning our future together. I can’t shake off the terrible feeling I have for leaving her and feeling this guilt. My other brother and sister are still living at home but my sister just graduated high school and is already making plans and my youngest brother will be graduating high school next year. I know my mom has a long road ahead of her in this transition!

    1. Hi Samantha,
      I’m a mom with daughters about your age. Thank you for sharing your feelings. It helps us! You are right to do what is best for your life and your marriage. Your mom will adjust and even though you know it’s rough for her, release your guilt; it’s too heavy for you to carry. I wouldn’t want my daughter burdened with that. Best of luck on your adventure and enjoy it!

    2. You should not feel guilty. But you can help your mother get the help she needs. It sounds like she is suffering from true clinical depression, not just normal sadness. She probably needs professional help and medication. It took us decades to get my own mother medication for her depression…but now she is like a new person! Depression is a brain chemical I’m balance that needs to be treated.

    3. As a young person you just can’t relate to what your mom is going through. Until you pour out your life into your kids for a good 20 years of your life and they move away you just can’t relate. I really feel for your mom.

  23. Hi I have always been a lone parent to my lovely son, now in his early 30’s he has had many irlfriends all made welcome at home… he has now met a woman who told him she doesn’t like me .. I was gutted, he is moving in with her next month and I am petrified of being alone I have cried constantly since he dropped the bombshell on saturday I can’t function, I have gone into zombie mode, if it wasn’t for the cats I would stay in bed.. I feel like someone has died and I can’t cope..

  24. I’m glad I came across this article as I was worried I might be too attached to my adult kids (3 ages 27-31). I know they will be fine, I know I will be fine,and that we’ll stay in constant touch yet I bawl like a baby as the end of our time approaches. I usually cry alone as I don’t want them to feel guilty or upset my grandchildren. I just didn’t expect that at their ages I would still cry when we parted. I have 1 child (17) still at home who I am close with and I dread her leaving. I never expected time to fly so fast that I never feel like I’ve had enough time with them.

    1. I have the same problem. My last one of five left this year and they all live a distance that I can’t just drop by and see them. I miss them terribly and miss the days when they were here, when I could do things with them, and when my house was filled with the noise of children. I knew at the time to enjoy it because it wouldn’t last forever but I still feel really empty without them in my life very much now since they are all off living their own lives and very busy. I just wondered if it gets any easier but from what I’ve read, it doesn’t. I guess I have to get used to it.

      1. After reading your message it was bringing tears to my eyes. As my only 19year old son has moved to another state so far I can’t just get in the car and go see him. But the part I’m having trouble getting out of is every day I think about how he is or what he might be up to then I start chocking and hurting so much it feels like he’s passed away. How do I get through this part.

        1. Letting go of my 4 adult children is the hardest thing I have ever had to face in my whole life. I feel a roller coaster of such joy when I see them and then such anguish and despair when they go
          Especially if the short time together was fraught with tension because they are unable to understand that even their slightest rejection hurts me
          Sometime I wonder how I can keep living when it hurts so badly

        2. It’s not easy. My son is 20 and at college too. I try to remember that we give them wings to fly and the best we can do is be supportive. Exercise helps, friends and if a faith or Higher Power.

  25. Single Mom ,woke up crying …trying to get myself together to maybe go take a walk with my Jack Russell. I was with my Mother and oldest sister yesterday and did nothing but cry most of the time..I felt weird and zombie like..having an out of body experience ,,Sorry just being honest here…I’m in my early 50 my daughter is leaving out of state this Aug….and I’m not ready fact here birthday is just right around the corner and she will be 18…Yesterday was Sr. Prom..she had her dress ,shoes and I gave her money to get her hair and nails done. To my surprise she decided to go with a group of friends–girls to get ready I wanted o be there take pictures and all that stuff,,,,I cried…She did not come home spent the night with her best friend …I called her in the morning she going to her horse practice then work later..long story short ..I told her that we need to have dinner together and talk about collage and other things….more than likely she will be home late and yet again feeling like she is slowly disconnecting herself from me …I’m starting to question many things in my life. myself, life,my Job –ugh.

    1. Kids do have to work through their separation too. It can be hard for them as well – it’s a time of transition for both of you. Have you considered picking up some volunteer work? Getting out and meeting people and working toward a cause that you are passionate about really works! I’ve written about some great ideas here (be sure to look through the comments too – our readers have some great ideas):

      Hang in there! -Veronica

      1. Hi,I’ve been a single mom now for 21years, my choice, was with my ex husband for 13 years. I have 4 children, all moved out except my youngest 25 year old daughter is still with me. I hardly see her, when I come home from work she’s at her boyfriends. I too cry all the time even at work. I sit in the bar and gamble on the slots once a week because I don’t want to stay in the empty house. I’m losing my money and that’s not helping. I want my children back, and I know they have to live their lives, but the are my life. I’m 54 and I don’t want to even live anymore.

        1. Monica, there is so much to live for! And so much out there besides gambling alone…but I have the feeling you understand that already. I’m definitely not qualified to know if you have a gambling problem, but if you feel you do you might want to look into a GA group near you – is a good place to start.

          Seeing a counselor or talking your doctor is also something I hope you will do. We all have periods where we need help (I know I have!) and sometimes as a mother, it’s hard to reach out – we’ve been the ones taking care of people, it doesn’t occur to us to take care of ourselves. Promise me that you’ll do that – you deserve it. -Veronica

          1. Veronica, this is the first time that I ever wrote into one of these sites. I really didn’t believe I would get a response, let alone a kind message back. Thank you, you are a very kind human being. Monica

          2. I’m really glad you felt comfortable enough to reach out Monica. I truly wish the best for you. Please take care of yourself, you have a lot to look forward to! -Veronica

        2. I understand exactly how you feel my 22 year old is about to leave home and I can’t stop crying. I think it’s worse because I’m single I feel my life is over. What on earth do I do now

          1. I am so glad to see that other people feel the same way I am feeling. I just got remarried in March and am so happy with my new husband, but I never feel as happy as I do when my three grown children are around and I am so sad and feel so empty and purposeless when they leave. They spend most of their time when they are home from school at their dad’s because he has the house they grew up in. He and I have a good relationship so I’m glad they see their dad, but it breaks my heart that I don’t see them as often. We just spent a wonderful weekend in Las Vegas with all three of them and had such a fantastic time. I’m back at work (at home) today and can’t stop crying. My 22 year old daughter is moving to NYC in 2 weeks and I feel like my heart is breaking. It’s her dream and I am so happy for her. It’s hard not to be sad for me though. She’s my only daughter and as close as I am to my sons, she’s really my best friend. I know we’ll see each other on occasion and she’ll miss me too, but I just feel empty and want to feel like I have more purpose than only when I’m in the mom role. I am glad to hear other women are having the same hard time. I guess we just have to keep busy and find things that make us happy. I try to find peace and happiness in knowing we must have done a good job as parents if our kids feel the confidence to move on and be independent. Remember, if you have your health and they do too that is the most blessing you can have. Knowing you will see your kids sometime and that they actually want to see you and talk to you is something that a lot of people don’t have.
            I am trying to focus on these things to keep from being sad. Hope it helps someone.

        3. I was glad to see that another mom was feeling like I am. I am scared on how to figure out a way to live without my kids. They are great and I am very proud of them. I don’t want a life without them. Yet, I know that I don’t have that choice. Your post sounded so much like me. I hope you are doing something to connect with someone. That is the only thing I can think of right now is that I need to be able to connect with someone to find a way to build a second part of my life rather than waste the time God has me here. I don’t want to but I know I have to. I just don’t know any other answer.

    2. I feel the same way Juju! That’s my situation to! Except mine is my son. Plus he just started dating a girl. He’s the same age and now wants to move out! We’ve been really close. I’ve raised him as a single mom. Now all the sudden he disconnected himself it’s weird to me. I don’t understand that but, of course I was that age once and I wanted to be on my own as well. I guess we have to look back on when we were growing up. It’s not towards us moms personally they just want to get out and spread their wings. My son tells me he loves me but, mom I want to start my own life now as a adult and in my own apt. I cried a lot to this just happened yesterday. I’m crying now as I write. My son is my only child so it’s very hard when you’ve been very close n them one day out of no where they say this. It’s a very hard adjustment. Plus even though they don’t want to admit it they will need to adjust without us to. I remember moving out it was hard for my mom but, she had her husband to console her. I have no one. We will get threw is we have be to strong and find and do new things. They are not going away from our hearts they will call us, come over to see us and if they don’t, they will. It will be ok. It’s going to take time. Good luck!

    3. I know how u feel we live in nsw our 19year old son has moved to QLD which that’s interstate. The thing is how do we get past the hurt we are feeling. At times I think it’s me he wanted to get away or from his dad. But our son swears it’s not he told us he just needs to do this and get out there to see what else is out there. I thought he was having a good time but it turns out he’s been sick and his aunty who he’s staying with said its normal what we are going through cause of separating from the child we carried and gave birth to and then watched them grow . Apparently it does get easier. I think there should be a group in our town for mum and dads to go and mix to talk to other mums and dads that is finding it hard to get through with having their child moving to another town or interstate. It just might be nice so we can go have a cuppa and help each other . Cause at times it does feel like they have passed away.I know we should be happy that they are wanting to move on and to start their life . But it’s hard.

    4. So hard. When they are just being kids and trying to be independent and we, as mothers still haven’t fully realized that they need to leave the nest to grow. It hurts though, when we try to include ourselves in their lives like we used to and they are so busy living theirs that they don’t even notice our hurt. I feel selfish saying this but sometimes it really bothers me when they don’t give back

  26. I’m a 41 year old mother of one son who is now 21. He is expecting twins around September. It’s always been just the 2 of us. He’s moving out in 2 weeks and all I wanna do is cry. I’m supper excited about being a grandma and excited for his new chapter to begin. I guess I’m scared of not being important to him anymore. Feeling like someone is taking over my job of loving him. He’s a mommas boy always has been and probably always will be. I’m over reacting I’m sure. The emptyNess syndrome is real! I’ve been feeling it for years now but it’s more now than ever. How do I deal with this? I don’t want him seeing me cry or knowing how sad I really am he’s moving, because no matter how sad I am, I’m also very happy and proud of them.

    1. Sounds like you have plenty to be proud of Meridith. It’s hard, but this is the natural progression of things. And grandbabies – twins! He’s going to need your help, for sure!

  27. My children haven’t left home yet but I feel that they will soon because they have boyfriends/girlfriends.
    I have three children all in their 30’s.I guess that some would say that it is about time that they left. I just don’t feel that way.I have been a single parent for the 31 years since my husband died.
    I am retired and am unable to go out alone because of my arthritic knees.
    I miss them already!
    At least I have my cats!!!

    1. Maybe you can see them by video chat on Skype. I know it helps for us to see our son in Alaska. It’s not quite like being there but it does help. We’ve even played games and watched sporting events together – highly recommended! -Veronica

    2. Hi Marianne My son is leaving home in 6weeks time to move in with his girlfriend who told him she doesn’t like me I am gutted, I only found out 3 days ago and I am in bits I too have cats and I don’t think I would bother getting up if they didn’t need me.. I hope it gets easier but at the moment I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel .. I hope you cope better when it comes x

  28. Wow, I’m amazed to find this site and learn that my grief seems fairly normal. I’m a single mom of two grown daughters (19 and 24). One daughter lives 13 hours away. The other is only a couple of hours away, but I only see her about once a month because she is always so busy with school and work. I’ve been so, so sad since my youngest moved out. I feel like I’ve lost my identity and am no longer needed. I pray this awful feeling will ease as time goes on, but right now it’s literally a challenge putting one foot in front of the other. I never ever imagined that it would be like this when my children left home. Devastating.

    1. You are not alone in your feeling Debra – for sure. It’s a transition and as a mother, you’ve helped your girls through many – you know how to do it! Have you looked at There are quite a few online resources there to help empty nesters such as ourselves get our grooves back. -Veronica

  29. I am crushed, sad but angry too. I have 3 successful adult kids who live in other states and one abroad. I gave all of myself to them making them my priority always. I put my career aside when they were little and I helped pay for their graduate degrees in addition to college with my inheritance so that they could start their lives debt fee. My father lost his entire family in the Holocaust and taught me that nothing is more important than family. I feel that this moving far away is self centered and abnormal. Everyone on this site is miserable. There is something wrong with the priorities and value system of this younger generation!

    1. Daisy
      We raise our children to be confident and independent. Yes it’s tough when they move away but they should be commended for their ability to fly the coup and spread their wings. It’s definitely our problem,not theirs. As hard as it is, they need to live their lives as they see fit……with no guilt bestowed upon them.

    2. I am sad that we have not instilled enough familiy loyalty values in our children. We teach them to value independence and self actualization while at the same time we have given them the message that it is acceptable for us as mothers to be left behind
      It is not right that we have been raised in a culture and we have raised our kids to be self involved with what is only good for them without more thought to giving back to those who gave our lives for them to be happy

  30. What if you are the one that wants to leave? I am very close to my 24 year old daughter. She has graduated college and is going backfor her masters, she has a full time job. She lives with me and my husband of three years. I don’t see her much but we are constantly texting. My job ends the end of the year and my husband wants tomove about two hours away to a lkae, I do too but I feel so guilty. II am afraid of losing that closeness with her and her feeling abandoned. We have been going to the lake now for two years for long weekends and vacation and we thrive there. I just am afraid of losing that close relationship with her. She is my heart. My son says go,he lives all over the place with his job. Has anyone elsed moved away from their adult kids?

    1. Ronda, I did just that about 6 months ago. I got a good job offer that required relocating almost 800 miles away. I left behind 4 kids, 2 grandbabies and my significan other (temporarily). The plan is for him to move after he retires. I still have mixed feelings. There are days I think it was the right thing and there are other days when I cry a lot because I know that I am missing so much. Honestly, I don’t expect this conflicted feeling to ever go away.

  31. I’ve been reading everyone’s posts and I thought I would put my two cents in and give a male perspective. My 19 year old son moved out about six months ago. We live in Dallas and he moved to Phoenix. We moved from PHX while he was in HS and he was eager to get back. I still have two kids left at home and dreading their departure as well since I know too well how hard it was this first time. The greatest thing I ever did was become a father. From the time they were babies I embraced that part of my life and loved every moment. I thought as they got older it would get easier but not the case. At least when they’re little children they’re at home and safe. My wife struggles with him gone as well. We are both grieving his absence. But are happy he’s found his journey in life. He was our first and for four years our only. We talk about those days often. I don’t want him back in TX because I know he’d be unhappy here. Sometimes I think it’s hitting me harder than my wife since it seems as if I’m the one crying on her shoulder about his absence. He was my buddy, we watched football together and talked about life. I’d give him fatherly advice and discuss how to treat women and things like that. It’s just not the same, he moved on and I suppose I need to accept that. I still have two more, one son and one daughter. They’re all neat kids. Dreading the day when they leave. I read these comments today know how hard it is to let go of a part of my life I held so dear to me. THX.

    1. Thanks Jeff. I just posted my ‘story’ today. It was good to see another man write in. I wonder how you are doing now since it was a few months ago you posted. I am not a single father like you, but my youngest son moving out is hitting me really hard. He is the second of two sons and so we are now empty nesters. I watched the football games today and could not even get into them his absence in the room with me felt so over whelming.

  32. I am so glad that I am not alone after all. I have 3 grown children. One lives in the same town with me and she has a step daughter and her own child. She may as well live in another country since I don’t get to see her or my grandchildren. My second child lives in Tennessee and is returning to be near her family. She has 2 children and I hope we will get to see her ad her children more. My last child is in the military but will be a civilian soon. He will get married and will be living in Hawaii. Everytime they visit me, I wish they never came. It’s because I love them too much. Is that even possible? I don’t want them to visit because of having to say good bye. I can’t bear the saddness, loneliness and despair anymore. My life was for them. Now what, they are gone. How do they get off laughing at me because I get so sad when they leave. They pretty much blow off my feelings. Is it bad to wish them the same thing when their children grow up and move on? All it does is make me think that every thing I did for them (raising them to stand on their on 2 feet, be responsible, be kind, etc.) wasn’t a big deal and anybody could of done that.

    1. Theresa, My guess is that your kids don’t have the life experience to fully understand what you are going through. It sounds like you’ve done a wonderful job raising them to be responsible adults – not an easy job. Allow yourself to accept some credit, give yourself a pat on the back – you deserve it! Have you considered volunteering in your community to help with the loneliness – it really does help to help others. We have some great suggestions here: Hang in there! -Veronica

  33. I survived my two daughters leaving the nest and going to college. I managed after a time when my 27-year-old daughter moved to the west coast (I’m in the Midwest). Now my younger daughter (age 25) has met a fellow and is taking a job on the east coast to be near him. She and I have always been extremely close…best friends, really. So in addition to my heart breaking at the thought of her moving so far away, I am also struggling because I feel that she’s rejecting me and that our close relationship hasn’t meant as much to her as it does to me. I know this is unreasonable and unfair but I don’t seem to be able to help myself. I don’t know what to do.

  34. It’s hard to swallow that my children do not desire the kind of relationship I want with them, or even an approximation of the closeness we once had. They are satisfied with an abstract concept of “Mom” whom they “love” but with whom they actually have very limited interaction. I have begun to think that, in order to protect myself from the depression I feel before and after the obligatory monthly phone calls and twice a year “duty” visits, I should perhaps avoid these visits and calls. I am grieving over the loss of these relationships, and seeing them again just reopens the wound and makes me sad for what we don’t have. It actually would be a comfort to me to pretend they are completely lost to me, since I could let them go and not be continually hurt anew. The worst part is that I can hear myself saying I would like to see them, I hear their excuses, and I hate myself for not even being able to maintain my pride in front of them. I fear that I’m a pathetic figure to them now. I’m considering “running away” to the beach or Paris, without leaving a forwarding address. At least I’d have their respect. Don’t believe that it gets better. I’m ten years out. They just drift further and further away… I have begun to wish that I had not raised such accomplished, empowered children, but that they were listless losers who lived at home with me. At least I’d still know them.

    1. I am happy to join this and see other grieving mothers as myself. I feel the same way. Each time my kids left home I didn’t cry because I knew it was only temporary and it was still close enough. But then one by one they get married and still lived with in an hours drive. But the older they get–one by one are moving farther away from us. It didn’t bother us until we started getting grandchildren. We have one we don’t get to see because the parents are toxic and they have rules in order for us to see them.
      Our 3rd son married in December and now expecting a baby in September. I was all excited because I knew we would get to see this grandchild more often and be more part of its life. I was so excited and stocked up on baby things to help them out. Well they just informed me today they are moving soon further away because of school and jobs.
      No its not fair. Am I wrong to cry all day? Although my youngest daughter just got married in Feb..and they do plan to stay where they are for a few years close enough for us to visit them.
      I don’t think children really realize how bad it hurts mom. How come it doesn’t bother dad?

    2. can totally relate to some of these comments.
      I’m in my late 50’s, 2 children, a girl and a boy.
      Son just broke up with his lovely partner of 5 years, and she moved interstate. I loved her and miss her.
      Now my only precious daughter, aged 30 with a long term boyfriend, is moving overseas with him permanently. Going to live next to his mother and sister, brother in law and their nieces.
      I’m devastated! All my friends children are either engaged, married or having children. If this happens to my daughter, I won’t even be in the same country to be there with her!!!
      I’m so depressed about it, I’m in turmoil, I feel like running away, then like I need a surrogate daughter that I can share my life with. It’s extremely hurtful. I have looked after my elderly mother for over 25 years. No one will be here to look after me. I feel selfish, but also abandoned.
      Life is really so unfair, more than anything, my family has been the most important thing to me all my life.

      1. I understand completely. My daughter was married in June to English guy. I hate tge fact she will be surrounded by his family ..My other daughter has autism and I am devastated her sister has chosen to live in England. My son is here but all the same worries and feeling s I can relate to. Disappointed beyond words and depressed!

    3. Barbara,I’ve been reading these, and relate very closely to you. I have 3 kids, aged 20-23 & 26. 2live in other states, all very accomplished. They rarely call, stop to visit when back, etc…I feel hurt, unneeded, confused & angry about their attitudes toward me. I realize they have to live their lives, but they were raised better than this, it is so disrespectful & hurtful. I never expected this, I’m single & feel abandoned in a way. I feel like leaving the country too, just living my own life as they do theirs. What ever happened to “family” closeness? This is eating at me, and I feel lost, angry, sad,useless and alone. It’s horrible.


  35. my words cannot express how glad I am finding this website. I am absolutely delighted to find out that I am not at all one crazy over-sensitive mother who misses her son so much as if I will never see him again. I was trying to find an explanation to my crying, I thought it has to be with some childhood trauma of some sort of a loss e.g. separation of my parents.No. I’m so happy to know I am normal and my sadness is normal. My son is not gone far, but not close enough either. I miss him so much that I am in tears each time anyone mentions him.
    My heart goes out to you all guys too since I know now how hurtful it is.

    1. Thank you Agnese. We certainly hope that our community of empty nesters can offer some support. The best we can say for now is that it does get better. It definitely helps to look for new things in this next chapter of our lives. Hang in there.

  36. I know and understand what you are feeling. My son moved from FL to WI, he has since turned 25. It is like a death. I have and still am grieving. I speak with hime on the phone once or twice a week, we text a bit more often. But it is still absolutely heart wrenching each and every time. I try to be upbeat and happy, encouraging, not express my deep feelings of GRIEF, but I can not get through a day when we speak without gut wrenching tears. No he does not know this. I want him to be successful, I want him to be happy, but god dam it is killing me. I will keep you in my prayers. Please do the same for me.

  37. My son left for work in Dubai and I am feeling very sad and down but I still have my to young 1s here 13 and 11 but can’t stop thinking about my son

  38. The grief of my son moving to a third world country permanently, having 2 children and a wife who speak a foreign language which I am trying to learn, but they never bother to phone, email or skype me and now my son says he doesn’t want to stay in our home when he comes to Canada in the summer for 2 weeks. It hurts a lot. The pain runs deep and I know that I need to let go and accept his choices to live his own life without me in it.

    1. Oh Sharron, that’s a tough one. I remember how hard it is to travel with kids, and how it was sometimes easier to have our own space when visiting family. It may be just that. Maybe you can offer to take the grandkids for a few nights so Mom and Dad can have some alone time or go out with friends. Just a thought. -Veronica

  39. So my son just left yesterday for a new job in a state 1800 miles away from us. We have seen him off to war twice now, and that was extremely difficult, but it was with the expectation (hopefully) that he would be back. This time, it just hurts, because he is setting up a new home so far away from us. I want to move closer to him and my daughter (who will be only 2 hours away from him). I have one son left in the city where we are, but he is so entrenched here with his job, etc., that I doubt he will ever move. My heart hurts alot because all I have ever wanted is to be close to my kids and grandkids, and so far that has not happened. It is just hard, and my heart hurts.

    1. I completely understand that Kathy, our kids are very spread out as well. Opportunities arise for them and their families, and it makes it difficult to spread ourselves so thin. I’m sorry your heart is hurting, and I hope that you all can work out a plan that works for all of you. You’re a mom, you’re strong! -Veronica

  40. I’m a 22 year old daughter posting on here because I feel like I have abandoned my mum by leaving home. She already struggles with depression and anxiety and the amount of guilt I feel for adding onto them is tremendous. The only thing I want is for her to be happy and fulfilled in her life life, and I don’t know how to help. I know it is a journey she has to initiate on her own but I don’t know how to stop feeling so terrible about what I’m doing not helping.

    1. Thanks for commenting Christina, it’s so good to hear from a daughter’s perpective. You sound like a wonderful young woman who cares deeply for your mom’s well being. You are correct that she needs to initiate her journey, ultimately she is the only one that can do that. Let her know how much you love her (as a mom, I always appreciate that) show her how much you care, and gently nudge her toward tools you may find that can help her. Please don’t feel guilty for starting your own life, I seriously doubt your mom would want that. It’s hard as a mother to go through this time of transition, but moms handle transitions often – we’re good at it!

    2. You cannot make your mom feel better. It is up to her to find her way and fufillment in life. You are a shining example of her beauty because you reflect a pure heart filled with compassionate concern so much that you are able to see things from her perspective. Tell your mom I said this. She will find a lighter heart as a result. To know you have said this and to have another mom take note of the beautiful daughter she helped shape into a young lady. She can find solace and self esteem when she hears this from someone outside.

      You are the fruition of her lifes work as a mother. You are the product of her love and support. Now the best gift you can give her is to affirm this in stating it. Then go live your life with passion and hope because it is your turn to live your dream.

      However she chooses to feel – it is a choice – and yes, a tough one. The grief of our kids moving on from childhood is substantial. The bigger message is that you must not harden your heart to your own destiny calling in favor of saving someone else – a loved parent who can only save herself through rediscovery of her journey outside of motherhood.

      Remind her of the great things to come as you get behind your own dreams and make them a reality. Remind her the best is yet to come and she will be there and part of it to celebrate more good times with you.

      Stay in touch on facetime and skype and send her little cards when you can. But live your life with healthy regard and remember you are here to experience your own journey.

      1. Beautifully said. And you are right about having a choice about how we handle our feelings. I am terribly sad that my 2 sons have left home, but I try to focus on the positive facts……I have raised 2 sons who are now healthy, happy, and living their lives. I do miss them so much and our relationship is different and it is hard to accept. But I really do not want to spend this next phase of my life being sad all the time. I am determined to figure out how to find peace and some joy again. I do fear it may take awhile.

  41. I am in a full blown depression. My 2 are in college, my youngest left in the fall and I miss them so badly.

    I cry all the time. I also worry because they are 18 and 21 and neither has ever dated. I’m so scared they will be alone forever and there is nothing I can do about it anymore. What did I do wrong? I feel so alone

    1. I feel like all of the joyful parts of parenting are over. I just don’t know how to let them go. Their lives aren’t what I’d hoped for in some ways at this point and I can’t do anything about it.

      1. Linda, my daughters are 18 and 21. There life’s are not what I had hoped for, but I have leaned is not what I want that is important. It’s true, when they’re happy, I’m happy. But, I’ve learned that when they share some upsetting event with me, I lament and worry for days, only to discover they’ve moved on and haven’t even thought twice about the thing I was so worried about for them! Follow your own good advice, which I’m sure you’ve said to them before. . . Nothing lasts forever. Time heals all things.
        You’ll adjust. They’ll find love, and you’ll winner why you ever worried in the first place. ♡♡♡

          1. Jesi, I think you are right. They have no idea how upset and worried I am about them and for them. I am glad for that!!! I have always been a worrier. Even though I had 18 years to prepare for them leaving I find myself totally unprepared for the emotions I have experienced, Plus it seems everyone i know with kids my children’s age are dating, engaged, married and even having kids. Most of my kids friends have s/o’s as well. It makes me feel even more lonely and isolated because mine do not. I know I am basing my happiness on their lives and that is wrong. I’m in therapy but it doesn’t work overnight! Thank you Jesi for reaching out!!!!!!

    2. Oh Linda, I’m so sorry. There’s so much more joy to come, I promise. I don’t know the circumstances of your kids and their dating lives, so I can’t speak to that, but I do know that young adults do those kinds of things later in life these days and that’s so much more acceptable to society. I’m always amazed at my adult kids’ independence – and though that’s sometimes hard for me, I know it’s the right thing for them. Have you tried therapy? I’ve found it very helpful for me in time of personal crisis. I’m holding you in my heart today -Veronica

      1. I’m just starting with a new therapist. Thank you so much for getting back to me. My kids seem to be in the minority even by today’s standards. I want them to find love so badly, I won’t be able to enjoy my life until I feel better about theirs!

  42. Hi Everyone.
    This is an amazing place, I have been reading through and realize its okay to cry and feel lonely at this time when the children move onto their new journey in life. My son moved out almost 2 years ago and daughter yesterday. They are both very wonderful and unique in each their own way. They have brought such love and happiness in my live. I close my eyes and relive the memories we have built over the years. This helps me some. They decided to get an apartment together; this gives me peace to know how close they are and they are safe together. I cried myself to sleep last night as the house feels empty. My husband reassures me they love me and they are doing what is normal part in life. I know he is right but this lonely feeling leaves me feeling like a pit in my stomach at times. I believe it is time to move to a smaller place and start new memories, it is just to hard to look around and see them everywhere but not here. I know time is a healer, best wishes to all.

    1. I know it may be small consolation right now Mae, but ours have all been on their own for a few years now and there are many great memories that come during their adult lives too. Hang in there. -Veronica

      1. My daughter just moved out about 2 hours ago to live 3.5 hours away with her boyfriend.. I haven’t been able to stop crying. I’m now all alone in a 5 bedroom house that I’m going to sell. My heart feels like it’s broken and I can’t stand the thought of being here by myself. Her father my husband died 10 years ago. My son luckily lives next door. My daughter is my best friend, so not only did my daughter move . I hope I can get through this, it’s so very painful. I want nothing more than for her to be happy . I can’t even type anymore the tears are pouring.

        1. I don’t have any magic words Trisha, but I do feel strongly that there are better days ahead for you and your daughter. Three and a half hours is not too bad, and maybe you can set up Skype or some other video chat program to see her more often. Not quite like being together in person, but it is pretty good.

  43. I only have two daughters…25 and 22. The 25 year old is in another country and the 23 year old has been married for three years and has a 7 month old in Alabama – we’re in Iowa. It helps to keep busy, but I find I’m alone a lot – my husband is an avid outdoorsman. Hunting is over and then fishing begins, then more hunting, then ice fishing. We do things together and with friends, but I find the weekends during the day the loneliest and I cry – a lot. It doesn’t seem to be getting better, only worse. Every video and picture sent to me makes me miss them more. I do believe God has a plan, but I can’t seem to find it within myself to try new things or tell anyone how I feel. I just cry. There are so many projects to get done around our house – but I just don’t feel like doing them. I kinda feel worthless right now…and what’s the point attitude. I don’t want to feel this way. I want to enjoy life, but mostly I want my family back and near me.

    1. I wish I had a magic answer, can only hope that some time will help and you can find the strength to talk about how you feel. Maybe if you and your husband can find something new (to both of you) to do together it will help fill some time and bring you closer in facing this. -Veronica

    2. I too have been so depressed. We have 3 grown married children with almost 9 grandkids. One in Montana, One in Oklahoma, One in California but not in our town. I guess I always assumed they would live nearby but we totally understand why they moved due to housing in California and job market. One side we are thrilled for them but I just don’t know how to reinvent my life. My husband is 5 years from retiring. I am on antidepressant and anxiety Meds and that barely helps. We go to a new church so don’t have close friends there yet or much family around either. this is a very scary uneasy time for me, I feel bad for my hubby since I am a mess most days. I try to volunteer but that is even getting hard to make myself do. I am afraid to fly these days too so that doesn’t help at all. I feel for you too.

      1. Wow! 9 grandkids? That’s wonderful. Do you video chat with them? I think that’s an incredible technology that really helps our family stay together – our three are spread out all over the place too. I’m glad to hear you are being proactive with your depression – stick it out with your work toward health. It gets better, I promise! -Veronica

  44. When I first found this group it was just after our daughter’s wedding and seeing family over Christmas. I was raw and very emotional/depressed. One month later my emotions have leveled off and that numb hardness is back. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

    1. Goodbyes at the airport are terrible. The ride home is worse. I feel your pain. People who have their kids close have no idea how lucky they are. I never imagined my only two daughters would not live close to us – we’ve always been a close family. People tell me that’s what I get for raising confident, independent women. I seem to do ok a few weeks after they have left, and then the pain and loneliness sets in. I’m not any help to you other than to say you are not alone. Keeping busy does help me, but that’s not always easy – the house is usually too quiet. Blessings to you as you make your way through this part of life.

  45. Well I think I am losing it now, I have 3 married children all within an hour drive my youngest 31yrs is moving out next month with a few friends and I am heartsick! He is my baby I know he is grown he just loved being around us helps us out around the house too, my husband kind of hinted to him to go on his own,dont know if hes feelin forced to do this didnt freeload here paid room and board(didnt really need the money) He is moving 20 min away, so I shouldnt be sad, right? maybe he was here too long and too attached? I cry alot and hes still here..I will get over this right? I am 66 maybe thats it?lol…My older kids got married in their 20s,I have 1 daughter and was a basket case for a while, just hoping now at my age this feeling will go away

    1. I think it helps to assure yourself that they should be out in the world making their own way. It means you did a good job as a parent. This is also a good time to explore some new adventures for yourself. Think of it a Barbara time! -Veronica

    2. Hi Barbara, this is a BIG change for you. It helps to think about them succeeding on their own which can bring you contentment when feeling sad. You are so blessed to have your son close by! He’ll be over often.

  46. I’m been with my son since age 15 on my own single parent no family support we grew up together now I’m in my 30s living alone for the first time I’ve been sad for 2 years now they say time heals I pray it gets easier please pray for me & my son.

  47. So good to know I’m not alone. My done and his family came home for Christmas for 20 days. I got four and her family got the rest. They don’t understand why I get upset. It had been two years since I had seen my son in person. I wad so happy to see him but it sure fired up my anxiety and depression knowing I would have to say good bye.

  48. I feel such comfort this morning reading all these comments. I just got home from seeing my son who lives 6 hours away and I cried for fact still crying a little bit. He is happy and everything is good in his life, grandchild good woman nice life. My other two live in town here so I can see them often. I just dream of those days when it was me and the three amigos living a life that was hard but full of love. My babies are gone and wonderful adult children with grand kids replaced them…just knowing I am not alone has made me happier today …thanks for this post…

      1. thank you…feels nice to blog on about this with people who understand. The sadness has eased but I work at a child advocacy center and working with sexually abused children can make you very tired..and sad…

  49. Daughter just left after 10 days of Christmas holidays. Ten days that went by too quickly. I think I am sad/depressed because she has a life and I don’t. My life seems to end when she walks out the door. She is happy and busy and I am very proud of her for a lot of things. I’m old (almost 69 – she was my only child, born when I was 43). This is the third time she’s been back since she moved and it was harder to say good-bye this time. Don’t know why the emotionalism. I think, for me, I never lived “for myself”. Always lived waiting for life to happen to me. Didn’t know HOW to live. No motivation, no direction. When my daughter was born, it was EVERYTHING to me and I thoroughly enjoyed being a mother. I was very much against her moving 500 miles away but I also admit it was a VERY good move for her and I’m happy for her. I don’t think I’m an “old shoe” she’s discarded – she loves me as much (if not more) than ever. She is simply living her own life which she is MEANT TO DO. We have all lived our lives through our children – we need to find lives of our own. I’m right along with you – I don’t know how to do that either. If your adult child is on his/her own, YOU HAVE DONE YOUR JOB WELL!! You have much to be proud of!! And yes it hurts when they leave – it’s supposed to. They’re your children. You miss them. We will ALWAYS be their mother – we just have to temper it according to their needs and they need us less or not at all. Now they WANT us in their lives. A good thing. A blessing. Love and hugs to all of you.

  50. I feel that you are my friends! Thank you so much for posting your honest feelings. I had thought that maybe something was wrong with me as we have been empty nesters for years. My husband and even some of my empty nester friends don’t quite understand why my grief is so encompassing when my girls hop on the plane home to their busy lives. I experience many emotions of elation before and during a visit and depression and grief afterwards. Perhaps we feel this because we were/are great mothers! I didn’t have a great mother or a stable family life growing up so I created one and I cherish it deeply. Also what might be pressing on our hearts is the fact that the years of mothering are the core of our lives, centered in vitality and they are for me, the most meaningful experiences in my life. Sending all of you a hug. ❤️

    1. feeling this gripping sadness today. Youngest just flew out. Nice visit, but really is so difficult. I’ll jump back into my life here in a few days, and if the sun would shine it might be better. I really feel lost on days like this.

    2. With you all the way, Delenee. I had a very traumatic childhood that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I also learned how NOT to be from my biological mother and all the other females in my life. I enjoyed every minute of mothering my daughter – it was probably the one and only GOOD thing in my life. I’m very proud of my daughter but it sure DOES hurt when she goes home!!

      I’m sending you some hugs (((()))))!

  51. I am glad to know it’s not just me. My college senior son got a job out of town upon his graduation. I have cried for 4 years missing him. Now I am so proud, but so sad for me. He was my everything. I work, have a husband, home, step kids, step grand kids, but nothing will ever replace my son,we travel, I have interests and friends, but I am so lonely for the way it used to be.everyone says time will heal, but in this case it always feels so raw. He says I act uncomfortable when I’m around him, cause I am!!! I’m lost for words, I’m frozen, the fact that I have to look at my future… And not his is the scary part. Retirement, old age, not being young with a child. My son really wants me to overcome and begs me to stop being emotional ( no hormones don’t help). He wants me to be normal which he doesn’t realize that I am!,,

  52. I am a divorced Mom of four adult children who all moved out of state. Worst thing, they all moved to different states. I am so lonely I can’t stand it. I miss them all much. I feel like my life is over and I am only in my 50s. They are all doing well and I am proud of them, but I feel like all the fun left my life when they moved away. I’ve thought of relocating to be near them, but which child to be near? They get upset when I say I am lonely and none of them really want me near them. They all think they will have to take care of me. Frankly, I’ve been taking care of myself for years, I just want family dinners once in a while, and I’d be happy to do the cooking. I feel like an old useless shoe they threw away and such such a burden to them. I have friends that were mean and controlling with their children and their children all live near by. What did I do wrong? I just wanted a happy family that would hopefully all live in the same area so I could see my grandchildren a lot in my old age. Now I have to fly or drive miles to see them. My son sees his inlaws all the time- my daughter lives a half hour from her inlaws. My other daughter suggested I move near her partners family because they plan to be visiting them frequently. What is wrong with this picture? I feel like a failure as a parent. Seriously.

  53. I have so much empathy for all of you here. I feel like we could be relatives. I am a retired therapist (10 years). Sadly, my husband committed suicide two weeks after I retired. The only real support I had was from my son. He and I were very, very close for years. Now he has moved out to live with his fiancee (as he should), and I am terribly lonely. I have tried going back to school, volunteering, but am having difficulty adjusting to the fact that life goes on and things change. Although I am trained as a therapist, I have one. I am also on medication for anxiety and depression. I have a little Shih Tzu, it was the last gift my dad gave me before he unexpectly died. Also, most of my family are Jehovah’s Witnesses. I am not and we really have nothing in common. They want me to simply go back to college, graduate, start a new career at the age of 60 and “forget about the past.” There are some days when I take my medication, go back to bed and wish my son were back living with me. At the same time, logically I know that this would be ridiculous and he needs to go on, finish graduate school (he is investment banking)and have a successful life with his fiancee and his career. I have also noticed recently that I do not feel like doing the things that I used to do that I enjoyed. I am very much extroverted and have been making up excuses and feeling relieved when I do not have to be bothered with people. Some days the most important things that I do are take a shower, dress and take my little dog for a ride in the car. I hate being like this. I used to work 60 or more hours a week, wrote a book, helped my son with schoolwork, volunteered at two hospitals and taught college. What has happened to me that I obsess about my son coming back to live with me?

    1. Hello Ann. I’m no therapist (although I may need one) but I think you obsess about your son because he has been the most important part of your life. I, too, worked all my life and had a very busy life that I thought was somewhat fulfilling. BUT nothing fulfilled my life the way motherhood did. A child grows up and moves on and you’ve lost a part of yourself – the part that needed to be needed by a little child. NOTHING will ever be THAT important again but you are still doing important things. You are taking care of yourself! And while you are doing so, I think you should really give yourself a round of applause for raising such a wonderful son. He STILL needs his mother – always will. But he can tie his own shoes and pour his own milk now – let him. The most important thing you can do for him is keep on keeping on and being there when he needs you.

      Everything you said is what I have been going through. We do not HAVE to be bothered with people – we need to get to the point where we CHOOSE to be with them. I have made excuses, too. But maybe now is the time for both of us to take one step at a time.

      (((()))) Hugs to you.

  54. I am so thankful to know that I am not the only one going through this. My heart is being torn up, as my oldest son is getting ready to move to Korea. Its a long story, but he was re-married a little over a year ago to a soldier he met while he was in the Army. What is breaking my heart is that my 7 year old granddaughter will be leaving. I have taking care of her for the last 3 years (pretty much all her life). Now she is being taken away. I know that may sound strange because I’m grama to her, but I’ve been mom too because hers left her after divorcing my son. I hope the sadness gets better, because she has a room at our house & when I look at it I just cry. I think…she won’t be here anymore. His new wife isn’t very kind to her, so that makes it all the more hard knowing they’ll be an ocean away & I can’t help her. Thank you for letting me talk & I would love any advice.

    1. So sorry to hear this, really a rough situation. Wish we had some perfect little nugget of advice to help. Hopefully someone reading this can offer some insight.
      Can anybody give us some encouraging words here, please?

  55. Hello and thankyou to all who have shared. I am totally baffled at my grief and depression. My oldest son moved out 2 years ago and our relationship was strained. He since came back into our lives with new girl friend and baby on the way. Our relationship has improved and my baby grand daughter was born 2 weeks ago. Since then my depression has been triggered although I fell deeply in love with the little angel. I get to see them all weekly but the sadness I feel is so painful my heart hurts. I should be happy but the experience of a new life has opened up a lot of family of origin grief and bewilderment as to were the 21 years have gone since I had my son. My grief is in the letting go of my son as he moves in to father hood and provides for his own family. I feel so alone and heart broken and happy for my son. My depression returned and I’m really struggling with all my feelings. I love my son and grand daughter so much its painful. I still have my husband and younger son at home and I am trying to place my focus on them but with the depression I have no energy or enthusiasm.

  56. My youngest son is in BMT right now at Lackland AFB. I just got here to prep for his graduation in 2 weeks. I’m newly widowed, so life is intense in every way. My husband and I raised him, and our others, to be independent and I’m so glad to see him excelling. For our last 4 years, my husband and I traveled the country, after selling house and belongings, and I loved visiting our kids, and after saying goodbye, there would be a 1/2 hour or so of feeling the sadness, and then the excitement of the open road would take over again. It’s all part of the process, isn’t it? Now I full-time on the road on my own, and I visit the kids when I can, and we’re all so very happy to be together. But they need to live their lives, and I need to try to create a life for myself, dealing with the death of my beloved husband. If we’ve done our job as parents right, the kids grow up and leave home and we need to make damn sure that we have a life of our own. Hopefully with our spouses/partners. Because I’m telling you, if you’re fortunate enough to still have them, then make every day with them count. Our kids will all be fine and we need to make our lives after the kids as vital as we can. If your husbands/wives, bore you, do something about it; it’s in your power! Okay, enough rant…

    1. Thank you. Your words haste helping me deal today as I took my son back to school and had to say good-bye again. It seems pretty hard after the holidays and we only live 2 1/2 hours away. I just miss him so much. Seems to get harder every time he leaves. But I thank you because you remind me that he is happy and successful. And that although I miss him terribly, he’s okay.

  57. Hi everyone,
    It’s been quite a while since this was started but I needed to share. My 18 year old son left for the military three months ago. It was the kind of training where he had no contact with us. I cried every single day. It feels as though a part of me is dead. The loss is enormous. My husband is struggling as is our 16 year old son. We finally get ten days with our oldest and all I can do is think how he’s not my baby anymore. How he will never be at home like before or how we will never have normal family time (daily) again. I can almost not bear it. I am a therapist and I am trying everything I know to do including medication but I just can’t shake this. The bottom line is I do not want it like this and I just wasn’t ready. I did not have my kids to turn them out into the world I don’t know what I was thinking would happen when the grew up. Help I can’t do this.

      1. Thank you so much for your quick reply. I think after reading through each and every comment that I realized something very important…I don’t want to live every day without my kids at home with me. I have been refusing to accept that my feelings of heartache are normal. If I can’t acknowledge them as real and reasonable they won’t dissipate naturally. They just get backed up like a clogged drain. Pretty soon my world is like that sink full of yucky water that won’t go away. My feelings are all jumbled and each consecutive one intensifies the whole lot of them. The drain doesn’t get easier to unclog with more water and hair and gunk added to it. It gets harder. I don’t want to accept this reality because I just want things the way they were. If I can do the thing I preach and just feel the pain, aknowledge that it is reasonable then let my feelings move through maybe I’ll get to the other side. So…I know what to do but I just don’t want to accept that he is a grown up because then he may truly be gone. I’m getting there. Thank you so much for guiding me to this point. A little progress.

        1. Baby steps, hun. I’m glad that I could help, even just a little bit. You’ve obviously raised a wonderful young man – something you must be immensely proud of. Congrats Mom – allow yourself a pat on the back! Your feelings ARE normal and it’s MORE than okay to feel (and acknowledge) those feelings. Now unclog that drain (LOVE the analogy!). -Veronica

        2. My older sister and husband moved to their dream home in Fl. several years ago after her kids were grown. Now the dream is only one sided because one of her daughters (2nd marriage) has a child now and she has been depressed since before the baby was here about two years. It is only getting worse, and even though she goes there frequently or they come to Fl. it actually makes it worse. Her husband puts up with so many up and downs. She does work but other than that sits and makes herself sick. I have tried to get her to visit her doctor or use her work employee assistant program with no prevail. I’m at the end of my rope. Her only answer is to throw everything away that they have worked for to move home with no jobs or home and start their lives over at almost 60. Please help I don’t want my sister to end up alone, with nothing, and regretting this decision. She reads maybe a book any help. Thank you

    1. I remember when my son joined the military. He signed up and went to meet the bus to take him to the base for basic training. He didn’t want me to go with him as he was afraid he would change his mind. That broke my heart. But, it was the best thing ever for him to do. He has excelled beyond belief in the Army and was just promoted last week to the highest level of Sargeant. I am so very proud of him. Basic training will be over before you know it. It helps, when he’s allowed letters, to write letters encouraging him to do his best. It meant so much to my son to get those letters from me.

    2. I am a military mom too and a single emptynester. My son has been in the military 9 years now and my daughter moved to Germany 2 years ago. I too have dragged myself into a pity party pit many times. I try to keep myself busy and do fulfilling things like travel, crafts, volunteer, but at times it just gets so lonely here. I do have two dogs but they don’t speak English, lol. I’m immensely proud of my grown children but really wish I lived near them. I have one grandchild I rarely see, unfortunately, as my son is divorced and dealing with issues there. I visit my daughter once a year and farewells at the airport are fraught with tears and many long hugs. My son is able to make the long drive home every 6 months or so, and that helps a bit.

  58. I am on day three of being an empty nester. I am at a loss of what to do with all my spare time. I have a dog to care for, a husband, and a full time job. But I am so used to running around like a crazy woman and my life has become so consumed with my sons lives. Now what do I do? I am not worried about his well being, he is going to do great things. I still also have my oldest son near who stops by almost daily. But knowing that I won’t be needed like I was is a tough one. No one to clean up after, no lights to be left on when he gets home late, no more sounds of his car pulling into the driveway or the coffee machine being left on. I am going to miss all of this. Good news is I get to see him in 3 weeks. He’s only 2 hours away. But I guess the hardest part for me is knowing they will never be back at home for good. It’s a whole new chapter and Im not sure I know what to do. I have been crying non stop for 3 days. I sure hope this gets easier.

    1. It’s a tough transition Jessica. One thing that really helped for us was to focus on our relationship. Rediscover the couple that fell in love in the first place. Try something new together. For us it is traveling, but it can be anything. Hang in there, and yes, it does get easier.

      David & Veronica, The GypsyNesters

  59. I have 8 wonderful adult children (4 born and 4 in laws) and 7 grands. And like most of you, the few times every year we get together are definitely a highlight for me. I plan, and bake, and shop like a giddy school girl. There is an inevitable let down when they leave, but my husband always looks at me and says “do you hear that? Silence!!!” That always makes me laugh and realize that my life now is so rewarding. We plan activities and exercise and volunteer to make the letdown lessen. And as other readers said, planning the next visit to their houses is always something to look forward to! Stay encouraged–It gets easier as time goes by.

    1. Thanks for the advice. My husband and I are retired and don’t have the best of relationships. Our son and his family are moving back to Florida because of weather and her mom lives there. Our two grandchildren and son were the only family we had in town. I am extremely depressed and resentful because this decision was made without even asking us how we felt. Some very hurtful comments were made on both ends and I currently not speaking with DIL even though I apologized. She has not.her comment is that they are adults. My son built her a beautiful home and he had a business he has to forfeit because of this move. The grandchildren have been in same town for 9 years only while her mom had all her other grandchildren from birth to adulthood. I cry daily because I will miss the “live of my life grandchildren” they are being told by their mom and other grandmother that they will be s me to live with the princesses etc etc . I don’t think I will ever have the lose relationship I had with my DIL and never trust her again. Our entire family including his brother who lived 6 hrs from us, cousins TWC are all affected. Our son, is torn but says he needs to make his wife happy. I do understand this. I am worried how my relationship with my spouse is going to end up since the grandchildren were such a wonderful part of our life and kept us together. Any suggestions on how to get through this?

  60. My son is leaving for LA October 1st. He lives in Chicago and We live in the suburbs of Chicago. Although we are empty nesters we had access to our son. He would come home a couple times a month, we would meet in the city for dinner etc. This move feels so final. Tears won’t stop. I am so sad.

    1. It is hard when they move far away, but hopefully he is moving out west for something that is good for his life as an adult. You should be proud of him even though you are sad. Also, now you have a good excuse to travel to California.

  61. Well, I don’t know whether this is still active or not. I am extremely depressed because tomorrow we leave on vacation and it will be the first time that our son will not go with us. He was late moving out — 3-1/2 years on one college major, 3-1/2 in another. Then he got an offer to attend graduate school for free with stipend every month and he moved out. Broke my heart b/c it was just unexpected at that point in our lives. I just dread tomorrow when I have to get on that plane and he is not there. It just feels like I am losing my family to not be together. Family, and extended family are VERY important to me. I have probably based too much of my existence in my son and the family factor. I know he will be fine, it is me. It doesn’t help that my husband is just sorta boring, while my son is just full of life. Anyway, I have cried tonight and just need optimism about this trip. I wish it were already over. Wish I could actually talk with someone who might understand. Thanks for letting me “vent”.

    1. More than happy to let you vent. We love that people feel free to express themselves here.

      If we could be so bold as to offer a word, it might help to remember that our ultimate goal in raising kids was to set them off on their own lives. It sounds like you’ve done a fine job preparing your son for that, now it is time to let him spread his wings and fly. It is definitely bittersweet, but you should be proud.

    2. I felt the same way a few years ago. I didnt want to go on vacation without my kids. It was our first vaction without them but I dragged myself out to go. When we arrived, i turned the tv on and with a heavy sad sigh began channel surfing. Dr Phil was on and i believe the script had been written for me. It was about empty nest and how Robin coped. She said she was so sad when her last child left but then decided to start living her own life in a whole new way. I decided to take her advice for that vacation and i had the best time ever. I miss my kids terribly and every single time that i have to send my youngest back off to where hes stationed in the army, Im so sad i can hardly stand it. It eventually goes away but i get tired of feeling so empty when he leaves. Sometimes the sad feeling starts even before he leaves just because i know im going to have the sadness. My dtr lives closer and its not so bad when she leaves but its very hard when my son leaves.

  62. My only daughter is approaching her 3rd year of graduate school on the West Coast. We live on the East Coast. A family wedding brought her East and she decided to stay a week. I spent the entire spring redecorating her room to make it more adult and also because we swapped her kid room and made it our study. I spent sooooo much time waiting for her to come. She came and her reaction to her “new” room was “meh”. She didn’t gush over it. I worked and worked and so looked forward to her visit. She got mad at me one night when she asked my opinion on the whole Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner thing and then got annoyed and left me standing in the kitchen when I answered. I felt like I spent the entire rest of the visit trying to apologize for having an opinion. I feel like making my opinion known was a mistake. From then on I could not get the feeling out of my head that she wanted to leave. Broke my heart. And now she’s been gone 4 days and it feels like 100. And my brain keeps telling me she doesn’t want me any more. How do you all handle the inevitable generational gaps in opinions? I feel like I’ll never express my opinion again. And then I’m made because I have my entire psych tied up in the opinion of a 24 year old. Gees.

    1. I have felt that way a few times with both of our daughters. What I can say is that, at least in our case, it gets better with time. As we (on both sides of the parent-child relationship) got better at understanding our new roles as adult to adult things definitely improved. Hang in there.

    2. So glad I found this site and I’m not the only pitiful parent missing my kids. I wonder if this attitude about her new room is honest. My daughter disagrees with most things we talk about as though she wants friction so she won’t get sappy and a wall will go up between us making distance and it easier to say goodbye and for her to show strength and independence.

  63. I am so glad I found this site. I recently found out that my oldest daughter (31),her husband and our 10 month old granddaughter are moving to Virginia where his in-laws live. My SIL(34) just finished his fellowship as an orthopedic surgeon and choose a job in VA in the same town where his family lives after assuring us for 4 years that his plans were to take a job nearby us in FL. He obviously choose being close to his family over being near us. My daughter is very upset but must follow her husband. My other daughter(27) went to graduate school in Boston and choose to stay and work there after graduation because she doesn’t want to leave her friends or her current job. I live in South Florida with my husband. We are both in our 60’s. Our children are the only family we have right now. Both of us devoted our lives to our children. They are both successful and thriving so we are proud of them and our dedication paid off but that does not erase the sting of being left alone in our senior years. Our hearts are broken at the loss of having them nearby and we are also fearful for our future. We do not have extra money for travel or for the extreme costs of assisted living facilities. My husband and I both cared for our parents in their old age. We took them to doctors appointments, grocery shopping, etc. and were at their bedside through numerous hospital stays, We held their hand when in hospice and were at their bedside when they died. We set a good example for our children of the role of family members in each others lives. So this is all very shocking to us. We feel as if this millennial generation thinks that FaceTime/Skype is an acceptable alternative to being together in person. It is my opinion that this is a very self centered generation. The media has reinforced that mindset too. So, I am so glad to have an outlet for my disappointment and an opportunity to bond with other parents going through the same ordeal. I have read posts on other websites from people who say that if adult children don’t live near their parents that the parents are too blame. That we did something to drive them away. Not always true. My children tell us they love us. They acknowledge how lucky they are to have had the wonderful childhoods they had. My husband and I both had unloving parents so we did the opposite of them. We were loving, caring, involved, nurturing. I gave up a career as an RN to stay home with them so I could give them the advantage of home cooked meals every night and mom picking them up after school, taking them to after school activities, playtimes at our home, etc. We paid for all of their college expenses so they have no debt. What is shocking to me is that we witness people we know who were not very good parents that now have their adult children nearby while ours are gone. Is it possible that selfish parents create a codependency so their kids are always seeking their approval and therefore can’t flee the nest? I don’t have the answer to that but I am seeing a pattern in families I know. If I had the money I’d fly to see my adult children as often as possible but that’s not an option. We have to save for our future so we have enough money set aside to pay for senior care when that day comes. I’m concerned what will happen if one of us passes away. What is the surviving spouse to do? Moving to VA doesn’t seem like an option since SIL’s family is very elite and demanding and we aren’t of that mindset. Not sure about Boston as an option either. My point is that as we age we have our needs too. We have our concerns for our future. We just want our adult children nearby so we can get a visit from them and the grandkids if we are hospitalized. Perhaps a ride to the doctors office if they can would be nice. Not expecting them to be hands on care givers but just available if we need something. And, of course, we are mourning the loss of our grandchildren in our lives. I agree with others who say that saying goodbye after visits is so heartbreaking. I,too, sometimes wonder if it’s best to not have visits then to go through the pain of them leaving. We were suppose to be the hands on grandparents to our precious granddaughter but now have to accept that SIL’s mother and step father will get that privilege . It hurts very much. No one can understand the heartbreak unless they are experiencing it. Thanks for creating this forum. It helps to express the loss.

    1. Hi Susan,

      We are glad that having a place to express your feelings helps in some small way. It is a difficult road sometimes as we grow older, but we cannot know what the future holds for certain so perhaps things will work out better than expected. We certainly hope so.

  64. I fully relate to your article about depression and the empty nester. The funny thing is when I heard this expression used about someone when I was in my 20s I thought they must be crazy! I was the one running away from Mom & Dad! Now it is me. Payback is a bitch!
    I remind my son every time he rolls his eyes at me and gives me the exasperated Oh Mom! I remind his yes I will be his mother until the day I die! Since we lived together with my daughter and her kids, my empty nest was postponed by 7 years. I loved being part of their daily lives. However it caused a double dose of Empty Nester Blues. I am struggling every day since. Do you know some good books to help me in my struggle?

    Thank you

  65. I don’t know if people are still reading these posts but here I go. I’m a single mother of 3 kids. I have a set of twin boys who are sophomores in college (they are roommates in college) and a 14 year old girl. I am having such a hard time in my nearly empty nest. I still have my daughter at home but it doesn’t make me miss my boys any less. I’m very close to my boys and and I don’t know how to live in this empty house without them. They came home for the hollidays and will be leaving in 2 days and all I can do is cry. I feel like this everytime they go back after a visit. I really thought it would get better.

    1. We are still reading Olivia, thank you for posting. Don’t know how much it helps but you should be proud of your kids. They will always be your children and it is great that you are close. It is alright to be sad, it’s normal, and I hope you can find some joy as they move into their adult lives.

    2. Olivia, I’m a married man with 4 children, and just had the youngest leave for college. I still have two older disabled children at home, but still feel the deep pain of saying goodbye. I can’t imagine what you as a single mother must be going through, as I’m sure it cuts a lot deeper than what I’m feeling. I’d sure like to pin point what it is that I’m so sad about, but just can’t. Children are a ton of work and demand most of my hard earned money, but I guess that a part of me would like to have lovable young children under my care for as long as I live. Nice to know I’m not alone in my pain…….I’m gonna miss them.

      1. I have a son, 41, mentally ill that lives with me. It doesn’t take away the sadness I feel with my 2 daughters being grown and out of home. I just found out that my youngest daughter won’t be home for Thanksgiving or Christmas because of work schedule. She is a newly hired nurse and last to get holidays. This will be the first Thanksgiving / Christmas without all my kids. I thought it was hard to be without them before, I dread the holidays. It is such a lonely, hurting feeling, like having a tooth ache in the pit of my stomach. I was a single mom, working 2 jobs most of the time. As hard as it was, I would go back to it in a second. Nothing replaces their absence. Am I just old (65) and depressed? Is this he way its going to be? I can’t travel to them, my son can’t travel. Wish I had some one who can relate, to talk with.

        1. Hi molly…ive had to learn to enjoy “the season” instead of the day. My kids have not been together for years. Its very hard at first but i came to terms in my own head that Christmas and Thanksgiving are just another day but the entire season is what we celebrate. My son is military and i didnt see him for two years. My dtr goes out of state to inlaws every yr for one or the other of the 2 major holidays. We celebrated 2015 Christmas holiday on the 13th. It all becomes ok when we start talking ourselves into realizing that life changes. Have 2 with all kids and one with the other 2 on the day of the actual holiday. I hope you find comfort and i will pray for you bc i believe God has helped me and he will you too.

        2. Molly i understand your pain,my daughter is 17 and going away to college on August 3 hours and a half away and this is killing me,i wont eat,sleep all i do is cry all the time,i really don’t know how i am going to deal with this,and the hard part is going to be when i have to go and drive her to the university,i really don’t think i can make it,so i can understand everyones pain on this site,i feel like my life is over,i feel so depressed don’t know what to do anymore,i really hope and pray that you are feeling better,but this pain is unbearable ,hope we live close so we can talk and comfort each other through this difficult time,blessings.

  66. I understand so many of the feelings described in this blog! I went through our daughters leaving for University. Our second daughter left 5 days after 911 while our first was already on the east coast in school! Much time has passed, both married with children and both living on the east coast. We are in the Mid-west. It really doesn’t get easier when they leave after a great visit. I have always felt “left” when the fun is over and all returned to go away! I felt it as a child and still as an adult. It’s me. I feel the sadness, hoping it won’t kill me.
    As soon as I hear from them later in the day or as soon as they get back in the house and call to say they made it home safely, I hear their voices and feel better!!
    Thank God for FaceTime and Skype!!!
    I will say my husband and I know and understands how the girls leaving me affects me, so he and I usually plan an activity that gets us out of the house and with other people. We try to get back to our “normal” quickly! I do start looking at air fare and calendars to see when we can plan the next visit!!!
    I know our job of raising healthy children is for them to leave us. We did a great job, I know this. It doesn’t mean I cannot miss them when they aren’t here!
    My two cents!

      1. My advise is to let them know, it doesn’t make it easier on you but they will never forget that they mattered to you. My Dad, on leaving after a visit, said “it leaves a hole in my heart every time I have to say good-by”. He died in 1996 when my kids were 2 and 3, so now I’m the new empty nester, and it is hard, but I always let them know how hard it is and that I treasure every moment

  67. At48, my two oldest children, moved 1000 miles away, leaving behind me and their 2 youngest siblings. We missed them so much we decided, after being begged for two years, to move to where they were, leaving behind our comfort zone of 25+ years. Now, we live with one of them, temporarily, and cant wait to get out, away, and done with them. The oldest, well, she only contacts us when she wants to, or is in desperate need of “woe is me” time. So, I guess I could say that I haven’t given up on the kids, but it’s time for me to take my two youngest, enjoy the time I have left with them before they move on, and just be happy when I get to see the grandkids…..few and far between. It sucks and it is very depressing to know that your wanted and needed, but when you get close, they distance themselves and treat you like you don’t even exist….even when sharing the same house

    1. Judy,
      I know others that are single and it is not the same as having someone else to shoulder the sadness. My sister is not able to let her boys go. That darn letting go us so hard!!! This is not good for them. I’m glad you still have other children with you.
      A new normal. New activities, new memories for you with them. Hopefully finding others that share a similar ” single parent” separation will give support to you! Keep reaching out, don’t give up because you don’t see it here on this blog. You never know! Good luck and hug em tight!!

      1. I have to be honest. When I moved out from my parents at 19, I didn’t look back. I don’t remember calling either really. I was the youngest of 5 children, so I just felt that they would.’t miss me, because they had the rest to keep them busy, especially with my sister diagnosed with ocd,, always washing herself, that’s what drove me out. Still not talking to her after 35 years. Also, just to let you know, both my parents NEVER said the words I love you when I was growing up.I ALWAYs told my children i loved them, and everytime i see them or talk to them. I didn’t think of them missing me, I was just looking forward, I guess when your young and your moving out, that’s what you do, your seeing a new adventure about to happen not looking back, My mom never said she missed me, even to this day. She’s said that her mom never expressed feelings like, she loved her,when she was growing up.My mom is now 86 years old and the only ones out of the 5 children that she lets come to visit her is my brother and sister with o.c.d. She says that she’s more “use” to them. I haven’ seen my mom for over a 1 and a half, even though she’s an hour away by bus. Life BITES!

  68. I am saying goodbye today to 2 of my Young Adult children and 2 Grand daughters that i have become attached too. I always say when i have to do something really hard this has to be the hardest thing i have ever done . But now i realize telling my kids good bye and My Beautiful granddaughters bye is the hardest yet .I wake up feeling so alone and sad wanting to follow them just to be near . I know they need to spread their wings and live life to the fullest . But why cant i just get this sick feeling out of my system ?? Please someone help i am going crazy!!

    1. Oh Val, my heart goes out to you. You need to get out with a friend as soon as possible! Do you have someone to visit nearby? Try to be as proactive as possible – start looking into volunteer activities in your area, or maybe a group that enjoys a hobby that you do. I’m going to send out a few feelers for others to suggest some other ideas here for you! Hang in there love!

      1. Thank you all for the kind words i am ok and i hope i will stay that way for the next few weeks i decided to let them settle in to their new spot then in a couple of weeks im flying out to see them and their new house . Just to reassure my self that they are ok and my grand babies are not “living on the street”LOL you know as parents and grand parents we have to always think the worst until we see for our selves that they are ok hahaha.

    2. Whew! I’m not alone and I’m not crazy, at least not TOO crazy. My kids flew the coop and nested 12 & 22 hours away at first. I did not hesitate to jump in the car several times during the year they were away and drive to visit them. When my first grandson was born 22 hours away, it nearly killed me to be so far from him. Now all the chickies are back near home (within 10 mins) and are multiplying. Even though they live in town, sometimes it is all I can do to let them go home or to stay away from their houses to visit with my girls or snuggle with my grandbabies. Love them all to pieces!

    3. I too have experienced both my kids leaving home this year. At first it was really hard even though they are not that far away. But I think this is the time me and my husband are rediscovering each other again. Enjoying travelling or just a simple coffee at a nice cafe. Keeping active and busy together and enjoying the times we have with our kids when we can:)

      1. Yes you should now is the time for that just think you can run around your house without saying close the door in hopes that none of the kids walk in any moment hahaha..

    4. is a question…..what if you were a single mom..raised 3 kids…all left the nest…been on “your oen ” now for 8 months…(alone) and you are still having a hard time dealing with being alone? Yes i read your stories…the difference is…you have a spouse to help you…i, on the other hand..have no one to lean on…..thought? Ideas? Help??

        1. Becky, sorry, we’re not ignoring you, we’re just hoping that someone more qualified than we are will jump in with suggestions. Please give it a little time for reponses. We wish the very best for you. -Veronica

        2. Becky i was once there too i was a single mom of 4 for quite some time. Every time it was their time with the father i would have melt downs i guess im just a over barring parent. But as they grew they moved out one by one and i was ok cause they were only an hour away . So i dated and met a wonderful man. So i guess what im trying to say is give your self some time and find your self again it’s never too late.

        3. Hi Becky, I don’t know how. old this post is, but I’m a 54 year old single mom of 4. I feel exactly y like you, no one to lean on, no husband or boyfriend to take me out on trips or restaurants take me feel better. No car and can’t drive either,and I earn close to minimum wage on my 3 year old job. I don’t know what to do also. I feel like I’m dying and know one cares!

      1. Hi Becky,
        I hope you read this, or it get’s to you somehow. I commend you for raising your children alone, it must’ve been quite a struggle to be a single parent. And while we all do the best we can, it’s doubly hard for one person to try and be both a Mother AND a Father. Remember, it’s only natural to feel alone when children leave…the hustle and bustle you’d grown used to and sometimes felt like pulling your hair out over, is gone. Now it’s time for something new. You have to keep growing and striving to add new experiences to your life, or else you risk becoming stagnant, and that (I think) is the worse thing you can do for yourself…and even your kids. You’re still the person they look up to no matter how old they get. You have a choice now; to either buck up or bow out. As a parent, you’re used to taking a deep breath and getting it done, but now’s the time to do the same for YOU. There are so many things you can do to fill up the free time you have now, and the more you get out of the house, the better. Believe me. If you can afford it,(or even if you can’t-there’s lots of free things out there, too) take a class (any kind-knitting, painting, physics, whatever strikes your fancy) or join a group, or volunteer somewhere…if you do this, and stay positive, other doors will open, given time. This is a phase that we, as all parent’s, have to go through, and it’s hard at first, but sooo worth it to get your life back. Just remember, your kids will be happy knowing you’re living life. It’s a great relief for them, as they worry about you, too! But to see you getting out and enjoying life will be a benefit to all of you. Like it or not, you’re still setting the example 😀
        Best Wishes

      2. This is my story….I am so depressed. My 3 kids living with me were the reason I was the best mom I could be. I am happy for them, proud of therm and realize they need to start their own lives….but had NO idea how painful it would be…will I ever be happy again?

        1. All we can advise is that you try some new things. Get your mind working on something other than missing the kids. Travel worked for us, but it can be anything. Art classes, dance, community theater, volunteer work, just anything to give you new experiences and ideas.

      3. Hi Becky, I understand you 100%. I’m very much alone, I have join the Gym because I figured I need to take care of my health since I’m alone, I’m really sacred not to be healthy. my only daughter got married a year ago and I still cry. I feel very lonely I also volunteer with my
        Church but that is only every other Friday. I have two little dogs that keep me company but sometimes I want to visit my daughter and stay with her a couple of days but I can’t leave my dogs. I’m cant seemed to find nice ladies in the same boat, I have friends that are married but that is always uncomfortable. I pray a lot and that helps me a lot and my goal is to go to the gym 5 days a week but my body reminds me of my age. I pray for all the ladies that are alone that God will guide us and give us peace. Wish you the best Becky

    5. First, give yourself a chance to adjust. When our son left for college – everyone kept telling me how awesome it would be. It wasn’t. At first. It was hard. It took us a while to find a new rhythm. But, we did. We found that going out and trying new restaurants was something new – and we are 4 years into the empty nest and still do this with friends. Hang in there. It can be bumpy at first – but, keep at it.

    6. Our adult daughter and granddaughter, who has lived with us for all her 8 1/2 years not including as a fetus, are moving in 2 weeks (exactly 3/4 mile and 4 min away if they hit a red light) and I am just wishing the day were here and at the same time that the day never comes. All my children are grown and I had a hard time with two of them but this is the worse. I share many of these feelings and appreciate all the honesty and heart feelings shared. We’ll get through this, won’t we?

  69. Wow great group here! I just turned 50, have 2 military boys that are married, I am blessed they are now stationed together on the same base, although 13 hours away. Im a ball baby after every visit, a few days prior to knowing when they are going to leave, I can feel the “feeling” coming on. Today is the first time we have seen the boys and there wives in approx. 8-9 months. My husbands first time here with me, as I flew the last time a few yrs. ago ( at that time my one son was in Alaska which we seen once a yr). We really here now because on son is leaving for overseas in a not so good place, for 7 months. So we moved our summer trip up to now so we could see him before he leaves. I just wish that it didn’t feel like my heart is getting ripped out of my chest, as I write the tears swell….I love my 2 sons and there wives which are sisters very much. Im enjoying the time, just know that it will be months till I see them again. Love reading your notes…

  70. Take it from me, it never gets any easier. I am inconsolable each and everytime I have to say goodbye to my kids. The reassuring thing is that it is now so easy to keep in contact with Viber, Skype and email!

    1. I think you’re right Kathy, we are going to see all of ours over the holidays and I know it will be rough when we say goodbye. But it is so much easier to keep in touch these days. We just had a Skype session with our oldest who is in France!

  71. Oh how I relate to this. I am just finishing a writing piece of my own about the emotions that surface during the comings and goings of my children. I try not to burden the kids with my uncontrollable sadness at times – by waiting until they leave or hiding in my walk-in closet and sobbing safely there until they leave. Within a couple of days though I’m back to normal and all is well—until the next visit

  72. It beats the alternative of: ‘crap, I can’t wait until these monsters leave’ and being upset the whole time they’re there . . . which is how some parents feel. You’re all together because you *want* to be, not out of obligation. Recognize it as a sign of how much you love them and how much they love you. After all, if they didn’t, they would go somewhere else for the holidays.


  73. I love and cherish the time we spend with our adult children. But I also relish the fact that they are grown and we have done our job right! I enjoyed child-rearing, but now too enjoy the empty nest and time with my husband. I would never want a 30 year old living in the basement! Thank God they are successful and well-adjusted! Here’s too their success and our freedom!

  74. I wish I could give you an answer, but I too am going through the same thing. The one child I did have at home, decided to switch universities, moving another province away. To say the least, I am very sad. It doesn’t help that I do not work. My husband says to go out more, but that just doesn’t cut it, when really all you want is your kids close at home.

  75. I read your article and TOTALLY GOT IT. Boo-hoo’ed right here.

    My oldest left several years ago, and that was easier because I still had one at home. But then my youngest departed to college 6 months ago. Last one of mine out the door. We did basketball “together” since kindergarten, and now he’s off in college playing. Such a blessing, but I have had a hard time filling that void of so many hours a week that basketball had taken up. I’ve picked up a new hobby that I love, but not many friends are interested so I get lonely. My husband is my son’s step-father, and he has one who still lives with us that I’ve never been able to totally bond with. My husband finds it hard to comfort me as he is not an emotional guy AT ALL.

    I find myself daily thinking, “I want my son back!!!!” I miss the hugs and the “I love you, mom.” I “lock” the texts he sends that say that. Thank goodness I have my church friends who keep me involved in Sunday school study and give me encouragement and a therapist for PTSD (past unrelated issue)! I would like to go to bed and sleep until time to either go see him again or comes home for a visit!!

    1. Sounds familiar. I look forward so much to visits from my “kids” but dread their departure because I know I’ll be upset for at least a day – it used to last longer so I am improving. I can be very analytical and I think I know what causes the depression that follows their visits but that doesn’t change how I feel each and every time! I think that it is like unrequited love — one-sided love – love that is not reciprocated or returned the way we desire it. I think when our kids visit that we are hoping to get back that feeling of unconditional love and need for our nurturing that we had with them when they were children. We hope that we’ll get a sense that they miss us and think about us like we think about them when they are away from us. But, it doesn’t happen. They are basically indifferent towards parents because they have outgrown that stage of their lives. They care about their family but they aren’t attached to it like they were as children and that is hard to accept. Just an opinion of course – I can’t think of any other reason it is so difficult to say goodbye to them each and every time that they visit!

      1. That’s exactly how I see it! It feels like unrequited love. That empty feeling you’re left with after a break up and realizing that you love them differently than they love you. I’m so relieved to see that I’m not just crazy because I was a single mom.

  76. I remember having the same feelings when my daughter came and went during college. They did ease with time. Unfortunately (or fortunately) my children live very close to me so I don’t really have to go through these types of feelings. I dread the day one of my children come and tell me they are moving far away. I’ll be coming back to this post then!

  77. Dear Veronica,

    My daughter and grand kids moved out of our place 1 year ago right before Christmas. I still miss them so bad it is physically painful…I feel like I have lost an arm or foot or something!!! I did have a sobfest every day for about one month. I am getting some what better in that I manage now not to cry most days. I do volunteer work in my community for 3 days a week to keep busy.

    We will always be parents no matter how old they are..
    I don’t know how I am supposed to stop being a mother after 35 years of raising 3 lovely human beings…
    I do baby sit for my daughter once in awhile but it is not the same by far..

    I could use some advise to cope better as well.

    Janice in Canada

    1. Janice, we have the best folks that come to our site – so keep refreshing this page, there’s a lot of great advice coming your way! Volunteering is a great step. – And we never stop being mothers, we’re just needed in different ways.

  78. I totally relate, but with a variation. I live in the UK and my children/young grandchildren live in Montana, Paris and Sydney, Australia. That’s a lot of airmiles for any family to find, so a once tightly-knit tribe has had to accept that we will only rarely be able to gather in one place. The heartbreak is not just ours on departure, but also the loss that the siblings feel for each other. I’ve had a few years to get used to it now and my solution is treat myself very, very gently for a day or two…I don’t immediately put away the rubber duckies in the bath or the stray packs of babywipes that fell behind the bed. And if I feel sad when I see the leftover debris, then I also feel great comfort in the recent happy memories we’ve created (Perhaps appreciating them even more than if the kids lived down the road).After a few days though, I feel the adult me returning, I want to restore order and put small ornaments back at low level…and get back in contact with my own life while my husband and I take great pleasure in sharing anecdotes and observations from the visit. And to be honest, it’s never too long until I start planning my own trip to stay with them! Which they appear to accept with joy…

  79. “When I’m around them I smile bigger, laugh harder and feel so comfortably myself.” – I can so relate… With four kids my major occupation was always being a mom. It has gotten easier as they have gotten older (eldest is 32). I do have a daughter 1 hour away with our two grandkids so that is a comfort but they are talking of moving on as soon as she is done with school.

    This Christmas was really hard because I only had 2 of the four here so I had a few blubbering fests during the season. It does help to plan visits, to know when I will see them next. The eldest son is in LA and the eldest daughter just move to NYC.

    Instead of a month of depression I’m down to about a week and keeping busy does help. I’ve come to grips with the fact that having them altogether at one time is going to be a major challenge during holidays and sometimes I feel guilty – wishing I wouldn’t have raised them to go for their dreams but would have raised them to just marry the boy or girl next door and live close to mom and dad but that would have been too selfish.

    It helps knowing they are happy with what they are doing but time seems to be the greatest healer. Have a great day 🙂

  80. Am I a bad empty nest Mom? When our adult offspring leave, I’m usually ready to have my empty nest routine back. Our older son is getting married in May. If we are blessed with grandchildren, I might feel differently.

  81. I find it hard to watch our son walk out the door, and he does too,although he would never admit it. I know because the day he has to leave, he waits until we are busy in an activity and then just quickly grabs his things, says a quick goodbye and heads for the door. It never really gets easier. I “know” he’ll be back within a certain time frame and that he has to get on with his life-we’ve done our job well if he can, but it’s hard to reconcile not knowing who his friends are and what his daily routine is like when he is away from us. I do like having a more flexible schedule and not being responsible for meals on time, laundry and all that stuff. I guess one of the hardest things in life is to enjoy each stage on its own terms and to accept with grace, that your children have their own path and you can’t walk that path with them. It does bring satisfaction realizing that we are links in an ongoing chain/circle of life, linked to our parents in history and our children in the future. It does give our life some meaning and value.

    1. Leah, I love what you say here about appreciating each stage for what it is. I still have one at home, but he’s in high school so the end is drawing near. Meanwhile, the other four have graduated from college and are off chasing their rainbows in Brazil, Alaska, and California. I think I might as well be a gypsy nester like you, Veronica, because there’s no possible way these kids will ever live in one place. I suffered the same post-holiday tearfest that you did, and it seems we’re in good company. Thanks for making this such a wonderful community.

  82. It’s grief. I had it too (still do), but it gradually gets better. It might help to get very busy with something you really like to do. Major projects. Do all those things you never had time to do before. And don’t forget exercise. Working out is the best way to ground yourself and lighten your mood. Every day. You’ve probably heard all this a thousand times already, but all I know is what works for me. Best wishes –

    1. Chris – now that you mention it, I noticed that exercise DOES help – a lot. The last parting was a few weeks ago with both of the girls and David immediately dragged me out on a long bike ride – that I initially didn’t want to go on. It kept me from wallowing around and I slept much better that night than I normally would have! -Veronica

  83. I was just thinking about this last weekend when my son left to get on the train to go back to his home. I find that I am not near as sad if I have our next visit planned before this visit is over. Then I have something new to look forward to! This seems to help me a lot!
    I also delight in the fact that our visit went so well…..when he was a mere teenager he could not stand to be in the same room with me! Now he enjoys our company and tells us so during our visits. I dwell on that instead of feeling sad about saying goodbye!

  84. Wish I had some words of wisdom to contribute, but all I can say is, “Me, too.” Seeing them one at a time and thus only having to leave one at a time is almost tolerable. I’m usually done crying by the time they or we get home. But the last time I said goodbye to all three of them in the same day I cried for weeks. I agree, it was PHYSICALLY hard to walk out of that room with the three (four after the wedding) of them standing there. Dave had to pull me away and I only had time to grasp Garrett’s hand one more time before I was out the door. Like you, I’m hoping this gets better, but you know, I fear that the older they get, the less we’ll see of them, the more we’ll like them, and possibly, the harder the goodbyes may get. I hope I’m wrong, for all our sake!

      1. I just left my daughter in her dorm yesterday at UC Irvine, which is 4 1/2 hours south of us in California. The depression is unbearable right now. We have been through things that no mother or daughter should ever have to go through in their lives. I feel like my lifeline is gone. I have a 14 year old who started High school. I hear from everyone and see comments on the site..” She will be fine and succeed…you should be proud….spend that extra time nurturing and loving on the youngest sibling. To tell you the truth..all I want to do is cry and not get out of bed. I am overwhelmed with a sadness that is so consuming. I truly dont know how to get thru this. It’s pain worse than any pain I have ever felt. I’m completely heartbroken.

        1. I understand, but try thinking back to when you were her age and excited to be starting your life on your own. Just remember, we will always be their parents, we just don’t need to be parenting everyday anymore. It really is a good thing.

          1. What a great way to put it…yes, thinking back, I was excited to start my own life & wouldn’t have wanted my mom to suffer. Actually, I didn’t even think of her being upset. I have a deployed son so I can sympathize with all the moms here. Do your best at being strong. I assure you it gets easier. Love to you all. You’re not alone.

      1. They don’t and I guess that is our new reality. Thank you to the gypsynesters for starting this website it is really helpful. I am going to get your book. I have never blogged anything, but all your sincere and heartfelt comments help me to feel not alone. Do any of you live in Northern NJ? I would like to start a group to help each other through this process. Just to get together and talk. My close friends and family all have their three, four and five adult children with all their grandchildren all living by them…so it is hard to relate.So if anyone is interested…let me know!

      2. How would it sound if our kids lived near us? I don’t know…maybe that is too hard a question for me to answer. But maybe it is the best question to answer.

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