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

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 ten 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 fulfill 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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827 thoughts on “Post-Parting Depression: Saying Good-bye to My Adult Kids”

    1. I know the feeling all too well. All three of my daughters live at least 300 miles away. It’s always so hard to say goodbye especially after the holidays.
      They are all doing well but I wish I could live closer to them. I’m jealous of my friends who have all their children living in the same town!

      1. I feel the same – my youngest lives in New Zealand – has been over for a month and I am dreading Monday when I take her to Heathrow to return, with no known next event planned.
        My other two and grandson live 2 hours 20 from me and I do see them fairly often at the moment but one is moving house with NO spare room – the other is no longer able to put us up. so trips will diminish. Not looking forward to this hcange and reductions of visits and time wiht my girls.

        1. Hi Joanna,

          I am currently on a 3 day visit to my daughter in Florida. I live in Maryland. It’s short because she doesn’t have much time. I just started a 1 month medical leave from my job bc my anxiety and depression became too much for me to focus. I attribute most of that to my kids living SO far away. My two sons live in California and Hawaii! I am heartbroken every day. It’s not as though they left for college recently. Divorce has also made the past several years harder. I in a relationship with a lovely man but still don’t feel at peace. I’m glad for my children that they’re independent and doing what they love but I don’t know where I belong anymore. I, too, like other women have posted here, wish I could have the company of like-minded moms. If not on person, on zoom. I don’t think commiserating forever is the best idea but, gosh, I’d love to meet some women friends.

    2. I have twin daughters 28 that I raised after divorce. They live 4.5 hours away and it is so lonely without them. I have a job here and would move near to them if I could find a decent job there but that has not happened. It crushes my heart when we see each other then they go back to their work. I live alone and they are my life. We have been this distance for 8 years and I get depressed from being apart. They have each other but I am stuck here. I don’t know what to do. I don’t like my job here but earn a good income and can afford the cost of living but I feel constantly sad that I am away from the two pieces of my heart. I thought this would get better but I feel like I am 58 and getting older. I cry and feel depressed that we are not near enough to spend quality time. My heart feels so broken. I worry I will get old old and die feeling deprived of my kids.

  1. My closest friend, my son fell in love and moved in with his love. It doesn’t matter close or far…he’s moved on to adulthood and I know it was the goal – give your child roots and wings. It is still a loss – a loss of the joyous time I had round him. Can’t stop crying. Trying to be selfless – what a battle in my heart!
    I keep thinking that I will be able to sort this out in my mind and I do! In my heart it still hurts. He and his girl had a Christmas party that I went to. It was fine – he is not the son I knew, but a newish man dedicated to his love. It’s beautiful. As I left the party I immediately fell into an unexpected deep depression which I had to hide (almost impossible as we know each other so well) as I spoke with him today – telling me how perfect the party was and how grateful he was for my support. I feel like throwing away all my Christmas decorations. Irrational.
    I have been a tower of strength for his whole life and my inability to cope rationally with this is a shock to me!
    It does help to hear others here who have the same super strong bond with their adult kids feeling this struggle. Hugs to all of you great parents.
    No one can convince me that these feelings are somehow “unhealthy.” The loss of any close relationship after so many years together is going to take time and adjustment.
    It only hurts when I breath. LOve my beautiful son. I will not allow him to see me struggle with this. Pride in my selflessness.

    1. Jody, if you see this I would love to somehow communicate with you (whether FB or email). We have a lot in common. My oldest is also my best friend and while rationally I know he’s doing exactly what is meant to be, I feel like I will lose the closeness we share. It’s so hard.

  2. Happening right this minute. I’ve done this as long as I can remember. With my mom leaving, the husband going out of town to work, now the adult children when they go home. I completely loose it. Like cannot function. I’m on my couch in complete silence barely moving my hands to type this. for sharing.

  3. Great Article! Thank you for sharing this is a very informative post, and looking forward to the latest one.

  4. Having a child move many miles away from you can be really difficult to handle, as so many of the posts here go to show. We’re in the UK and have one son who has firmly settled in Australia and been there for over 10 years and another who has only recently returned from over 2 years in Japan. Some 18 months ago we mentioned here that we were setting up a Facebook support group for parents like us and have since had people join us from the USA, UK, Europe and New Zealand. It’s so supportive to be able to share thoughts, emotions and experiences with other who ‘get it’. So many friends and family just don’t understand what we are going through. If you have a child living many miles away or who has emigrated and would like to join us then you can find out more on our new website

  5. I just found this site looking for others like myself. That are dealing or will have to learn how to coup with their child moving away. My only daughter is moving away with her boyfriend to Texas. She went to college not real far away but close enough to visit, she met a guy moved in with him for a year and I still could visit. Then we decided to move all of us..the 4 of us. I have a one other child a son. So we moved south. Half a day drive to where we left all of our family. They been with us since this move. Now my daughter meets a military guy, which i warned before hand as they always get stationed and you up and move all the time. Well she went and found someone I am not so much fond of. Yes I like him but then again there are things I do not. That isnt important, What is important is in how I deal with this move. I dont want to be crying all the time. I was a stay at home Mom since I was 25. I am in my 50’s now. I am blessed , I was afraid of this very thing. Now she leaves next week while I am off visiting my family. Which will make it easier I think not being here as she packs up. I think I am going to have a hard time and hope I coup better than I am excepting. To travel she is 23 hr drive one way. I dont have the funds to travel and i hate traveling. So, on my end it will not be happening. I made her know this. This is on her. She knew, we talked about this very thing, with having terrible headaches and travel makes them worse. She as well has the same issue. So I know we wont be seeing each other much. I am going to miss out on so much. That hurts or I should say saddens myself. I wanted to be there for all of those events. Like if she marries this man. I wont be there for dress shopping. I resent them as they will be next to his parents. Like choose them over us. That she will have his family for all those special events I miss out on. If they have children, not like I can see them often. I wanted what I had. To enjoy all those little things. His family gets all of that. I came from a very large family and family is everything to me. My daughters boyfriend comes from a very small family. Since our move it is just myself,hubby, son and my parents. Small I miss a lot of times with family so far away. I sometime wonder if we should have moved but doesnt mean our kids will stay close by. We moved so they could have a better life. An we suffered finically for it. I dont really regret the move but on the other hand I do. Has anyone thought about making a FB support group for parents to talk to other parents for advice and support? Talking to others that have gone thru this, is going thru this or will be going thru this would be very helpful. If someone does please let me know. I could use some extra friends, as this lady has none. Since my move 5 yrs ago, i havent had a friend to do things with. My kids are my world. This empty nest thing and having her so far away is going to be hard.

    1. I found out today that my daughter and son in law and 6 month old. Baby girl are moving 2,000 miles away for his work. I can’t quite crying. I raised my 3 kids as a single parent after their father died. My daughter is the youngest she was 2. We had some hard times but are now very close. I see them at least 1 time a week. I come from a family that doesn’t move away from home. My grandparents had 10 grandkids and none of us moved out of state. I have 3 older brothers and all their kids and grandkids still live in this state. I know lots of people say you have to let them go. I just always thought I would be a grandmother like my Mom was to my kids and my grandmother was to me. Not 2,000 miles away. I can’t even imagine being so far away from them. Having my grandparents close was wonderful. I am so thankful for that. Having my parents so close when I was raising my kids was such a blessing. I am also so great full that I was here for my grandparents and parents in their later years. Family being together is what really matters. I am just heartbroken. I want to be able to go to my granddaughter’s events. Be a part of her life. I want to meet my daughter for lunch, go shopping with her. Go watch her play hockey. To all the people who say move on, what is wrong with wanting to be with the people you love and who love you. I live in a neighborhood with lots of young families now. A large majority are transplants from somewhere else. There kids don’t have cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents around. It is so sad to watch. The parents are always trying to find babysitters for their kids. Maybe this is why our world is such a mess. Families are meant to be together.

      1. I recently had my daughter of 40 years move to Texas from our home the PNW. I’ve been a single parent for my children and am still single, never remarried and have been alone for twenty some years. My daughter moved out when she was 22 for the first time (only about an hour away) and I had such a horrible empty nesting experience and hoped it would never happen again. But she moved back home when she was 32 for about a year and then moved about 2 miles from me and it wasn’t too bad of a bout of depression. Then when she was 38, she and her fiancé moved from Oregon to Washington together. My new home had a 2 bedroom apartment on the bottom floor. Now 2 years of having her so so close her fiancé decided he doesn’t want to live in the PNW anymore. They left two days ago and I’m a total wreck. Such excruciating heartache and I can’t stop crying. I go out for 2+ walks a day with my dog but as soon as I walk back into my house, the pain is so so awful and the tears won’t stop. (Been crying while writing this.) Because she lived under my roof, she was constantly on my mind. I didn’t see her everyday but just knowing she was so close had me thinking about her all the time. Now she’s moved states away and I’m not sure I’ll survive this empty nest syndrome as I can’t even go visit her on weekends and such. Just tears my heart out. I think some people think my grief is a bit much, but I can’t help it, it’s there and I’d love it not to be. I’m hoping time will ease my missing of her presence. She’s been texting me while traveling but that does t really help the pain of her leaving. There’s a part of me that wants to beg her to come home. I never would do that and do want her to live HER life, not mine. I just have a bit of hope that she might come back to the NW, but I can’t live on hope. I, like you, was really hoping for my adult children would stay close by. My son and grandkids live about 10 minutes away and live a very busy life, but I do visit monthly. My daughter though I feel has been my “person” and I shouldn’t have let that happen as that is why I’m in such pain now. I hope anyone going through this sort of thing is able to find some peace quickly, I’m hoping to! It’s only been two days but I’m hoping it will lighten up sooner than later.

        1. Hi Teresa. Your story really touched me. I know how you feel. I live in the PNW too. I have two sons. After they went to college out of state they moved back to Washington for a few years. My youngest loved the PNW and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to live anywhere else. I was broken-hearted when a few years later, after he got engaged, he came over to tell me that they had decided to move to the Midwest…near her family. It still brings tears to my eyes to think of that conversation, and the day that I said goodbye.
          It’s really hard to know that I’ll never have him nearby and that if I have grandchildren we will barely know each other.
          I don’t want to make this about me but I wanted you to know there are others nearby who feel your pain. It has gotten easier, in that it isn’t on my mind all the time, every day…but it’s still an ache in my heart that is always there.
          I keep reminding myself that this means I did my job as a mother right. I always heard that the goal of a mom is to teach your children how to live without you. Nobody told me it would hurt so much to have them leave though.

        2. Teresa,
          I am hoping you are feeling better now! I pretty much cried for days after my daughter and new husband moved a thousand miles away. It has been 4 weeks now. I am not feeling great, but I’m surviving. There were a couple people at work who went through this too and I found some comfort in talking to them about it. I am trying to think of what can fulfill me now. I have a husband. He is sad/hurt too but not as bad as me. I have a strong faith in God but I just had so much of my life and identity as a mom and caring for my kids. This is so much harder than I thought it would be. I am still working on it. I am glad I am working full-time right now. I think just having the day-to-day duties helps keep me on track. I’ll work on what I want to tackle soon. It has to be about more than de-cluttering my house after the youngest is gone, although that gives a little satisfaction. I think I may need to take on something bigger with regard to my love of God. Best wishes to all of you going though this pain!

    2. Lease, I surely understand how you feel. I wish I had the magic words to fix this situation. But stay tuned, I might think of something!
      FaceTime is a really good way to see kids and talk as well. Or zoom call with a larger group. My daughter lives as far as yours, and she has stage 4 breast cancer. It is very hard when the treatments stop working and she is updating us on what is next. It has had many difficulties, knowing this can take her life away from all of us.
      She and her husband decided to move to AZ to enjoy life to the fullest for as long as it lasts. We try to go there when we can. Airfare is reasonable and I’ll do anything to see her as much as I can.
      Also I send things to her and write notes and send text messages often.
      Keep talking to us here. We all care and should be concerned about other moms and dads who simply love their kids.

    3. I understand what your going through. My son lives in FLordia and I live in missouri. I do see him twice a year but he only stays for five days and they go so fast. That when he leaves I cry for a few days. my kids are my world too.. My daughter does live near by but she is so busy in her own life that she has no time for me. A facebook support group would be nice because I have been looki on line too see if anyone else feels the same way I do becuse it is hard dont feel alone Im going through the same thing. It did help to read your post to know am not the only one. I have no friends either my husband doesnt understand as much.

  6. I just found this blog and feel a sense of relief to know I am not alone. I just dropped off my 27 year-old daughter at the airport after a Christmas visit, and promptly began bawling as soon as I drove off. I dropped off my son yesterday. My husband and I are a blended family with 6 kids, and after each holiday or visit goodbye, the waterworks begin. I allow my self a day to mope and cry and eat an entire cheeseball. Instead of fighting the grief, I allow it to happen, knowing that’s just how I am. Our children live in 3 different states, so getting together is tough but a very big deal. I have to tell myself that this is our role as parents, to get them to fly. Even if the flying feels like it’s ripping our hearts out. This is the first year my son has been out of college and at an adult job, and a super exciting job at that. So I’m so happy for him and my daughter who have fulfilling independent lives. I would be even sadder if they hadn’t found their way and were drifting aimlessly in our basement. That’s what helps keep me moving forward and not getting overwhelmed with missing them. I am thankful to have wonderful relationships with them and the fact that they pick up the phone just to talk and ask for advice. I do not think I’ll ever get to the point where I am not sad when they leave. And that’s ok.

    1. M Swenson, I feel your pain today. I dropped off my 25 year old daughter at the airport today after a 3 week visit how. The visit was wonderful — so much good, quality time together. And as you said, I’m so grateful that she is living her independent, full life, but I cry and carry a pit in my stomach for a couple days after she leaves. Happens every time. I have not figured out a way to avoid it. I have two other children, young adult boys and both in town so I get to see them more easily. But even when my youngest leaves my house to return to his college apartment 30 minutes away, I have a few hours of sadness. The “life is moving on” emotions that hit us Moms, I guess.
      Hugs to you!

      1. Omg, there are others like me!!!! No one understands me, why I cry like a baby , cry like someone died, physically hurt every time I see my adult kids and leave them this has been going on for 7 years and it’s as bad as the first time, hubby and I live in Va and my two adult kids and grandkids live in OK, I just got back from visiting them for two weeks and today it hit me hard I don’t work and I am alone during the day, my kids don’t understand and I have asked them to once in awhile to video chat and talk on cell but it never happens and I don’t want to bother them and I shouldn’t have to beg them. I physically hurt as someone died , I only get to see them about twice a year for a week or two. I am so happy to have found this site. I hope that someone will reach out from here and start a friendship with. E so I can talk with someone that understands me cause no one around me does

        1. Hi Becky. I understand you. Have just said goodbye to my daughter, she came home to live for 4 months and has gone back to a city that is about 5 hours drive away. She has come and gone many times and I always feel like this but this time seems harder as she was here for so long. I miss her terribly and the house is so quiet. I do also feel that noone understands me and get a bit jealous of friends that have their children living in the same place. I dont know how to explain it but it just seems that life is as it should be when she is around. Hope your doing ok

          1. you hit the nail on the head with the “When she’s around it just feels as life should be” (for me)…not sure its how she feels it should be though. My daughter just moved out after living with me for a year-with her entire family. Her, her fiancé and his 5 kids all were there for a year, and my life was the fullest it has ever been. My heart was the fullest it has ever been. I was broke-but I was happy. And life felt good TO ME. We didn’t fight. We functioned quite well as a family unit. But they still wanted to be on their own, even though I felt the already were. They are gone now. My once chaotic, noisy. messy house is so empty and quiet. I can see them regularly, but they aren’t right at my fingertips anymore and even just losing that burns. Nothing about this part of life is easy

        2. I understand completely! I have just come home from a lovely weekend with family and have been bawling my eyes out!
          I feel crap now and my face is sore . I always look forward to seeing them (my adult kids are 39/40 and both married and happy. I wonder if it’s because I’m in my own and the live further away ( 4 hours drive)
          I suffer this torture each time, rather than just appreciate the time we had together. Glad there are others like me 😭😭😭

        3. I think it never goes away. It never stops.. Why? I don’t understand it. Everytime mine leaves to go to work living in the same house hurts.. I guess we can’t let go.. Mine is 38.. 🤷‍♀️ I constantly worry that something will happen to one of them.. I constantly worry that I worry more about one than the other then I sometimes feel guilty if I’m enjoying myself a little and not worrying. ( Feels more like grieving to me) but what do you do. Live with it I suppose.

        4. I totally understand. I go through it every time. And it doesn’t seem to get easier. My husband doesn’t understand. Neither do my four daughters. I would definitely like to hear from you. My email is [email protected]

        5. I know exactly how you feel. I cry almost every day. I know it’s ridiculous but that doesn’t stop me.

        6. Hi Becky. I can totally relate to your post! I just had my son and daughter in law for a week. They headed back to VA this morning and I just cannot get over it. I feel so sad, can’t get anything done. I am just reading posts like this online to get some advice and make me feel better. It NEVER gets any easier. I am 59 and have been a widow for 5 years, so that definitely plays into the sadness and loneliness. Any other good advice?

          1. Wow, I am so thankful to find this. I spent the 5hour drive home plus crying. My third daughter just finished her residency. I knew she and her husband were moving to Washington state. And I consoled myself with the thought I’d have a few months to spend visiting. Now I find out there will be no time and they are moving a month early. She also told us she didn’t want visitors right away. I am heartbroken. We have a wonderful relationship so it’s not that she doesn’t want to see us. I think she doesn’t understand how this feels for me. My other two daughters also have moved away. One is in the Netherlands and the other in North Carolina. I live in PA. I really feel cheated of the opportunity to do all the things we used to do like lunches and shopping. I have never let on to them how very painful this is. I’ve always supported their decisions and desire to find a place that fit them . I am thankful to know I’m not alone.

        7. Sandy, I’ve been going through the same thing myself. My son graduated from college and couldn’t find a job in the area that we live in. He applied everywhere and went upstate for an interview and was hired. He is my baby out of three children, he’s 25, but he came up with an extra problem he said that he had been thinking about marrying his girlfriend and that she is going to move up and live with him for now. At first knowing that he was leaving was sad, but then he came up with that part and it just threw me off. It’s been a week since he told me and ever since I’ve been breaking down crying, and I feel so sad. I find myself crying, reminiscing when he was a baby, and just not knowing when I’ll see him once he leaves. I am so so sad. I hope and pray that he will be blessed it just was so unexpected. I understand what you feel and I’m there with you. Take care.

        8. I do the same I feel the same way everytime my son leaves and no one understands me either. I see him twice a year too only 5 days each time. He only text me once in awhile. I dont want to bother him either I live in missouri and he lives in Flordia. I dont work and I am home all the time. I do have a daughter that live nearby but she is all ways so busy with her own life she doesnt have a lot of time for me. I physically hurt and cry so much it trully is hard. It does help to know Im not alone. I do feel the same way your not alone.

    2. I’m so grateful to have found this site. Have been laying in bed bawling because I miss my son. He is 22, graduated with a great 4 yr degree, and has just moved from MI to FL. He is a sweet boy and just like some other mom’s said, takes the sunshine with him when he leaves. He explained that he has always felt very close to me and like a momma’s boy, and that his wanting to live in another state isn’t because of any shortcomings on my part. It’s because he wants to see what it’s like in other areas and to do this while he is young and not in a relationship. So that really helped me. And I hope it’s the case with most of the other kids who have moved away. They are just spreading their wings, like we want for them. We can still be their biggest fans. I am so sad for the moms who have dealt with selfishness and cruelty and been hurt so much. God choose us to be moms to these kids and we have done our best! I hope we are all remembered by our children for the love and sacrifices we have made for them. My husband feels similar pain with our youngest out of state and that helps. I also have 4 legged fur babies who make me laugh and smile daily. I wish you all the best and think this is an amazing group of ladies ❤️

      1. I can so relate. I can’t stop the tears and I can’t stop my deep seated heartache, it’s so so excruciating. I’ve been a single parent for most of my children’s lives. My children ARE MY LIFE. My family was scattered and not close with one another and I so wanted my children to live close to me, and each other, even a few hours would be ok as I could visit on weekends. My daughter is 40, son 42. My daughter has lived with me off and on after high school and each time she came and left I went through heartbreak and crying, feeling as if she had died. She has only lived 15-30 minutes away from me when she left (it still hurt like heck). I was so lucky she stayed so close. She and her fiancé have been living in my downstairs apartment for 2 years and 2 days ago they left to live in Texas, so far away. I’m devastated and my heart hurts so so much, I miss her so so much. She is texting me and keeping me posted as they drive to Texas, but I’m not sure if that is actually is helping or making it worse, but I’ll take whatever I can even if it’s painful. I want to beg her to come back but know I would never do that. I really don’t have anyone to talk to about it as many people, even women too don’t understand how hard this hits. I’m sure everyone experiences it a bit difference. Perhaps at least if I had a partner I would have someone to lean on. Though I know this is something I can only fix/take care of by myself . Time will heal. It helps to read about others, but it doesn’t help much. It doesn’t take my pain and tears away. Sure wish I could just go to sleep for a week or two and wake up without this pain. My heart goes out to all who post here, I hope their pain eases with time. I’m hopeful my daughter might come back at sometime in the future, to live, not just visit. I miss her sooooooooooo much!

    3. It makes me happy to have found this group. My heart is aching with sadness as my 28 year old daughter and husband are preparing to move from Florida -where we are- to California. They are planning to have their first baby and we won’t be there when that happens. It’s not so easy to travel from FL to CA. I don’t know how to accept or cope with this situation as we have always been a very close and loving family. Can someone tell me how to learn to live away from your children?

      1. Claudia:
        I don’t think anyone can tell you “how” to learn to live away from your children. It’s hard, especially at first, and especially when they have your grandchildren so far away. You do learn to adjust, and I have learned to plan our next visit before the end of a current one, so that I know I will see them again. I also plan trips and activities to keep me busy. The hardest part is exactly what the original post stated: No matter how “used to it” you become, every time you see them it’s an adjustment all over again. I have learned to accept the emotions, allow myself to feel them, cry, whatever, and then get busy with the rest of my life! It helps! Hugs to you!

    4. I have been desperately searching for insight online. My world has caved in on me. My 3 oldest sons hardly talk to me anymore. I cry just about everyday. I feel as though my whole purpose in life and my identity are gone. I have a business and I have a husband, but life is just not the same without my adult children in it. It is the emptiest feeling that I can’t seem to shake off. My babies are grown and gone! How am I gonna live without them.

      1. I feel your pain. I have just one daughter, who 3yrs ago went to Canada with her partner (I’m in the UK). Me and her father separated when she was quite young and I am still alone. I supported her decision to go, as I brought her up to be independent, confident and fearless, everything I wasn’t. But what has ripped my heart out, is that they came back for a 2 week visit and I was allocated just one afternoon and evening out of that time. I know she is spending at least 3 days with her father, his wife and her children (which she calls her brothers and sisters). I haven’t stopped crying since seeing her. I am so hurt, feel so abandoned and so lonely. I can deal with the fact she has spread her wings and I am proud that with my parenting she feels she can do that but I literally feel as though a piece of me has died, wondering why I was only worth such a short amount of time with her. I text her and said how lovely it was to see her but how I wish we could’ve had more time together and although she replied, she didn’t even acknowledge what I had said. The pain is unbearable, I wake up in a morning crying, which continues on and off all day, it physically hurts. She is still in the UK while writing this which makes it even harder. I guess I have got to mourn the relationship I thought we had and try to come to terms with the few crumbs I am now thrown, as this trip has made it clear she prefers to spend time with her father, his new family, her partners family and her friends more than me. It is just so heartbreaking

        1. My son and daughter in law told me yesterday they were moving 17 hours away. They have 2 daughters who I helped raise while they worked.
          I’m in bed bawling. Not sure how I’ll get through this but hopefully God will help me. Glad I found this site. Good to know I’m not alone.

          1. I’m sorry Carol. It is heartbreaking. Try to keep communication open and frequent. The last thing you would ever want is a wedge between you. Keep them “wanting” to see you.

        2. I am learning that I DO NOT SHARE WELL.
          I know I should not count hours and compare but I do it anyway. It is not a competition but it feels like one i know I will drive her away if I harp on it so I have to suck it up and TRY to just go with the flow and enjoy the present. I am a work in progress on that front I guess. I did tell her I am struggling with this and that kind of helped, she is feeling anxious about her time no matter where she is and I want her to enjoy her time here so practice, practice, practice.

        3. Broken-hearted Uk I feel for you very much. My 2 sons (27 and 24) do live near me still but they can go weeks without texting or calling. When they do come to visit, especially the youngest one, I feel he has a barrier up. It has ripped my heart out as we were so close from 0-19. I don’t feel valued and like you, feel it’s just crumbs for me now.

          1. Sad Melbourne Mum I am in a similar situation. My oldest son (32) moved across the country in 2021. When he was young we were SO close. But ever since he went to college it feels like he put a wall up and he is holding back. Now when we visit each other it is nice, but that closeness is just not there. I wonder if it is a boy thing?? He is very happy and successful so I am thankful for that. But I do miss him. My younger 30 year old son lives about 1/2 hour away, and I really don’t see him that often. Maybe once every 6 weeks. But I feel closer to him because I don’t feel that wall. I divorced their father when they were in middle school and have since remarried. I do feel like my oldest son never really dealt with the divorce. Both of my sons are very close with their father. I am happy for that but also a little jealous (although I never let them know that).

      2. I’m right with you. My son lives close by and I do hear from him maybe every few weeks, but I still cry and want to be closer and be a part of their life, but that just isn’t happening. I know he and his family love me and help me when needed, but something inside me wants both my children to be a daily part of my life, or at least weekly. I’d love to have them as my neighbor. And recently my daughter, 40 years old and who has lived with me off and on through her adult life (and I’ve been through this empty nest thing many times, but she lived close by so it eased some) has moved to Texas with her fiancé. They had both been living in my 2 bedroom apartment on the lower level of my house for the last two years. They left two days ago and I’m overwhelmed with grief and heartache. I want to beg her to come home, but of course won’t. And yes, it is the emptiest feeling ever. I don’t want to do anything, nothing sounds fun, NOTHING. I have a fur baby but she’s not helping, though I love her dearly and she is what is getting me out for walks at least. And I do ok on the walk but as soon as I see her car not in my driveway and when I come into such quietness I just start bawling all over again. Getting out of the house might be good, but coming back is horrid! Just horrid. Like you, how am I gonna live without her so close, she was my PERSON. It’s hard to have your person live so far away.

      3. Christine, I’m right with you. My son lives close by and I do hear from him maybe every few weeks, but I still cry and want to be closer and be a part of their life, but that just isn’t happening. I know he and his family love me and help me when needed, but something inside me wants both my children to be a daily part of my life, or at least weekly. I’d love to have them as my neighbor. And recently my daughter, 40 years old and who has lived with me off and on through her adult life (and I’ve been through this empty nest thing many times, but she lived close by so it eased some) has moved to Texas with her fiancé. They had both been living in my 2 bedroom apartment on the lower level of my house for the last two years. They left two days ago and I’m overwhelmed with grief and heartache. I want to beg her to come home, but of course won’t. And yes, it is the emptiest feeling ever. I don’t want to do anything, nothing sounds fun, NOTHING. I have a fur baby but she’s not helping, though I love her dearly and she is what is getting me out for walks at least. And I do ok on the walk but as soon as I see her car not in my driveway and when I come into such quietness I just start bawling all over again. Getting out of the house might be good, but coming back is horrid! Just horrid. Like you, how am I gonna live without her so close, she was my PERSON. It’s hard to have your person live so far away.

    5. Atta girl! It’s ok to have deep rooted feelings for our kids. We have to look at how we allow the depth of sorrow to control us.
      One day I was in a very unending teary mode about my son working 16 hr shifts as a corrections officer with no food or time to eat anyway. He had fruit snacks with him and so tired when he got home he would collapse into bed with no dinner. I cried and cried every time I got thinking about it. But I had arrived at my piano lesson and was going to cancel cause I couldn’t stop crying. Oh no…I wiped my eyes and went in and took my lesson. My instructor is also a loving mother of 7 adult kids. She gets it.
      We keep going with or without tears.
      As a Linda Ronstadt song says, excuse while I cry when in public. I’m glad I have emotions to feel this strongly about how I feel about my kids. If I didn’t, I’d think they didn’t matter that much.

  7. My son, daughter-in-law and four boys are moving 17 hours away in 2 days. I’ve known for eight months but not thinking about it was the best way I could deal with it. Today is hard. They’re moving to live by the beach and because Covid gave them the opportunity to work anywhere that has an internet connection. My other son also moved to a beach area (19 hours away) a year ago, also because he can work anywhere with an internet connection. My daughter is still in my same area and I thank God daily for that. My daughter-in-law’s parents also live a few miles away, as well as the friends they’ve both had since their high school years. Our family has always been close and still are. It’s hard because they were the only social things I did – the boy’s ballgames, scout activities, school activities, lake activities, weekly dinners at our house, etc. I knew how good we had it all those years and what a blessed life we had. My husband and I work full time and he sometimes works from home, sometimes at his job two hours away, and he’s sometimes at a lake property we inherited, maintaining it. The grandchildren are between 5 and 14 years and while I’m so happy we had the time we did, we’ll miss the rest of their growing up years. I worry about them changing schools and making friends. They are our only grandchildren and I don’t see my other two kids having kids or probably even marrying. Moving isn’t an option for us. We’re near retirement age. We can’t retire early and it would be hard to find good jobs to support us for the years we have left. They were high school sweethearts and we’ve been able to get together at least once a week since they were married 16 years ago. I know I’ve been so fortunate, but this hurts so deeply. I know it could be much worse. They’re happy and healthy, but I just don’t know how to do this.

    1. I’m so sorry. I know things could be worse but this is so hard. Grandchildren are such a gift and sort of a reward of parenting!! You can read my post below on 7/23 to get my story. I know technology is there but that doesn’t replace the physical connection nor does a few visits a year give me any comfort. It’s heartbreaking but what choice do we have? Our children and grands are so important to us. We have to find a way. I’m almost 60 and am in counseling for the first time in my life trying to figure out how to do this. My husband and I both work full time as well and they are our only grands. Travel across the country isn’t going to happen too often for us. Family is everything to me. They are leaving all the family they have ever known and a great, solid family that is so supportive. It’s mind boggling but it’s their life. I’m praying hard that God gives me the strength. I’m sorry

    2. I’m feeling everyone’s sadness. I’ve been a single mom for many years and have been devoted to my four children to the best of my ability. I’m so proud of them and their happiness means everything to me. I live in Chicago, and so does my son and DIL but my 3 daughters have all moved to the west coast and are building wonderful lives. My oldest daughter was the last to move away from the family home at age 26 a few months ago. Not only is the bustling, active home not the same but this feeling of loss is overwhelming. I treasure their childhood days and they were the best days of my life. I miss them so much words can’t do justice. I have a career, friends, family, SO and interests but I can’t fill this void.

      1. I hear ya! I just got back from Christmas eve dinner from my sons. He lives 15 minutes away. And I’m so sad when. I leave. I’m not sure what the heck is going on with that. But it definitely sucks

        1. 15 MINUTES? You are so freaking LUCKY. My eldest lives in Seattle, I am in Philadelphia with my youngest daughter and her family, and THEY just announced they will be moving to Florida in 6-8 months. Sheila! Count your blessings, for God’s sake.

          1. It’s not helpful to dimish another person’s sadness. Grief is grief. Someone might tell you to count your blessings that your children still live in the same country as you. That wouldn’t be helpful to you.

        2. Are you kidding me! 15 minutes! Come on now. Try the other side of the US then you would have a reason but 15 minutes! Come on now!!

      2. I understand your feelings Kat. A few days before my daughter leaves I am already preparing for the onslaught of sad emotions that will hit as soon as we say goodbye. I brought her to the airport a few hours ago and now just wait for the tears to run out and the pit in my stomach to go away. We want our kids to grow up and be independent people who do not live in our basement. Yay – we did it!! But the emotions that continue are tough sometimes and I’m a bit fascinated and confused by them. We are lucky to have such wonderful relationships with our daughters. Unfortunately, the other side of that appears to be these very sad emotions and feelings after we have to say goodbye. Everytime.

  8. I have come to this page so many times through the years. It has given me so much solace to know that I am not alone. Currently my daughter is visiting and just the thought of her leaving makes me misty. We are very close and I treasure every moment of her visits. I love being Mom in person..not one from afar. She lives two states away and how I wish she were closer. I’d love to just have a girls day out for lunch and shopping or just have her drop in for a chat or dinner.
    The part that is hardest when she leaves is the return of silence in my home. I’m almost 60, divorced, live alone. I have a great job (part time) and friends but nothing takes away the silence after she leaves.
    I tell people it’s like she takes the sunshine with her.
    Has anyone found something…anything…that makes this easier? My daughter hasn’t lived with me since she went to college but every time it’s the same…she leaves, I burst into tears, and it takes me days to get used to the return of how things usually are.

    1. Reading all of these message, I can see that we mothers/parents are basically all the same. We love our children and have cherished our roles as their guides, protectors, friends and confidantes. If our children have grown and moved away into their own independent lives, as my one and only child did recently, it is because we and our partners (or just we alone) have done a great job of raising them to be independent, capable, and confident. We should be grateful for that, although it does bring the sting of separation and learning a new role in our lives. At the minimum, we should give ourselves credit for being part of their success.

      1. My daughter moved 20 years ago across the country.. have 3 grandchildren that I hardly ever see, am not a part of their life, don’t see their games, birthdays, graduations etc. Daughter and family haven’t visited me in 12 years. It’s been almost two years since I’ve seen them. So I definitely do not feel grateful rather I feel cheated.

        1. Agree with you. My husband seems to think because there’s an airport nearby, we could still visit. I still work full time, as busy as they are and I just can’t be made to feel like I’m chasing them down for a relationship. I cannot be all on me if I want a relationship. My daughter-in-law, with my now complicit son, will go to visit her family as often as she needs and my son has asked why don’t we come down to the in-laws house if we want to see them (5 hours by car, one way with good traffic). So we’re not good enough to deserve a visit of our own, but can lose income at our job and spend the time traveling to be the uncomfortable guess of his in-laws?

          I am so done

          1. Marie, we live in RI and our son is just finishing up a program in Colorado. We was suppose to come home after the program was done but he recently met someone and is now trying to tell us he is thinking of staying there and I’m sick to my stomach. I actually and finding it hard to have a normal conversation with him because I just want to say the things that are on my mind but I never wanted to impose any guilt any of my kids but I feel like that is the only thing that will come out of my mouth…please give my any words of advice Lena from Rhode Island

    2. My daughter, my grandkids and her husband are two state away to and I’ve been weeping off and on all day, I’m so angry I want to be near her and my grandkids , I struggle with wanting to move, but I have my medical care, friends and home here. They have long winters where she’s at now and wonder how we would servive as senior with health issues. I get so angry at my Husband who always poo poos the idea of moving. We didn’t have the best relationship I messed up but I miss her terribly and my grandkids

    3. There’s nothing that makes this easier. What makes it worse is when your grandchild is as physically distant from you. Yes we may have raised them to be independent, but it seems they’ve also found family to be less than a priority in their life. They will go to three friend’s weddings in a year, but the family wedding they will miss.

      After years of family caring for them, giving to them, being interested in them, supporting and cheering them, their independence makes them no longer as interested in us; they have learned to prioritize themselves. Just the pain of family not being a priority will cut deeper every time. So hold on my dear, it gets worse.

      1. Dear TM Soto – I certainly can empathize with you. My only child moved 3000 miles away a few yrs ago. I have seen him once since the move and then it was for a business trip. I have devoted my whole life to him and now after these years that he has been gone, have come to a serenity with this (post-counseling, anti-depressants, sadness, grief). He has made his decision and now I have made mine. I have now opened my eyes and now see clearly how many of his actions were self-serving prior to the move. My new-found serenity: I now consider him as my long-distance acquaintance, no longer my son, wishing him the best of luck, speaking to him cordially whenever he calls. We will probably never see each other again and I am ok with that. One further note: I am leaving my estate to various non-profits of which I am passionate. Also I am totally immersed in several activities that bring me happiness and peace. Heartfelt best wishes!

    4. My heart hurts for you as mine is breaking. My oldest daughter who has always been very close and emotionally dependent on us is married to a very decent guy. He doesn’t have strong family ties. When they first married they lived one state away. Only about 45 min from us. After their first child they yearned to move closer to us and our extended family as we were their only support. My husband and I agreed to sell our home and purchase a home together. Very separate living quarters with a beautiful yard. They then had another child. You can imagine how close we are now to these children. Five years later and they just informed us that they are moving 3000 miles away for a better quality of life!! Neither have jobs in this new state but claim they will figure it out. We are devastated. Me more so than my husband. Im making myself ill. Im sad and angry. I don’t want to be either! I love them and my grands are the light of my life. I truly don’t know how to cope. Not to mention my husband and I have to start over in a new home.

      1. I feel your pain, how hard it must be to have the perfect setup with your child and their family, to only have it emplode. My daughter has decided to move to Israel in early 2022, at the age of 24. She has done an internship and a college trip there in the past few years. I know I am suppose to be supportive and happy that she will be doing something that makes her happy. Nevertheless, my heart aches and I find myself frightened something awful will happen to her. I have tried to to talk to her, but she dismisses my feelings, fears and wishes. I know I need to let her spread her winga, I just wish she didn’t need to leave the county to do that.

        1. I’m so sorry about your pain…our son is thinking of staying in Colorado and we are in RI…of course he recently met someone and that is the deciding factor…I almost feel bad saying anything to you because your daughter is even further away…I can’t stop the feelings of sadness and anger at the same time…please send me any words of wisdom I really need them thanks Lena

          1. Hi Lena,
            I’m so sorry for the pain you are experiencing.🫂🫂🫂 I wish I had words of advice. My son is moving to Tennessee tomorrow morning( I’m in Oregon.). I feel like my heart is breaking. He’s 21. I was a single mom. I don’t know that there are words to soothe these feelings. I wish I felt confident that things get easier! I know we are told we did well, and we should pat ourselves on the back. We raised strong kids. This is all true, but the pain is real, and valid!
            I’m feeling for each parent on here. I’ve been sobbing all day. I know this must be normal. May we all find strength in knowing we are not alone.💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓

    5. OMG! I M going through that very thing right now. My heart feels like it can’t possibly go on. I know it will pass, but right now I want to die.

      1. I know exactly how you feel. My daughter left yesterday afternoon and after I got home from the airport, I immediately crawled into bed and sobbed the evening away. It will take days/weeks to get over this sadness.

      2. Karen, we recently found out our son who is in Colorado finishing up an Americorp program met someone and he is indicating he maybe staying there and my biggest issue right now is every time we talk my mind keeps going to the things I wish I could say to him but of course they all are filled with a little guilt and I swore I would never do that to my kids….so hard to be happy for him at this time it is still fresh for my and I’m struggling to process my emotions….

    6. You just totally described how I feel when my daughter leaves… like she takes the sunshine with her. I don’t know how it gets easier. It hasn’t for me. She lives in Arizona. I live in Kansas. My grandbaby just turned 2 years old and it is harder than ever. Nothing can console me for a good week, nothing. The visits are never long enough. I just have this big hole inside. Nobody seems to get this that I talk to. That’s why this blog is my life saver. And people like you. Hang in there

      1. My heart goes out to you. My son just left to drive back to Arizona after spending time here in Michigan with me and I am feeling the same as you. I know I need to get back to my own life and as the days go by, I will. But right now, it hurts.

    7. “I have come to this page so many times through the years . . . ” I have also visited periodically since my post on March 10, 2021. There is solace here.

      1. I have visited this page many times too! There is indeed solace in knowing that we’re each suffering from a nearly universal pain, knowing we’re not alone in our suffering. I am so grateful for the health and happiness of my four children and their success in life and love; but man it hurts like hell to say goodbye to them. I fall into a dark depression every time, and here I am again, no surprise. In my situation the pain is compounded by my empty marriage to a man I’m just friends with, and who I shouldn’t be living with. (Seriously, if we filled out a form for housemate preferences, no sane person or computer on earth would think of having us share the same living space). I thought we might divorce when our last bird left the nest; but if we split up we’d have even less money to use for airfare and hotels to them in their 3 different states (we visit separately), or to help the ones still in grad school to come visit us. Yes, we could get a divorce. That may indeed happen. But that’s yet another exhausting ordeal to face. Today it’s just a giant hole in my life, and a tinge of envy, too, watching them go back to their young lives with much more appropriate partners, with everything ahead of them. I wish I could stay 38 forever and just keep having babies and loving them. I do realize I sound like a baby myself, saying this. But those years as a young mother to young children were the happiest of my life.

    8. I understand your feelings Kat. A few days before my daughter leaves I am already preparing for the onslaught of sad emotions that will hit as soon as we say goodbye. I brought her to the airport a few hours ago and now just wait for the tears to run out and the pit in my stomach to go away. We want our kids to grow up and be independent people who do not live in our basement. Yay – we did it!! But the emotions that continue are tough sometimes and I’m a bit fascinated and confused by them. We are lucky to have such wonderful relationships with our daughters. Unfortunately, the other side of that appears to be these very sad emotions and feelings after we have to say goodbye. Everytime.

      1. Same here… So proud and happy for my daughters and I’ve been doing this for 7 years and it’s hard every time I say good bye. I dont want them to see me hurt as I don’t want them to feel guilty. When I have my time with them I am definitely on Cloud 9 and when they leave the tears just run and my heart aches. i am glad I am not the only one… I miss them every day.

    9. I am also struggling to try and find away to make this easier. My only daughter is moving to Germany for 3 years as her husband is in the military. The hardest thing is she now tells me when they are done she does not plan to live near me on the east coast. Also she doesn’t want to have any children. So is a beautiful child but the pain she is putting me through is unbearable. I am just recovering from my 2nd battle with breast cancer and feel like life is too hard. Thankful I have a wonderful husband but I feel so bad for what he has to deal with. I am trying to find some counseling. Not sure what will ease the pain. Good luck to you all going through this.

  9. I just got done crying my heart out. Again. My husband doesn’t understand and poo poos my sadness. “Oh, honey, it’ll get better some day.” We’re in the northwest, and our daughter moved away two years ago to the south, and moved in with her boyfriend, then got married, then got mad that we went to the “ceremony” and then got mad five months later that we didn’t apologize for going to the “ceremony” during covid in which she feared, terrified, for our lives. We’re alive and well. Now she has asked for No Contact because I didn’t apologize. “There are consequences for your actions, Mom.” (Stupid therapist she is going to must have taught her that.) She is so happy in her new life without me. We used to be so close. She’s 22 now, almost 23. Her mother-in-law sends me beautiful pictures of our daughter smiling a beautiful smile, and I feel like she’s happier without me. She never calls. Never tells me stories. Never asks for advice. Never asks how I’m doing. Never. Nothing. Nada. Doesn’t tell me about the rain anymore. Doesn’t share about work, or friends, or folks she likes to help, or how her car is driving, or her bills, or books she’s read, or music she’s listening to, or how the cat is doing, or that she bought a new blouse, or that it’s hailing, or what meal she ate that night. I’m not invited to be a part of her life anymore. I feel the same as the mom who posted way before me… inconsolable. I’d rather die than live the next 20 or 30 years in sadness. Our adult son lives with us. It feels sometimes like he is a thousand miles away too. “Whaddya want, mom? Why are you telling me where you’re going? Why do I have to take out the garbage? Really, mom, you’re expecting me to move the car, do the dishes, clean the bathroom, tell you when I’m leaving the house? Yada yada yada.” Hubby gives no support, afraid our son will move out too. He may as well be gone, he doesn’t even say goodnight to me when he goes to bed. It’s as if I’m not present, and unseen. I feel so alone and lonely in my own home. So tired of being sad and unable to get out of bed in the morning. Finally, I get up and the verse in my bathroom reminds me again, “The Joy of the Lord is my Strength.” (Yes, Christians have sad times too.) My only hope is that the sun will come out again, and it will, and I’ll ask God again, “Why did you give me another day? I’d rather spend it with you….”

    1. Dear tender heart, it sounds like your children do not appreciate you. I have had a similar experience. My adult son decided to isolate me, while in my home, say horrible things about me, while accepting my hospitality and generally tearing into me as a person. Like all parents, I wasn’t perfect but I gave more to him than was good for him, emotionally, financially and in every way. That was my mistake, not his. At a certain point I decided that I was not going to be his emotional victim anymore. I was disappointed that I had raised a child who could be so callous. I realized that he was going through something that was actually nothing to do with me. I was just the person who loved him the most so unintentionally, he felt he could take out all his frustrations and anger on me. I know my son loves me very much but until I told him, very calmly, that it was unacceptable for him to talk to me and about me in the way he did and that he was no longer welcome in my home unless he behaved like a respectful adult, we would have to take an break. You know your daughter better than anyone but she is a grown woman. Now she needs to experience life as a grown women without being able to resort to childishly punishing you for whatever resentments she has toward you. In my experience, setting boundaries for respect worked much better than crying my eyes out – and yes, I did that too, until I could hardly see. After a while, which seemed like an eternity, my son reconnected with me and it is now a grown up relationship, instead of an angry child punishing Mommy relationship. Do not wish your life away because you are going through this re-footing. Your family and how they feel about you are not the sum total of your worth. Love and blessings.

    2. Dear Chicken Lady and others who have broken hearts.
      My 2 boys are 5 yrs. apart and both moved from the Philly area to California due to jobs. We were all very close and I took it very well due to the fact that jobs weren’t that plentiful and they scored some phenomenal job offers. My oldest went out with his girlfriend (now wife) 19 yrs. ago and my youngest is 37 and went out right after graduation (2008). One lives in L.A. area and the other is in San Fran. He fell in love with a California girl who is perfect for him, but is from there and not about to move East – ever. My boys were always so happy to call and visit often. My oldest has a job where travel is a must and he’d combine it with a few days here.
      Boy, have things changed. They are now so distant – the phone calls are fewer and far between. During Covid we all missed Christmas, but Zoomed and they are planning on coming home in July. But, a glitch is: there are no rental cars available at this time. So, my youngest wants to use my brand new Mercedes which is insured for just me to drive and I baby it because it’s the only car we have. My husband recently went blind from a genetic disease and we sold his car. He’s also being tested for dementia in 2 weeks and the boys are very well aware of this and the tremendous stress it has on me. Everything – all bills, maintenance of the house, just everything that life brings our way falls on me. My husband can’t see even if he did have his mind together. They know all this. Now, both aren’t talking to me and both hung up on me the other night because the answer is “NO! You can’t have the only car we own and I’m already under such immense stress.” Oh, and I forgot to mention I was laid off during Covid from a job I loved for 29 yrs.
      My husband and I paid for both of their college except graduate degrees which they got in California. We gave them a wonderful childhood and I told them how proud I am they were independent and moving to California would be a different thing for dad and I, but we’ll adjust and visit.
      My oldest son (a Phd psychologist and 42 yrs. old) is the coldest towards me. I don’t get it. He KNOWS how challenging life has been to me and even my 97 yr. old mother-in-law “gets it.” It’s heartbreaking and it’s affecting my health. He and his wife are visiting the end of July and driving (he’s renting a car for a zillion dollars because he has to see 2 families) from Philly airport to our home in the burbs. Then, after a few days, will be going to his wife’s home in the Poconos. My youngest is beside himself because I won’t let him use my car. If it were last year, when my husband could drive, he always took his car because it wasn’t expensive and it was no problem. I just don’t know ……… my friends all have kids that stayed here and they kiss their behinds if they get so much as a headache. I had major surgery on April 14th and we had to call them 2 days later! REALLY! Sometimes, I feel like Chicken Lady – let me spend the rest of my life with You – meaning, God. I’m overwhelmed with sadness both for my husband and the disconnect with my sons.
      I am going to start therapy after my husband gets his diagnosis is finished. Tests don’t begin until July 8th. Everyday it’s a struggle to understand how did this happen? It wasn’t like this since they moved – one in 2002 and the other in 2008. This disconnect started a few years ago. Any advice from you wonderful ladies?

      1. Take care of yourself and your husband because no one else will. We give to our children, hoping that we will at least have respect, affection and caring coming around in the future. I say hoping because there are never expectations, expectations are what break your heart; they are generally not fulfilled.

        Do not feel unhappy or in any way bad about the choices you make that are best for you and your husband. Your sons certainly don’t worry about how their decisions affect you. Feel strong and confident about taking care of yourself and if the sons fit in, they will. Unfortunately you will be made to feel the worse for it because you care. You’ll feel even worse when they take advantage of you and you let it happen. These are the choices they have made for themselves, the type of people they want to be. They are adults and made this choice, it has nothing to do with how you raised them. Stand on your own two feet –choose you and your husband, don’t waste the energy being unhappy or upset because it’s only going to affect you. I do believe standing strong, honoring your own preferences and actions will demonstrate to your sons that you don’t need them to be happy. You honestly don’t. There will forever be a void, take my word, grandchildren will increase that void and tears will come. I recommend you keep them to yourself. You have a choice and a right to prioritize yourself without feeling bad about that in any way. You’ve done your duty to them – time for you.

        1. Hi. I see your response is older, but it is just what I needed to read right now. I am so sad that my sons’ visit seemed so short. I need to find a way to put me first, but it is difficult. Even more so because I am a widow. I have been crying all day since he left. I am going to bookmark your response as a reminder to make myself a priority. Baby steps! 🙂

    3. Dear C Lady,
      I feel your pain, as I am sitting here on my couch, in our family room, yet again …crying my eyes out and “dying”
      inside. I recently found out that my 55 yr. old daughter,
      my only child,and her family are moving to Austin Texas.
      1,662 miles from me. How I found out was I saw her house for sale on a real estate web site. We were so, so close when she was young. Chaperoned on school trips when she was in high school, when she went to college I would go visit and stay in her dorm. As a teenager, her and I would go shopping
      together, hair cuts together, and even a trip to London together. Once she got married, things started to change, then when she had my Grandchildren things changed even
      more. Of course we were still fairly close as she needed help and a “sitter” , and someone to pick up the kids from school.
      Once the kids got older (they are 22, 19 and 15) and she no longer needed me, they built their very tight nucleus family
      which I was never a part of. I forgot to mention we now live about 4 miles from them. Also, in fairness to her, I did leave her biological Dad when she was 9, and then her step Dad when she was in her early 30’s…for which I am not proud of.
      I have told her more than once that I know I didn’t live a moral life, but the one constant was that I have always loved her with all my heart and never neglected her. Same thing with my Grandchildren. I love them with my heart and soul.
      However because of how they were raised, They don’t feel I am a part of their family either. Even though we live close,
      I very rarely am invited over, or to go anywhere with them, and in the 16years I have lived here never once has she come over and just chatted with me. Nor has she ever even once seen my house at Christmastime. I am invited there for Christmas though (given an arrival and departure time). I have tried to talk with her and asked her a million times to tell me why she doesn’t want to be with me . I have asked her to be honest, as I would rather know whatever, than drive myself crazy wondering. It’s always “nothing, we are just busy”. Now with this move I cannot put in to words how devastated I am. I do not want to do anything. My house is a rotten mess, I just have no desire to do anything. I wish there was a switch to turn my feelings off. On top of all this, I am
      75 and still very mobile. I would love to spend time with them while I am able. I have no idea when or if I will ever see them again. Also, there is nothing anyone can say that will change any of this. I am so depressed I cannot even talk to God…no energy to do anything. I don’t know how I will get
      through life after they are gone which will be very soon. I am so glad that I found this site. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one going through this, especially since I have people close to me that are very involved in their kids lives. The
      best part is that their kids want them to be.


    4. I’m envisioning my own future just like that when my teen boys are grown. I’m close to them now, but they’re pulling away. I’m divorced and not sure I’ll ever remarry.
      Your words brought tears to my eyes. I’m with you in spirit. I hope your daughter comes to her senses….<3

      1. I also hurt very bad when my kids leave . My answer is to pray , God hears our prayers and he will help you . I pray for Him to send friends and acquaintances into my sons lives to witness to them everyday. Pray for their hearts to soften and bring them back to you. I want to tell everyone hurting that I will pray for you and that I send love to you!

    5. Oh Chicken Lady… I cried when I read your post. My daughter and I had a relationship like you and your daughter. She called me her soulmate. We were best friends, confidants, a support system for each other, shopping buddies, travel pals etc. BUT THEN… she married a man who is jealous of me (I never dropped in or called on an evening or weekend in 7 years). I was a FANTASTIC mom.

      You know what I did? I stopped crying and got ANGRY. I don’t deserve to be treated this way. Sooooo… I bought a house in Florida, got myself a boyfriend and a lovely circle of new friends. In short, I started over at age 65 and all I can say is I was a great mom and shame on my daughter for being so self-absorbed. Her loss! I AM CHOOSING MY OWN HAPPINESS OVER HER. I’ll regret not knowing my only granddaughter but I refuse to cry anymore during my “golden years”. We can’t change our daughters but we CAN change us!!! Go for the gusto!

  10. Wow, I knew I was feeling sad but the treats started to flow reading all of the other posts. Tears- I can’t even properly articulate my feelings or thoughts as I write this. My two sons are kind, caring, intelligent, we are very close and they ask for my thoughts regularly, college educated(youngest graduates from under-grad degree soon) good human beings. But damn I think I raised them too independent. 😂. I never expected them to live at home after graduating high school, I didn’t imagine them even living I. The same state, but they each live on other continents. One lives in Spain(5 yrs going to school and claims he will move back to the United States the oldest went to college in the same state he was born in CA, but missed his baby brother and spent 18 months in Spain teaching English ti school age kids, then met a pretty girl from Columbia. Well he has been there since December and plans that stay for at least another year. I never imagined not spending holidays with my boys, either one or both. I was used to alternating those with their father as we divorced when the boys were far too little to even remember us together. I never prepared myself for them the be so far away. I am happy they are so happy and skilled at navigating living in other countries, but my heart aches to hug them, to watch them become the amazing men they are turning into and zoom is not the same. We can’t break bread together. To sit and have those unplanned moments which arise in a conversation. My heart aches. I would have had a lot more children if I had know. They would be so independent.

    1. Wow, thank you all for sharing. While I’m in tears right now, it’s also nice to know I’m not alone in my feelings. My son just moved 1000s of miles away with his new wife. They went to Denver. Her mother lives in Seattle, her brother Texas, her sister NY and us in FL. They also have a 50lb dog which makes traveling harder. I’m very unsure how all that can work and we’ll see each other. I’m heart broken and a bit angry. A lot of people around me don’t think I should be feeling the way I do which makes it worse. Your sharing has helped in that. Don’t want this sadness in my life but not sure how to heal it either.

      1. Some days the sadness is less than others. Distract yourself with other things. No one should tell you that your feelings are wrong. My daughter was just here a couple of weeks with my grandson and she she left and I always feel empty inside. My grandson is about to be 3 next month and my daughter has been living away from home for close to 5 years. My youngest is 19 now and moved out fresh out of high school and lives a few miles away but does not visit or communicate as much as I would want him to. I always feel sad and empty when they stay with me and then they’re gone and the only thing that makes me feel better is to know that they’re well and happy. I miss my babies and childhood goes by way to fast and they don’t realize how empty I feel when I miss or worry about them. It gets better I manage now to make myself feel better the next day. I do allow me to feel sadness and deep grief the day they leave and then I find distractions by getting busy with things I’ve been putting off. Sending my grown kids a text an getting a response always makes my day. Don’t stop communicating even if they don’t respond or delay responses.

  11. Tears- I can’t even properly articulate my feelings or thoughts as I write this. My two sons are kind, caring, intelligent, we are very close and they ask for my thoughts regularly, college educated(youngest graduates from under-grad degree soon) good human beings. But damn I think I raised them too independent. 😂. I never expected them to live at home after graduating high school, I didn’t imagine them even living I. The same state, but they each live on other continents. One lives in Spain(5 yrs going to school and claims he will move back to the United States the oldest went to college in the same state he was born in CA, but missed his baby brother and spent 18 months in Spain teaching English ti school age kids, then met a pretty girl from Columbia. Well he has been there since December and plans that stay for at least another year. I never imagined not spending holidays with my boys, either one or both. I was used to alternating those with their father as we divorced when the boys were far too little to even remember us together. I never prepared myself for them the be so far away. I am happy they are so happy and skilled at navigating living in other countries, but my heart aches to hug them, to watch them become the amazing men they are turning into and zoom is not the same. We can’t break bread together. To sit and have those unplanned moments which arise in a conversation. My heart aches. I would have had a lot more children if I had know. They would be so independent.

  12. Dear GypsyNester,

    I am just now opening the chapter of Letting Go like so many loving family members here before me. It made me smile that my Google search today, in 2021, brought me to your page initially written years ago. It is still, and likely always will be, very relevant. Though stories may differ, thank you for allowing us all to feel heard and not-so-alone.

    My 22 year-old son is graduating from a local university and applying for a position many states away. He is ready to spread his wings, and my husband and I are happy for him. We will support him, tell him we love him, and be here to help him navigate the adult world as he needs. That said, however, this is terribly difficult. The tears are there as I imagine the household without him. And at 700 miles away, a routine stop for coffee or dinner (and a hug) isn’t exactly in the cards. And tears come again.

    We will all find a new normal and continue to love one another in a new way like many before us. In the meantime, as I find my Letting Go legs, I’m not afraid to say I love my son, will miss him terribly, and will hold tight to wonderful memories raising a family. I will cry more than once, and so be it. They are tears of love. God willing, life will bring many more beautiful moments and new memories. That keeps me hopeful and looking forward. Thanks to all who wrote before me, shared their stories, and gave me a little added strength while letting go!

    1. Dear Bekind, Your post was beautiful, and helpful to me. I am trying hard to accept our youngest of three moving to Israel early next year. While I know I will continue to worry she is safe, I can still offer her my support and unconditional and everlasting love. Your post reiterated, the importance of putting your child’s happiness first. Also, it’s okay to cry or be sad for the distance there will be between you. It will make the reunions that much more cherished. Thank you!

  13. I’m 69 and live in Texas. My son lives in Colorado. He is so close to his wife’s family that I sometimes think he should change his last name to theirs. My heart aches all the time.
    My daughter lives about 2 hours away, and she calls, but half the time she ends up hanging up on me. I love them very much, but if I had it to do over again, I would NOT have children. The hurt far outweighs any pleasure my children have brought me.

    1. I say the same, “I wouldn’t have kids” the complete pain in my heart kills me, both boys are so far and my youngest son knows his fiance’s family and they even know my ex who rubs the fact he sees them and is financially able to see them. My boys and I shared a closeness I never imagined. I’m depressed and cry constantly, I’m heartbroken that we feel this pain Patricia, I have no answer yet know you are not alone in how you are hurting. Sending love and prayers your way.

      1. I don’t recall my own mother feeling this way. She seemed to be able to let go. I feel your pain. It hurts. I hope it gets easier. For all of us.💔

        1. Same with my mom, she pushed me away for so long, and then when she was in her 70’s she started wanting me around. I’m grieving right now as my daughter is 18 ready to move out-it’s been a power struggle for the last few years, and there’s so much I wanted to do, envisioning this loving relationship, but we’re not there. In fact, the way she shows she doesn’t care at all, kills me. I don’t think it’s healthy to be so attached to your kids that it breaks you, so this is something I’m working on, healthy detachment and also accepting that your kids may not return the love the way you hope. Written after an hour of ugly crying 😊

    2. My son did change his last name to his wife’s. They quite literally gained a son. He is our only son, my husband’s name stops with him. Her family has like the shiny new toy, we have been tossed aside. We gave our son all the love we had, every opportunity available, support, funding, you name it. It turns out all he ever wants is more, except where it comes to spending time with the family who loves him and raised him with everything . He speaks poorly of grandparents who adore their first grandson, he couldn’t even make time to visit his grandmother as she was dying. It breaks my heart daily.

      I cannot say that I am over it, I never will be as there are always new hits to bring tears to my eyes. Allow yourself a couple days to grieve and then prioritize something new in your life for you. Only you can prioritize yourself and you must do this.

    3. Dear Patricia: My heart aches for you. I totally hear and feel your pain. It’s astounding that many, many parents give 125% of their love, money and devotion to their children with the goal of creating a loving, supportive and cohesive family- a family who will stick together to support each other. BUT… it’s been my experience and the experience of many friends that our children value their independence and self-fulfillment over their families. Of course, adult children should live their own lives but they are not entitled to disenfranchise their loving parents by moving away and allotting their parents a few visits a year, impersonal Zoom calls and phone calls. It’s sad that careers and money take precedence over family bonds. Where is the respect and loyalty to the family, and compassion for aging parents who made it possible for you to be independent and successful? So to all those adult children who leave the nest with little regard for your loving parents, I say – you may be living your dream but you extinguished your parents dreams and it’s shameful. Separating your children from their grandparents is cheating both your children and parents of a loving connection to their heritage. You only have one mother and one father and one day they will be gone and worst of all – gone with a broken heart. This “me” generation is plagued with narcissism. I, for one, just shake my head at the sense of entitlement this generation exhibits. ITS NOT ALL ABOUT YOU! Your parents MATTER and the crumbs you leave behind are inadequate to hold together a meaningful relationship. Parents with broken hearts are not the problem. It’s self-absorbed adult children who are the problems. Patricia, I’d still have children but I would raise them with different values and not spoil them like I did.

  14. It’s after midnight and I am in the spare bedroom crying. I’m 63, hubby is 65. We have 4 children and 10 grandchildren. Two of our children have been extremly close to us. They come over and spend the night even though my son lives 8 blocks away. My daughter also comes with her two children and stays overnight. I love it, I love being a part of their lives. The grandchildren would jump out of the car and come running towards me screaming “NANA” we used to joke that I was the kids crack. Well times are changing and they have new friends and the grandkids are all getting older and they have friends and nobody calls us and nobody comes over…I am soooo lonely, sad, bored. I told my daughter that we were thinking of moving to Florida within the next year. I would like to live in a gated community with activities and something to do… I thought she would be upset, she’s my best friend! She wasn’t, she started looking online for places for us to live. I am heart broken. I can’t stay here with my children so close and not be a part of their lives, it’s too painful, but if we move and they don’t see us for a while when they do finally see us we will look so old to them….I know we have to go with the flow, I know my children have their own lives and don’t expect them to coddle us…..but I miss the times we shared and feel as though our final season is coming and I’m not ready…..

    1. Hi I’m Suzanne from England London my daughter left went to America since 4 years ago it heart broken I ask her to come to England and live with me her husband wont because of his job I don’t know why but I carnt live without her 4 years have passed I’m still hurt I cry all the time night time day time it’s to hard maybe people think I’m being selfish but I’m not all I want is she comes back to England anyone can help I will be very thank full all I want is this sad feeling to go away

      1. Hi Suzanne. I fully understand how you are feeling. I live on the east coast of the US and my son moved south to Alabama 3 years ago + then across the country to the west coast 2 yrs ago. He got married here in 2019 and I adore his wife but miss him terribly everyday. Because of Covid I haven’t seen him for 18 months. I have a great husband & an older daughter who has many special needs. I pray everyday he moves back + try to keep busy walking, reading ,& seeing a few friends. I hate holidays now & am so envious of people who have their adult children nearby. I video chat with him weekly + try to understand it is his life & his choice. I wish I could give you a solution to your grief which is exactly what it is. All I can say is you are not alone.

        1. Thank you all. Glad. I am not alone and crazy. My only child son and wife are moving to another state 4 days after mothers day. I am crushed and broken. I know it will be Good for them but instead of a half hour away its 10 hrs away. Worried for him .New job new state etc… I just hope my heart heals and I can accept it. I will be seeing him this Sunday mothers day. Hope I don’t become a crying mess. So hard.

          1. So glad I’m not crazy. I’ve this sinking feeling because the grandchildren just left after a visit. We live in different states and don’t get to see them very often. Suffering through the isolation of the pandemic has compounded many upsetting emotions. It is just plain difficult. I don’t want to be needy so in the end I know it’s up to me work on making myself happier. Your love sounds wonderful and I believe you will find the strength to navigate this separation. Peace to you.

      2. Dear Suzanne, when I was 22 I left home and went to live in America and my mother was also devastated. I had ambition and life was so exciting. Your daughter is able to leave because you did a wonderful job as her mother. You raised a confident, strong young woman, of which you should be proud. She hasn’t left you, she just flew her nest, a bit further than others. She is doing what she needs to do next and because you raised her so well, is able to do it. I know the unspeakable pain of missing your children. I am going through it right now which is why I am on this website. However, my mother and I would call each other every day. Now we use Zoom. She was as close to me as if I was just around the corner, or in the next town. I would fly to the UK as often as possible and she would come to see me in America which she loved. She also came to see me when I moved to Korea and Japan. Our lives opened up in ways we never would have imagined. My sons stayed with her for weeks and weeks during school holidays and it made them independent and expanded their world. There will be some upsides to her having moved and the only thing I can tell you that might make you feel a bit better is to make some plans to see her or for her to come to the UK and see you. I did not have sisters or daughters so my mother is the most important woman in my life. Sometimes I miss her so much when I am out shopping or having a lovely lunch somewhere, just wishing I could share girl time with her – as my girlfriends do with their mothers. That was not our mother/daughter path though. We have a different mother/daughter path but its as strong, if not stronger than many others. She will always need you. She will always love you. I am now 60. My Mom is 85. I am currently planning a flight from Florida to London and our excitement is the same now as it was almost 40 years ago when we made a plan to see each other. Don’t be sad dear Suzanne, look to engaging this new facet of your lovely daughter’s life experience. Lots of love.

        1. Thank you for this uplifting comment. Tomorrow morning, I must fly home to the Midwest after moving my 22 year old daughter to Boston for grad school. She’s my only child and we are very close. It’s going to be so tough to not be part of her everyday life, but your comment gives me hope that we can sustain our close relationship despite the 1300 miles between us.

      3. Suzanne you are not alone. It doesn’t matter if it’s another continent or another state of the United States. Our children have prioritized their lives and unfortunately as much as we have given them as parents, we are not a priority in their life. We are where they came from, not what they’re going towards. My son filled me with such a sense of purpose when he was at home with us, good times and bad, I love my son with my whole heart. I love how I feel around him, the happiness and just the warmth and sense of being his mother. It’s something I don’t have to explain to anyone of the mothers on this site. Nothing on the planet makes me feel the way I do when he is near. Unfortunately what also comes with them being adults is the sense of no longer being a part of their life, no longer being a priority, no longer being as welcome. This is painful and quite literally feels like rejection and loss. I feel like my son, the guy I knew, died three years ago when he got married. He changed his name to his wife’s last name and our line will end with my husband. He favors time with his wife’s family as she is obviously the lead in their relationship and he is complicit. As a consequence, time with him, his wife and his 1-year-old daughter is often uncomfortable – like we are intruding in their lives. We have made the effort to make the 8-hour drive one way several times in the past year. We even bought an expensive SUV to be able to carry gifts, etc easily for visits to them. He’s recently announced that they will be moving 1200 mi away from us.

        So my heart breaks and my husband doesn’t understand it. I am happy for their success, but realize they’re only priority is themselves and they don’t really care if their child / children one day know their family or not. As a consequence I am working to live my life for me and my husband. Our 25-year-old daughter is learning disabled and will be with us forever, without being able to experience true independence for herself. Which is worse? I just can’t live everyday crying and feeling so terrible; I just don’t know how I would get up everyday if I didn’t have some purpose. So I work 14 to 16 hours a day, at least 6 days a week and it takes my focus off of what is breaking my heart. I have prioritized my health and I’ve lost 50 lb with a goal of 70. I have days of extreme sadness, tears and anger, but then I look at what I need — taking a lesson from the millennial handbook–and I am no longer ashamed or feel guilty for what I want in my life for me. Do yourself a favor and make a list of what you want out of life that has nothing to do with your children and just freaking do it!

    2. It’s the morning after Easter and I’m feeling a bit better than last night. The last Easter things – just a few things from when the kids were little are put away (ok I kept out an adorable and funky bunny that has a tiny vase with a single daffodil in it but that’s legit because the flower is still alive). Two of my three came home for Easter weekend. One in NYC could not make it home sadly. Middle son is not quite a year out of college and youngest daughter is a sophomore in college. We had such a nice visit with delicious meals, long chats and fire pit s’mores. I fell asleep each night joyful that they were in the house. Perhaps feeling like I can somehow protect them under our roof. Our situation is a little different because I remarried in May (driveway wedding during COVID) and we moved into a new really beautiful home in Richmond Virginia. So much new for the kids, and me and Jeff -who is the kindest, happiest man and a long long lost love from our early 20s! Serendipity galore and a different story. Such a great weekend but Sunday afternoon my stomach begins to sink. I can see Jude packing up his duffel bag. I can hear Sofie moving around upstairs gathering her things. Oh no! Are they leaving at the same time? Double sinking feeling. The small wave of sadness begins to grow and with it all these memories and feelings Where has time gone.? Will I ever feel like mommy again (no!)? Are they safe out there? Will they tell me when they need me? Who am I? It is overwhelming and the tears come freely. I walk Jude to his car sending him off with some honey crisp apples which are very expensive at the grocery store in Chevy Chase where he lives. Jeff and he shake hands and Jeff leaves me to my mommy moment. I can’t speak and it is making him sad. So I breathe and remember that I’m the mom and give him a huge hug and kiss. I can’t resist reminding him about texting and driving and other distractions but we both know I survived a major car accident just a year earlier and he nods and smiles. Then he’s off. Back into the world. I walk back up and Sofie is fully packed up and sitting on the sofa. We walk outside so she can throw the ball to Stella (her dog, by the way) one last time and we talk about the plans for the garden. It’s a beautiful, warm April day and I try to absorb this exact moment. She’s excited about sorority events this week and we talk about them. She says goodbye to Jeff and we walk to her car. “Please text me when you get home. Please pay attention to the road. You know…”. She knows.
      “I will Mom. Please don’t watch me leave.” I guess it makes her sad.
      “Ugh ok.”
      “I’ll come home again soon.” My tears start and that’s it.
      “I’ll really trying to drive further. I’m working on it honey,” I tell her.
      Driving anxiety has been crippling since the accident, which stinks but I’m trying to conquer it.
      I walk away waving and let her last view not be of me crying. Once inside the garage I let it go for a minute and then wipe my face and go find Jeff. It never gets easier but I’m beyond blessed with my life. Jeff and I go to sit outside in the back and he happily distracts me and makes me laugh. Shortly, text from Sofie – “home!” and then a few hours later Jude – “made it back!” And I breathe again and am grateful. Later in early evening a text from Evan in NYC- “I’m so sorry I couldn’t come home for Easter.” I miss him.
      I truly am the luckiest Mom and missing them is the privilege of having them. So today a little better and just a constant prayer for their safety and happiness. Not sure if this helps but it sure helped me to write it so THANK YOU!

      1. This was beautifully written. I love that you are able to embrace joy among the sadness. You are an inspiration to mothers everywhere. Peace and happiness to you.

      2. “Missing them is the privilege of having them.” Says it all for me. Thank you for putting it into comforting, meaningful words.

    3. I feel your pain…we have a grown, married daughter with 5 grandchildren. Her husband’s family lives nearby, as well. Last year, she informed us that they were going to move to a new state. They had had enough of the politics of our area and wanted to raise their kids in a more conservative environment. She made it clear that we were going to have to prepare our hearts for this move and they, in turn, told their kids, ages 11-1 that they would be moving. I mourned when I heard the news, but didn’t put up a fuss…encouraged her and told her we loved her and wanted the best for them. When Covid hit and the isolation of being locked away from friends and family, my husband and I were miserable. In November of 2020, we took a trip to AZ to visit family and enjoy the sun. That state was more open than ours, and we were given a new perspective that had been missing for a long time. On a whim, we put an offer on a house in a retirement community. The owners accepted our offer and we returned to our our home of 35 years to prepare to put it on the market. Our daughter was mortified. She cried, had the kids ask us why we were moving away from them, gave us the cold shoulder, and basically sent me straight into massive anxiety. When we explained that when they declared they were going to move, we considered a change of residence for ourselves, with the understanding that we’d visit them as often as we could and arrange for them to come our way. Sadly, her husband has nixed plans for the move. I don’t know if he was ever on board. We have moved and now the grandkids call us crying (the little ones) and the older boys don’t bother talking to us at all unless we catch them in-between video game playing on FaceTime. We are getting settled in our new home, but I’m very sad…melancholy for the idea that the kids “could” come spend the night a few nights every other month….As luck would have it, I suffered a ruptured achilles tendon the 2 week we were in our new community doing one of the many activities set up for us old folk. I have been laid up for 12 weeks and still can’t really do much. My daughter has sacrificed a lot for her husband and wants to get out of their neighborhood and town in the worst way. It’s in a bad part of town and the kids are not safe in their own yard. She grew up with a lot of privilege and was pretty much the apple of our eyes as well as our entire family. Her husband did not have much and doesn’t see the need to move as he turned out “great”, according to his personal philosophies. So, we are apart, but in truth, I do believe it was a good move. We plan to head north this summer and share time with family, and missing out on the ball games and life moments of the grandkids is tough…however, like you said, this is our time. Our adult kids have their lives to lead. Our adult son lives 5 hours from us. He has visited us once, and he’s not married…so, it’s different with him. I wish you the best!

    4. After reading your comment, I am seeing in writing how I feel through other’s remarks. These comments capture my feelings as well. I know I am not alone in my feelings. I hope and pray that I can find ways to cope. I feel left out, discarded. Even forgotten. I will try to keep busy and hope that my children and grandchildren continue to want to see me. And spend time with me. Hope and pray that all of the mother’s on here find continued fulfillment, purpose, and happiness.

  15. I don’t want to offend anyone but honestly what I’m gonna say is going to be taken the wrong way. So… I’m going to be honest with y’all. None of the comments y’all have posted are indicative of mental health.

    I was that very daughter who was expected to live at home forever. My partner, too. I have sacrificed my health, happiness, friendships, even years of my earnings and career opportunities, just to coddle my mother and my mother in law’s feelings. Because of this unstable behavior I have decided against having children, as I don’t want any children to be as hurt by my own possible instability of mind (as the majority of y’all seem to indicate is a part of motherhood, though I’m not sure it’s not just a gender role issue that too many women cling to against their own best interests).

    If you are a self described obnoxious clingy basket case when your grown adult children leave, and if you continually smother them or guilt trip them into changing WHO THEY ARE in order to suit your mental illnesses (because that’s what it is…research codependency and Cluster B disorders, though I don’t think any of the commenters here think they’re even capable of doing anything wrong, ever…) then, well, why would they want to be around you?

    Get a hobby. Branch out and try something new. If your marriage is failing, get counseling. Get back into a career (though I suspect many of y’all are opposed to women working amirite?)

    1. I am not surprised you don’t want children. You don’t have what it takes–selflessness and sensitivity. I happen to not only be the mother of 3 adult children but DO have a career, a husband, friends and hobbies. However, I identify with each and every heartbroken mother on this website. The problem isn’t poor mental health. ( Unless one expects their children to live with them forever). The problem is that the purpose of having children is to grow a family, be their for each other, have a place in the world and to not only be until oneself. Who wants to die alone? Who wants to get sick and be alone? Who wants to spend holidays alone? Friends are wonderful but they move and/or grow old or sick with you. The generations have always been meant to help each other and have continuity. Friends don’t and can’t guarantee that. Only family can. Independence doesn’t have to mean moving far away and not being a part of a family unit. Independence means that you move onto make your own family while preserving your family of origin. The family becomes extended family–not abandoned. All these women feel abandoned, not to mention having a role loss as the Matriarch and/or babysitter for the next generation. No career, hobby or friendship can replace that. I suppose someday when you’re old and sick and alone, maybe then you will understand.

      1. Very well said Dee Dee. I couldn’t agree with you more. Nobody has children to have them move far away + hardly ever see them. It is called family + love for a reason. I am all for freedom for adult children + would never interfere with their choices. I would just like to do it closer to my home !

      2. I am so happy I found this post. I spent years trying to have children. I was raised an only child but at 13 my mom has an unexpected pregnancy and I finally had a little brother. Sadly he was born with heart problems and passed away young. My husband and I had a son and all through the years he longed for a sibling. I was unable to get pregnant again. As time went on we adopted two daughters but he was already a teen then. They were close, as close as they could be with the age difference but I was overjoyed to have a family of 5. Our son married soon after our last daughter was born and his wife wanted to move 5 states away. I’m not a flier, And my husband has his own business so we can’t visit. They moved and took our 2 grandsons. Recently our oldest daughter got a job offer in the same state as my son and now she’s thinking of moving. That leaves only our youngest daughter.
        Holidays aren’t the same, the grandchildren used to make them so special. We can’t celebrate at their birthday parties. Our daughters were so sad when they moved but yet my oldest daughter is probably leaving too. I feel like we were just a stepping stone. We gave them wonderful lives, lot of love, I thought we had built a close family. You can’t have a close bond when everyone lives 1200 miles away. I’m sad and I feel used. They all complained about having a little family, no Hallmark movie lives, so when we finally could have had a close family like watching our grandchildren grow up, or they could have had little cousins growing up together they chose to leave.
        You can’t build a family if everyone leaves.

      3. Dee Dee- you are spot on. I want my youngest to live and be independent, but it’s like a mini death to the what we had. I have 2 children and one step daughter. My children and I are close, but my oldest doesn’t have a car, so he can’t just pop over. My youngest is getting ready to fly the coop and my heart aches. The not knowing how all will pan out over the months and years is hard. His life is starting and after raising children for 34 years I’m not sure what is left for me. I was seeking encouragement and not seeing anything truly encouraging as it is most likely just the circle of life. I have friends, hobbies, a wonderful spouse, a full time career, but spending time with my children is the most rewarding part of my life. I won’t put out things from when they were kids. I give it to them when they move out. I won’t wallow, I just want to know how to move forward.

      4. Well said Dee Dee. Exhausted does not have what it takes to be a mother, I appreciate her decision not to be. Exhausted’s “self sacrifice” was her choice and certainly not what most parents are looking for. I don’t want my children to lose themselves. She is obviously missing the point.

      5. I Raised my children
        Around family since they were born Weather it was Easter at there grandparent or egg hunt with there cousins. It was always family. When my children had children my grand kids became my life line.
        They filled a great deal of lost I was feeling when there grandfather past. And now my daughter tells me there moving to another state .
        I say that’s great sweet heart I’m happy for you. But what I’m really thinking is please don’t go what what will I do without you..

    2. Wow. Talk about mean and ANGRY. I am a licensed mental health therapist whose daughter moved from DC to Belgium during the pandemic to take a teaching job with the department of defense. Her husband had grown up with this experience and insisted on it for his new family. I do not consider myself “mentally ill” but it has been quite difficult. They have two small children. I made the two hour trip to their home every week to babysit and loved it. It has been nine months since I’ve seen them, and over a year since I could hug them They will get a trip home paid by the government every two years. This is a major life change for me and has been very difficult to adjust to. It’s valid.

      Perhaps some of the writers express too much dependency but not all. I suggest you try therapy yourself to help you understand why you chose to abdicate your desires when you wanted to move. You are displacing your intense anger toward your mother onto these women (maybe because it’s safer?) Also, you can only speak from the viewpoint of being an adult child and not as a parent.

      1. Thank you PA Therapist. I was thinking the same exact thing. First why is she posting in such a post on this group and secondly so bitter toward her own mother. Yes, Dee Dee found a safe spot to release her bitterness and anger toward her mother. Sad. Get a hobby Dee Dee.

    3. Dear Exhausted By Mothers,
      As a stable, educated, happily married, WORKING woman with children whom I love, I am amazed by your lack of ability to lift up other women in need. Just how big is the bug that crawled up your ass and made you rant nastiness at 2:52am to women who love and simply need to be heard? Clearly, you’re the one with an issue.

      Furthermore, not having children of your own and with obvious disgust for those of us that do, why are you preying on this blog? Do you spend most sleepless nights digging for ways to tear others down? How sad. Get a hobby. Branch out and try something new. Your words.

      Y’all (I’ll use your terminology) are far from “amirite”. You are one bitter person (I won’t use the term woman because it implies you may have feelings). I feel sorry for your mother and in-law and any other woman around you that has a heart. Thank goodness you don’t have children. THAT is a blessing.

    4. Shove it..Ms. Anal Impacted Hag! How dare you call a Mothers Love a mental illness. Who do you think you are? Thank goodness no child will have a self involved monster, such as yourself to deal with. It’s abhorrent to imagine an innocent child
      to have to call the likes of you,”Mom”.

      I left home a few years ago.. which was difficult for both of us. My Mom was encouraging yet sad since I was moving to another state. I was excited about my future and my freedom…but there are times even after 2 years .. I wish my Mom was here to encourage me, cheer me up, or just give me a hug. My Mom died recently and your rude insensitive bullshit needs to be addressed for what it is.. idiotic musings of a self important, ungrateful bitch.
      I feel especially sorry for your parents. They are probably tired of being victimized by you, & happy as hell to be rid of you!
      To all the Moms & Dads..we miss you too. We are branching out because of you & your loving guidance. You have taught us to be efficient and independent. You are amazing selfless people. Thank you

      1. Thank you. I am sorry about your mother. As I sit here with non-stop tears rolling down my face, I think of my own mother, who is almost 85. God, I love that woman I call “mom”. I just had one of the best weekends I could possibly have because of her. My 3 adult children, whom of which are all married, successful, college graduates with children and families of their own, living in separate states, made the time and trip to all gather at my mother’s lake house this past week. Her lake house has always been a special place for all of us as they grew up into their adult lives. My oldest lives in Lee’s Summit, MO, my middle child lives in Weatherford, TX and my youngest lives in Marana, AZ. I live in Haysville, KS. My mother’s lake house is close to Grove, OK on Grand lake. Having them all together with my grandbabies and my mother, was literally the best, most precious time in my life. I drove back home to Kansas yesterday as we each went separate ways, with this sinking feeling coming over me, that still refuses to leave. I know it will be a few days and maybe a week before I feel better. But, I am grateful for the time together and the love we share. Sometimes, I don’t know how I can go on without them in my life everyday, but when I get done writing this, I am going to pick up the phone and call my mom to thank her again and plan my next trip down to visit her again in a few weeks, only this time, I will make that trip. She is in her 80’s. Who knows when that last trip might be? I’m done making excuses.
        I’m glad I found this page. Mothers, we are in this journey together. Without the love, the pain would not be possible. God is good. He made us moms.

    5. I agree with you Dee. Exhausted by mothers.
      You are so bitter and blame your mother for your mental health issues. Even if she was part of them, you are an adult and should take responsibility for your own actions and emotions. Stop blaming your mother and move on.
      Most of these mothers are expressing and sharing their sorrow and emptiness. I don’t recall any of them asking their children to stay or tried to make them feel guilty. There is nothing wrong with missing your children and feeling sad when they move. I don’t think this is related to not having a job or any other activities. It has to do with a mother’s love for their child. I have a life and I miss my children very much. My kids don’t have any issues or bitterness bc I miss them and get sad at times. They miss me as well and have a good relationship with me. These moms are happy for their children to pursue their dreams. Obviously you need help and I agree that you shouldn’t have children. Get over it! I feel for your mother and mother in law.

    6. Wow. You know every person has different feelings and some do have mental issues. So what. Thats nothing to be ashamed of and how deeply you feel can be different in different people. Some people can’t wait till their kids leave home. That’s when there is a problem!!!!

      1. Every parent at one time or another has thought “I can’t wait until you grow up and leave home”. Raising children is not easy. Not by any stretch of the mind. Let’s be clear.

    7. Yes, don’t have children, you wouldn’t want to possibly have the experience of love, laughter, wonderful trips, and share family holidays. Yep, not for you.

    8. You came to berate mother’s? I think your rage, and resentment towards your own, could be helped by therapy. I’m sorry you experienced this in life. I don’t think this is the place to drive nails into. Until you have experienced what this particular pain can feel like, you should take your rage somewhere else. Be kind.

    9. Oooooooo, you definitely need some anger management therapy. Please don’t have children. There doesn’t seem to be empathy, compassion or love in your heart. You need all those qualities to raise children.

  16. I attended a funeral recently for the 67 year old brother of a friend and work colleague. The church was packed, which was impressive in a pandemic. His adult sons each shared comments about their dad; they seemed very close. I was was surprised by how I was feeling, thinking I was there to support a friend, and was struck by the tenuousness of life and how close this family seemed to be, even though the children were adults. I too have been struggling with processing this next part of my life with my adult son now married and living in another state. The distance results in losing touch with the everyday aspects of each other’s lives, making the separation feel larger and more insurmountable. Phone calls and video chats are not good enough. When travel becomes possible again, the trips are “vacation-like”, not the deep simplicity of stopping by at mom’s on the way home from work to share a few minutes about the good or struggles of the day. We have unselfishly prepared our children for life expecting nothing in return, except that I did expect something – to be a part of their separate lives, not satisfied with what feels like superficial interactions from afar. Someone once said motherhood is a shitty deal, you change your whole life, you mold your whole personality around your children and in 18 or 25, or 30 years, they leave you. They leave you to live their own lives. It changes profoundly into something else that we are not prepared for and spend years processing, even though we knew it would happen. The separation starts with a drivers license, college years, significant others, moves across county or across the world, and we have to redefine ourselves, and our place in their lives. It seems like it just ends abruptly, but it took years to get to this. And it is all happening inside of menopause, waning careers, changing or ending relationships with spouses, and everything else going on in the world. This requires real introspection, processing, and figuring out who we are again. I suddenly understand why people, especially women love grandparenting so much and look forward to it; shape their lives around it, inconvenience themselves and even give up their precious savings and time. It is that space in time when your grown children are consumed by their life and partner and you don’t fit into their vacation plans and it seems like they don’t want to spend time with you. Phone calls are stilted as you’ve lost track of the people and places of their out of town lives. And if they live many hours away, or a flight away, they spend even less time with you in any sense of the word . . . but then there is this time when they are new parents and realize that you might have some precious knowledge or even better, time to give as a trusted substitute for themselves when they call upon you or even need you, need your help. And things shift back slightly . . . and in that special slice of time, you get to step back into the inner circle of their lives and contribute. To be needed and even wanted. Even if it is just so they can save some money on child care, you do it because that is how you get back inside their lives. and it is short lived too. Soon there is school and your entre switches again to driving activities and the occasional weekend which is respite for the parents. Or you are the audience members for their sports games or performances creating that circle of cheering them on or welcoming them with “great job”. You are back in their inner circle for a time. And you feel so connected to them again and that hole fills almost all the way back up even if it is different. And I see how precious it must be because, this part . . . the one I am in now, struggling to connect, is just awful.

    1. Denise you put into words exactly the difficult process of having your adult child move away. I live on the east coast + my son moved to Alabama first + now lives in Seattle WA. It has been almost 5 years + I am still sad + miss him desperately. He + his wife who is from his hometown area are doing well. I never guilt trip him + video chat weekly. I retired last year due to the pandemic + am trying to find my way with new interests. I pray everyday they have children(not sure if they want any) + move back but that may never happen. And so we carry on as mother’s but feel so envious if friends & family who get to see their adult kids all the time!

    2. ” . . . the trips are “vacation-like”, not the deep simplicity of stopping by at mom’s on the way home from work to share a few minutes about the good or struggles of the day. ” That’s exactly right. I live in FL, and my son and daughter-in-law from NC just left this morning after a five day visit. Planned visits are just not the same as popping in for a relaxing chat. The same thing happens when my out-of-state daughter visits. It’s so reassuring to find someone who understands the difference. Thank you.

    3. Denise – I agree with the others who commented about your post. You really hit the nail on the head. Visits being “vacation like” – we feel like a B & B sometimes. Haven’t seen them in nearly a year and it’s off to see their friends right after dinner. UGH! And we are not boring old farts – we’re up for going out and having dinner and doing outdoor things. Unfortunately, they only come home at Christmas now so outdoor fun is off the table. They are jet-lagged anyway and spend a few days catching up – 3 hr. difference between West Coast and PA so the sleep patterns are way off ours. I spend most the morning waiting for someone to get up and just talk to me over coffee!
      I wrote a letter to both of them and put it in my safe deposit box. I’ve changed it twice. If I pass away, they can read it. It’s very loving and tells them how much I loved every minute of being a mother and the joy they gave me growing up. But, I did put a few things in there where I feel they could’ve been a bit more understanding especially with all their father is going through and I have been put into “caretaker mode” overnight vs. to being a working mom and volunteering at the local cancer institute. My life has totally changed and just a phone call more than we get now would make all the difference. I cannot imagine treating my parents this way when they were alive. I guess because my sons have no children and don’t plan to is the reason they just don’t get it? I really don’t know. It’s so very sad.

    4. Struggling to connect … you put it so well, Denise. I think we all want the best for our grown children. I didn’t anticipate that they might not have children so I find myself without that sweet moment to reconnect that you describe. My life has been about work and family and now that I’m retired and my boys are grown and on their own far away, I realize I should have put some effort into developing friendships and other interests. The loneliness and sense of being inconsequential is very real and debilitating.

  17. As a mother, one is never prepared well enough for the anxiety of separation from your adult children…no matter how much I thought I would be… I recently have the opportunity to move back home with the objective to be closer to my 78 year old mother…but my 21 year old daughter refuses to come with us… I am in agony with the realization that we aren’t gonna see each other everyday….she feels that my decision to go back home is sort of abandoning her but she won’t move to Puerto Rico cause she feels Houston is her home now…I am asking God for strength and acceptance and for the well being of my daughter who is staying behind while trying to figure out what her future holds as a college student…thanks fir this blog…it helped me see I am not alone…

    1. Feeling desperate this morning and came across your post. Daughter moved 18 months ago with my only two granddaughters. Always lived very close she is in her mid 30’s A few years ago her husband did some very terrible things but she decided to stay with him. Now they live four and a half hours away. Was close with her but now it just does not seem that way. She is actually quite rude at times. When she left she said she had to due to what her husband did but as soon as she could they would move closer. We will make it work she said. Okay. Well now they like it there, okay. Now it is going to be too much work to pack the kids up and come for thanksgiving or Christmas. Now they are not moving closer. I am feeling very angry and miserable. As usual I am expected to just understand, deal with it. I have dealt with enough just getting by with her husband and the things that he has done. I am just so frustrated and quite frankly just tired of her attitude towards me. She seems very unhappy when she comes down here or is around me. Feeling very alone and just angry

  18. Same here with daughter and son in law. They only live 5 hours away car ride but it doesn’t matter. When she leaves my heart gets ripped out. We even got a new puppy but that doesn’t help much. Little does my daughter know that when we retire we are moving between her and my son! I am so envious of parents who get to shop with their daughters or have impromptu meals. I agree that praying helps. FaceTime, too. Praying she finds a job closer to home. His parents live near the city. They are lovely- I have a feeling she will live near them since that is where the jobs are- at least if she moves here she’ll only be a few hours car rides away. I can deal with that . Praying for all of you moms out there- at least we have each other.❤️

    1. It’s comforting to read all these posts. I left my daughter at her dream college 4 yrs ago in Texas. We are from Illinois. Just got back from her graduation, she has new job there and getting set up for her 1st apt. So incredibly proud and happy for her. There is just this hollow feeling. It’s the loss of my role as mom, caretaker. I’m divorced and her dad ended up relocating to Texas while she was at school so he gets to be closer to her. I feel so very far away from her new life. She has always been super independent. I know that’s what she wants and I’m always here to support her, it’s just so hard and it feels like I’m no longer needed in her life. I also noticed the dynamic in our relationship has shifted over the years. It sometimes feels very 1 sided – like I am here pining for our relationship and she’s just moved on.

  19. My son told me today he’s moving across the country. It’s shocking and gives me anxiety. I know it’s the right decision for him but I’d rather he stay home until he finishes university. We spend a lot of time wishing we had our independence back but once it come I don’t want it.

  20. Alone
    Taken away
    Ripped from my heart
    The pain of separation

    Gone away
    Left behind
    Arms empty
    The pain of replacement

    Heart aching
    Your essence echoing
    But drifting

    Further away

    The pain of loving and learning to let go

    1. I have 3 grown children that all moved away after college. I’m near Chicago, and two of my kids live in Minneapolis and one who is moving near Detroit.
      I never thought this would happen to me that all 3 would go. I am divorced. I have a job (which I don’t like) and some very sweet friends.
      My youngest just graduated from college and suddenly I am devastated, feel alone, abandoned, and heartbroken. I am very proud of my children and I know they deserve to live the happy lives of their own choice, but I feel so left behind. It’s not like I have a lot of money to just take off work and go visit. Like one commenter said, visiting feels unnatural. Like a vacation .
      None of my kids are married yet and have no kids of their own, and I almost dread that happening because knowing my grandchildren lived far away from me would devastate me even more.
      I hate feeling so selfish. I almost want to distance myself from my children more to avoid the pain. I know that makes no sense. I am just miserable and have absolutely no idea what to do about it.
      My oldest daughter is trying to be sweet and says she will visit more, but how is that supposed to help. I don’t like being a burden. If this is my life, it is dismal.

  21. Mothers, first I am blessed to have come across this page. I can relate to many of your stories and it is comforting to know that I am not alone in this journey. It is 750am and I am already struggling and the day has barely started. My older daughter that I have been attached to for so long has finally moved away at 30 years old across country to be with her newly husband that I am not crazy about which doesn’t help the situation between her and I and it has been a range of emotions. I had my first real full on anxiety melt down yesterday but fortunately I was able to call a friend who went through this several years ago and she totally understood and reminded me that all I am feeling is normal and I am not going crazy. I also remember so clearly all the feelings and emotions I felt where the same 11 years ago when my mom passed away have resurfaced again and I am like dang it here we go again but this time what is different is I am at a healthier place and have better tools and resources to get through these feeling and struggle of abandonment. I also will say it does not help that I am in menopause as well which does not help my emotions and anxiety. I am learning to manage this as well. What I do know is what has helped me, is journaling my emotions out, staying busy, taking walks and listening to uplifting music, embrace the emotional moments when they come, pushing them down seems to make it worse at times, stay connected with others that understand and are willing to walk this out with me. That can be hard to find but there are recovery groups out there that can help you through this new season of change and transition. I personally belong to a God centered codependency recovery group that I attend weekly and have connected with some amazing women in there. It has helped me tremendously, The last and most important for me on my journey through this difficult change is I have to invite God into the pain and struggle every day -his word and truth gets me through my distorted thinking and he comforts me through it. It will take time which is not what I like to hear because I like quick fixes. I know I am going have better days than others but as I learn to navigate through this huge change in my life, address my abandonment issues from my childhood and early adulthood I will find the healing and freedom in this and live healthier day by day. I am work in progress but God is restoring me piece by piece day by day and that is comforting that brings me joy. I am praying that each of you find your victory / freedom in this and that your days become easier, you are able to find clarity and hope and have better days of joy than sadness. and Remember this, We will always be their MOM and no one, I mean no one can take that away.

    1. I have two adult sons. One lives 3 1/2 hours away and the other lives in another country. I still feel sad and miss both of them terribly. All my friends have their adult children near them except me. I have to tell myself that I have raised independent men and that they are not momma’s boys. I have to pat myself on the back for their independence. It’s hard. One day at a time.

      1. My adult daughter moved almost 2,000 miles away just 2 days ago. I never saw it coming. We have always been a very close family. She left to be with a guy we only met once. I also feel like my friends all have their family and they say things that don’t help, and like I’m overreacting. I struggle with depression and this has really got me in a downward spiral. I cry all the time and have no desire to do anything. One of my other daughters has a new baby and I feel like she is afraid I’m going to mess up her first Christmas. I have no one to talk to who understands. I would appreciate any suggestions or encouragement that I’m not losing my mind.

        1. My kids are grown and I am a big crybaby when they go home every time. I’m not sure if it depression, menopause or just because I have a big soft heart with them. I know I need to be strong, so I make sure they don’t see me cry. I don’t want them to feel guilty for having their own lives and think they need to “tend” to my feelings. Either way, I’m a basket case. I know being clingy will cause them to distance from me too. What’s a mom to do? I understand your feelings and I am pretty much the same way.

          1. Your timing is the same as mine. My daughter and her husband left yesterday to spend the rest of the holidays with his family. Just heartbreaking. I’m not alone- I have my husband and my son, daughter in law and granddaughter are about 45 min away. But it doesn’t matter. It’s my daughter and I just miss her terribly. Like pit in your stomach terribly. I feel like such a baby! Your feelings are shared- so sorry!

          2. my son just told me he was up and moving with his family 4 states away.i feel like my heart is breaking. i suffer from depression and anxiety so i am crying like a big baby… i told my husband and my best friend i wish i was stronger so i wouldnt cry so much and they both said i am one of the strongest women they know and the crying is just from loving and caring so much….. i hate this feeling, ik it will get better in time but its hard to deal with. i dont want them to feel guilty either for having thier own life and doing what they want to do. i too dont want to b clingy cause it only makes things worse. i feel like a part of me is dying….ugh

        2. I feel the same way and I never saw it coming. Can’t stop crying today. I’m happy for her marriage and her partner and their move to a new state is an adventure, a natural one for them. But I feel abandoned and miserable. So selfish of me!

    2. Thank you so much for sharing your experience it helps me see I’m not going crazy and all this is happening my last twin daughter leaving home at 26 with out notice and me going through menopause but it helps a lot having connections everyday with other people and going for walks and listening to music and staying busy and yes how could we make it without Jehovah God our friends and hope.
      Let’s make the best of this life change

    3. Your post helped me somehow understand that I have to “Let go and Let God”. My daughter may be moving to Denver,Co soon, and it’s a long long way from home. I know I have to support her and let her fly and also take care of myself; and try some new things for me! Thanks!

    4. My youngest daughter and one year old grandson just moved out of my home yesterday. I’ve pretty much been crying since then. I’ve been working from home most of the year so I’ve been able to watch my grandson grow and I love every minute of it. We have our morning routines and our music/dance sessions, I just realized about an hour ago that my world pretty much revolves around him. I’ve also been able to watch my daughter become a wonderful mother. My daughter and grandson have a comical relationship, it’s their personalities, I just fell in love with the way our life was. I have 3 adult children and they all left the nest about 3 years ago, with my youngest coming back about a year ago right about the time she was due to give birth. I’ve been there every step of the way and now I find that what makes me the saddest is what I am going to miss. The learning of a new word, or a new song that he may learn to love, teaching him something new like fight five or how to blow kisses. I won’t be able to be there to help my daughter when I hear him crying most the night because he’s teething or because he took a really long nap and now wants to get up and dance. This is the worst feeling, so many different emotions.
      I miss them so much already. They FaceTimed me this morning and I couldn’t say anything past “Good morning my beautiful babies” how long is this going to last? I felt like maybe I was over reacting but after ready some of these post I see I am not alone. I’m glad a came across this, just knowing that you’re not the only one that reacts this way makes me feel better. Thank you and hang in there.

      1. I’m going to be going thru the same thing in about 2 months and even though I know this will be best for them, for growth and for my daughters own family, I already know I will miss them horribly. I’ve decided I have imprinted on my granddaughter, and she won’t forget me. But I will miss the busyness , the new words she says everyday. She calls the Christmas tree “party”. She likes me to come with her and look at the “party”. I do realize now why families used to live so close to each other, for the assistance, for the loving care and sharing…I think it’s partially winter and post holidays that makes this all worse. But I also know, the light of day helps, planning get togethers helps, keeping myself busy and face time helps.

    5. Thank you for posting Linds. I am in a similar place and find my faith to be the only comfort.
      It does seem like a cruel cosmic joke to struggle with menopause symptoms and simultaneously deal with my 4 kids flying away. But I know it is just a normal part of life. My DS18 came for a brief visit and leaves today. I’m gonna try not to cry until he is gone. Surely this has to get easier. :-/
      I appreciate the words of wisdom you offered here and for sharing your thoughts.

    6. I am copying your post and pasting it in an area where I can read often! As I sit here this morning ( woke up crying and am a hot mess ) looking for anything to make me feel better, I came across this page and BOY AM I GLAD! My situation is a little different as my 10 year old grandson still lives with me while she moved in with her boyfriend to get things ready for him him to be with her. I have had him on and off over the years while she figures things out but 2 years ago we all moved from MA to FL to have a clean slate. He has been with us and she has been too ( off and on ), she has been with a guy I’m not fond of for about 1.5 years and when they fight she continues to threaten to go back to MA. Every time she and her boyfriend fight I worry about if she is ok and then when is the big one where she will just up and leave with my grandson. I prepare myself on the daily and live in constant upset and sadness because I know it’s just a matter of time. I have recently, over the past 6 months returned back to God, which is really the only one that will get me through any of this but knowing I’m not alone with this blog has set me in a peaceful way today.

      What you posted about “I personally belong to a God centered codependency recovery group that I attend weekly and have connected with some amazing women in there. It has helped me tremendously” was something that put a light bulb at the top of my head. How did you find this type of support and can you share any of it with me? I need this in my life!!! I stay emotionally hostage and need a light at the end of the tunnel.

      [email protected] is my email address if you get this at all. 🙂 Have a blessed day.

    7. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Linda. I have three children and all three would like to move out of state. Your post was very helpful to me.

  22. It has been so comforting to find this thread on Gypsy Nesters and to realise we are not alone.

    We live in the UK and both of our sons live overseas, thousands of miles away. Our eldest emigrated to Australia (10,500 miles away) 8 years ago where he now lives with his Australian wife. It took us a good while to come to terms with the situation, knowing it would involve around 30 hours travel including 2 long haul flights for us to go and visit. Then last year, our youngest left to go and work in Japan (6000 miles away), with no definite date for his return. So we had to go through the same emotional rollercoaster all over again. Covid 19 has made things even harder with international travel restrictions. We have no idea when we’ll be able to see either of them again. We’ve always been a very close family and we keep in touch regularly, but it’s not the same as being able to see them and have a hug, or to celebrate birthdays and Christmas etc as a family.

    What made it worse for us was not knowing anyone else in the same position. We weren’t able to find many other sites like Gypsy Nesters where people can share how they feel about this kind of family separation. So one of the things we’ve decided to do is set up a Facebook group (called ‘Scattered Families’) for parents whose children are living many miles away, which we hope will be another useful resource for other parents like us.

    We’re coming up to retirement soon and Gypsy Nesters has given us some new ideas for the future. Warm wishes to everybody who is finding their way with this.

    1. Hi dawn
      Thankyou for sharing your story
      We live in Australia and our son moved to USA. I used to always say ‘oh but he has a great job’ now that we hardly see him and COVID means we don’t know when we will see him again now I say ‘it’s so sad’ I cry all the time and have very few people around me who understand how painful this is, my husband said the ache is so bad he doesn’t want to talk about it.
      We are more than happy for our adult children to live there own lives but just a catch up coffee or a hug or a birthday visit. I’m not sure time makes it easier I actually think it is getting harder as my husband & I are getting older and the realization he may never come home.
      It hits you even harder when they are not part of any family celebrations only a txt or a FaceTime call.
      I am finding it hard being around some of our friends as they never even ask how is our son & he is living in America in the middle of a pandemic & all the political unrest, sometimes it would be nice for someone to just say ‘hey it must be hard for you’
      I also am finding it hard to smile and talk on FaceTime as I am so emotional and just start to cry.
      My son once told me he could not have got through his college years without music…so I have started to learn piano hoping music will help me.
      Love E 💛

      1. Hello Elizabeth:

        Thank you for your story as it is the first time I’ve really felt that someone else is living with a similar scenario and can understand the pain. My young adult son was recruited by a US company just over a year ago and he moved from Canada not knowing even one person in the US. The timing was just prior to Covid and we were therefore unable to see him for 9 months due to travel restrictions which I found to be excruciatingly difficult. His job required a lot of road travel and he was working on large scale work sites with much lower safety standards than in Canada. He was driving through many sketchy areas of various states and staying in hotels during Covid. At times during the early pandemic the grocery store shelves were barren of supplies. In addition to the pandemic there has been a hurricane, riots, political unrest and power outages due to storms in his area and this has made it really challenging every day to let go and trust. I have had many sleepless nights worrying that if something goes wrong, such as an accident or illness, there is no family that we can call upon as a backup. When we were able to see my son at Xmas I felt like my old self, happy and content, and when we drove him to the airport and said goodbye I felt like my heart had been ripped out my chest and the depression enveloped me like a blanket for several days to weeks following. The ability to visit our son during Covid has not gotten any easier with further travel restrictions imposed by the Canadian government that make non-essential almost impossible. At the end of the day what I’ve come to learn is that this is about letting go and trusting, God and self, rather than resisting which only seems to make this more difficult. As mothers, we are responsible for the safety and well-being of our children and to suddenly relinquish this completely is very challenging. Maybe having faith that our children are resilient and capable beings is where we need to place our focus. As for friends and family who are not living with a similar scenario, they can never truly understand what this feels like. Although well intentioned, their comments like “thank God for technology like Zoom and Skype” can feel empty and provide little comfort. They do not know the feeling of not being able to hug your kid once in awhile or celebrate birthdays or holidays or simply to drop in for a visit. This can be a lonely journey for a mom, especially as we negotiate other life stages like menopause, retirement, death of our aged parents, etc. and it is important that we find other meaningful activities and develop new and existing relationships. I suspect there will always be a void when our children live far away, however, I know it is up to me to find a way to live with this new order, to be grateful for the abundance in my life and to remind myself daily that my son is entitled to live his life wherever he chooses and to bless him in his journey. Secretly, of course, I will always hope that one day he will return home😉 Blessings to all who are on a similar journey.

  23. My daughter, 23, is a recent nursing school grad. She has always wanted to move to Colorado from Florida, at least for a time. That’s 2000 miles away. She was just offered a job Friday and is leaving the next Thursday. I feel like the rug was pulled out from under me. I still have two adult daughters and two grandkids, but each child is special and even if just one moves SO far from me, it hurts. She was in Georgia for a time, but I was okay with it because I could travel there every couple of weeks. Not so much with Colorado. Oi.
    As I read through all these comments of sadness and grief, I know that this is normal. Be kind to yourself. There was a time when children didn’t fly far from the family home. I just have to work through this and trust God has placed her where He wants her and that I need to just trust Him (which is hard to do when everywhere you look, you see things that remind you of her.) I hear you all and feel for you all. I was told to concentrate on what I do have and not what I don’t. She is still alive and will communicate with me. I can and will visit. I have all these wonderful memories with her and there will be more. It is hard saying ‘see ya later’ with so many miles between, and I may never adjust, but its not the end all to everything. Chin up, prayers up to you all!

    1. Ughh my daughter just got a job in colorado and we live in Florida. I feel overwhelmed I am happy for her and so sad for me. She’s my baby she’s never driven in snow or ice i don’t know when I will be able to see her next. This is not her career job but a job until then and I know it’s going to be a great experience for her and something that I know she needs to do as well as with her career path I don’t know when I will get to see her next . It frightens me for so many reasons. We have kids to give them wings and let them fly but I guess I am really not ready for it so soon she just came home…💔

  24. I am reading all of these stories and crying. I can totally relate. I have 3 children, they are all adults now and have been on their own, but I remember when my daughter moved out to go to college I would just go in her room and cry. I did that for a week solid and then I think I quit because I had no tears left. My son and his wife and my two grandsons moved to another state about 2 months ago and I probably cry at least 3 times a week because I miss them, I would see them at least once a week when we lived in the same area. We went up and visited them and I cried all the way back to the airport when we had to go back home. And this may sound a bit crazy, but part of me doesn’t want to visit because it is so difficult for me to leave them. Geez, I get so mad at myself for being so emotional!!!

    I thought when my adult “kids” moved out and started their own lives I would be overjoyed to finally have my own time and me and the husband would be out traveling and doing fun things. That’s not happening. I guess I have different ideas than my husband about wanting to get out and visit places that we haven’t been to. He would rather stay home. So I know that’s part of the problem.

    1. Reading all these posts has helped me realize I am not alone. I have four children, and there is almost a 9 year gap from my oldest to youngest. When my older ones went off to college I seemed to have handled it well, because I still had my ‘baby’. Now my ‘baby’ went off to college and I haven’t been well since. I am divorced and have no significant other so I am really feeling the empty nest loneliness. After a good cry tonight I googled empty nest and came across this. Glad I did. Still crying but maybe it will get better. Any advice?

      1. ❤️ I wish I had some, but I will tell you what, after blubbering about my sadness of the kids leaving home, my primary care doctor said in her only piece of advice: “in time, I think you’ll come to enjoy it”. Who knows. I doubt it but I guess stranger things have happened. However I will say this, just when I get adjusted, when the time to leave after the visit comes, it’s just so bad afterwards. I just women didn’t always take our sons away. The girls stay close to their mothers but the boys go with their wives. It’s depressing. I love my sons more than anything and wish I had a daughter too. Much love to you.

      2. Same. I am hurting, feeling like I’m insane-and so thankful I found this tonight. Of course, I just started sobbing again as I write this after having a few moments tear-free. She leaves at 4 am.

        1. I’m going through it all over again reading these posts, my daughter left in 2018, was going to be coming home with other half and our two grandboys in February this year to live and we were over the moon, the pandemic struck and she ended up getting another job where she’d moved to, more money. With no jobs to go for at the moment they didn’t move back, and with the extra money things are looking better where they are. I lost them all over again. What are we like? It hurts my heart like crazy.

    2. “And this may sound a bit crazy, but part of me doesn’t want to visit because it is so difficult for me to leave them. Geez, I get so mad at myself for being so emotional!!!”
      No it doesn’t, not at all,, and I can 100% relate to this,Beth! My youngest son lives 5 states away, and no matter how long or short my visit with him is, I start to get very emotional the day before I have to leave,and on the day I leave, its major waterworks until I get to the airport. I get so mad at myself because I know I’ll be fine in an hour after leaving. I wish I could find a way to not get so emotional, and a reason as to why this happens every single time!

      1. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with me until I read your posts. Every time one of my four adult sons comes to stay even for a few days, I cry my heart out when they leave. I guess it’s just part of being a mother.

        1. I have four adult daughters. My youngest one is leaving to go to Florida in January. That’s 1200 miles away. I don’t know how I’m gojng to get through the holidays this is just to devastating.

      2. Dear Ladies,
        You are not alone in feeling dread when the visits are coming up. I feel so guilty and see parents that are so excited when their children are coming home to visit. I feel I am not normal! I get through the visit and at the end it’s total tears and emotions. My oldest son is moving to Florida in two weeks and I feel like I am in a total meltdown. He has a job and apartment there and is very happy. Especially this time of the year. The holidays are very emotional for me and I despise change. I am totally a creature of habit. I have a very loving and supportive husband and am the oldest in my family with five sisters and one brother. We are all close. Anyway, thank you for this group; I feel like I’ve had a good chat session.

    3. Guys don’t handle it the same as their wives when the adults kids have moved out they seem to be head over heals they don’t understand fully the emotions mothers go through it helps to explain to your husband what you’re feeling and maybe he will be more understanding and comfort you more especially with a big hug it’s time to invest all you can now with your mate spend time together doing fun stuff and be good friends always look at what you had it’s time these kids get a life of their own and they will respect you both and communicate well with you. Remember how we were at their age our parents no doubt went through the same emotions that we are going through of course at the time we couldn’t relate to that then.

      1. Sorry Toni, but that is just not true. There are men dealing with this as well. Check out my posts around July, August. I was starting to feel slightly better, but now my baby is talking about being independent and moving out at 18. (Major struggle for me)

        1. Hi
          I ask men/fathers do feel the pain but I can see with my husband the ache is so bad he just can’t talk about it.
          Many men do t share felling very well.
          I notice in recent time my son living away started to call me and chat when before he would always FaceTime me.
          With all the unrest in America and COVID I realized to was becoming emotional when FaceTiming and seeing us so it easier for him emotionally to just talk on the phone.
          Why does life have to be so painful when all we are doing is loving our children. I am a mother of 3 adult sons and trust me they have feelings
          Take care 💛

        2. Agreed Robert. My 25 year old only child is moving out Friday. Her mom and I are proud but sad in knowing that unlike when she moved home after college, this time it’s probably for good. As it should be, but that doesn’t make it easier. At least she is only moving 90 minutes away, so visits will be easy and relatively frequent compared with what others are posting here.

    4. I am so glad I am not alone going through this. I live in Wisconsin and I am divorced. After 15 years of being with my boyfriend we are finally getting married. At 14 years old my ex-husband moved to Idaho and my son wanted to try something new so he went with him. He’s 17 now and about to graduate high school. I am so happy that he is happy and really loves it. (CDA, Idaho is beyond beautiful so I understand why.) My son comes to visit every time his school has vacation so that is really amazing, but expensive. As he gets older I thought this would get easier with time. Just the opposite. It gets harder. I am realizing that as he gets older it is time for him to start making a life for himself which means I will see him less and that is killing me. I am sitting here blubbering like a child as I write this. I seriously though I was the ONLY Mom out there who has the terrible thought of “it might just be easier to not see him”. But that would KILL me. I am just beside myself not knowing how to handle these emotions. My soon to be husband is sooooo wonderful and is always trying to help me through this but he doesn’t really understand how horrible this depression really is and that it feels like the ONLY thing that could possibly help is having my son move back to Wisconsin. My son recently told me he is keeping his options open about the possibility of coming back to Wisco for school/job. I was ELATED. In 7th heaven! I talked to him again and he told me that he is keeping that option open, but he’s trying to make things work in Idaho because although he likes Wisco, he really prefers Idaho. I felt like someone punched me in he gut. I’ve been crying ever since. It’s not his fault and it makes me happy that he’s happy out there but it’s so far away and retirement is no less than 10 years away. We’d like to retire out west so that is something possibly in the future where I could be closer to my son but I just feel like I NEED to have him close NOW! I just don’t know what to do with myself. I’m just waiting for my soon to be husband to call off the wedding because he can’t deal with my craziness. I’m not even excited to be getting married because although my son will be there to “give me away” it’s constantly in the back of my mind that I will have to say goodbye to him yet again. I can’t tell you how sad I am for the Moms out there who live in a whole different country than their sons/daughters. I feel like such a wimp compared to them. I’ve talked to a therapist and it doesn’t seem to help as much as I’d like it to. There are no deep seated issues or anything causing these feelings. It’s simple. I just miss my son. That’s all there is to it. Is anyone else out there on anti-depressants? Any really helpful books that have made a difference for you? Any help is GREATLY appreciated. Thanks for listening.

    5. I feel the same way my son lives in Flordia and I live in Missouri and I only see him 2 times a year he just left he only stays 5 days when he visits and they go to fast. My husband is the same way he just wants to stay home too. I know I start crying the day before he leaves because I know he is leaving the next day. I hate feeling so sad But im so glad there are so many others that feel just like I do its still hard and I know we are supposed to be happy for them but when you miss them so much. but they are happy in there lifes and we need to be happy in ours its just when does the crying stop when can we be happy I guess we just have too.

  25. I am incredibly proud of my two children, but definitely am also feeling the heartbreak. Yes, I know the kids are ‘supposed’ to grow up and have their own lives. My mind knows it is a good thing for them. My heart totally disagrees though. Our son is in the Navy, his maybe once a week calls are definitely a highlight, and when we do see him, he gives the BEST bear hugs! Tears flow when driving away from wherever we had to drop him off. Our daughter lives locally, and had moved back in with us since February. Her boyfriend basically did too, as our house was where they hung out. We all got along very well, and had a lot of fun together. In early September, she moved out with her boyfriend and some roommates. They still live in the same town, and we see them a few times a week, but I very, very, very, very much miss when they were here the entire day, versus just a couple hours. I am a bit jealous when they tell us of the fun they’ve had with friends at their new house. My husband just holds me and lets me cry when it spills out. (heavy sigh)

    1. Oh my gosh! My name is Angela too! I have twin boy/girl 20 years old today. They’re such good kids and we are so close. .
      They haven’t even left yet for anywhere but the anticipation of it, even if its a year or more away is already killing me! Im not handling them adulting and eventually leaving me. And I know exactly how you feel with the jealousy thing. I feel that way sometimes when they choose others over me! Im my head it’s crazy, but yes! the heart screams different!! I hope you see this and get back to me, maybe we can help each other!

    2. I thought I was just crazy for feeling this way. Now after reading all your stories I know I’m not alone. I’m the mother of 3 wonderful young ladies. All have left home. They are all from Oklahoma. Then my oldest moved to Connecticut with her husband and 3 kids. U have seen them once in the past 5 years. Now my middle daughter told me her and her boyfriend my be moving to Colorado. She says the same thing that the first one said. So I know I’m not going to see her anymore either. I have cried myself to sleep every night. I even woke up crying around 2 am and again at 6. I can’t eat anything and I just hurt. I have started wishing that her boyfriend would just disappear and leave my little girl, My bestfriend , and my happiness alone. I liked him until this happened. I know that would hurt her deeply though and I don’t want that. I’m not in good health and I’m afraid I will never see her again. I’m so hurt and just mad. We give everything to care and love them, and then one day within a second they are gone and we’re left alone with nothing but our memories.

      1. Kendra, I wish I could give you a big hug, I understand your pain. It physically hurts to miss them so much. I wish there was an off switch.

      2. I am relieved to know that I’m not the only one who has these feelings. I have 4 daughters who have all moved out and I have gotten used to that. Although, memories of the times we had when they growing up still make me sad a lot. All of them live within 30 minutes of me which is great. We are close and they come over often just to hang out with us. But here’s the bad part. One of my daughters, a twin, is 25 and has decided on a whim to move to 180o miles away from us to be with a guy she has mostly gotten to know on FaceTime. She went to meet him and everything went great, according to her. Since he has a young daughter there he can’t move here so she is moving to California. We are a close family and she just sprung this on us. It was supposed to be moving in June but how she changed it to November. I can’t handle it and I feel like I’m losing it. She seems to have no feelings of what it will be like to be across the country from us and what she will missing in here. She has about 3 weeks left and honestly It makes it harder for me every time when I see her. I want to see her but it’s painful and I don’t feel like she is cares about being away from us at all. My girls are my best friends and I don’t know how to handle it.

    3. I can so relate to this, I have 1 child, a son. We are so close and have such fantastic times together, a lot of 1 on 1. Then suddenly he is living with a very nice girl. I am happy for them and proud of my son, however I so so miss terribly our alone times and heart to heart conversations about just everything, but they love me and visit 2 times or more a week and live 10 minutes away.Now they want to move 1 hour away to be near her family. I’m devastated. Her mom has 4 kids 3 of which are still at home and yet she is trying so hard to get them there. We’re the parents who are always there when needed to. I hate the way I feel and I’m trying real hard to not let this depressed feeling take me over . God help us moms. I thought I was the only one who felt this. And only 1 hr away, geez I should be able to do this

      1. I feel your pain completely. The same thing happened to my son. He and his girlfriend just came for a visit after not seeing them for almost a year because of the pandemic – he moved away one year ago. I am now crushed. However the only differences they live eight hours away now. Eight. Her mother has four children and two grandkids living with her, yet she insists on my son and her daughter being there too and somehow, she got her way. It’s depressing and not fair and I wish more thought would go into how sons abandon their families. I know I sound bitter today, but my sons and I were always so close, I sacrificed so much as I’m sure you did, and I don’t understand how this can happen. <3

  26. I didn’t know all of you were out there!


    Isn’t it strange to realize when you’re out, let’s say at the grocery store,
    and people you pass and exchange glances, or smiles under our masks,
    are hurting, crying in their hearts, broken from the pain and goodbyes.

    I was #3 of three daughters and our house was the one where the family gatherings took place. “Holiday Central”. The cousins, aunts & uncles, the boyfriends people and merriment galore. My mother told me “when you have daughters, the girls come home for the holidays, and the sons will go with their wives to the mother-in-laws house”.

    Lucky me, I had 3 sons and yes indeed they are at their wives family home for the holidays, sometimes too “in the moment to even call until New Year’s Day. Exhale. They live in different states so there’s no quick visit.

    Autumn is upon us and the cloud has arrived to hover over until the holidays are out of the way. I miss my boys, their lovely wives and my beautiful grandchildren. They have their lives, but I wonder about this pining away for family that grips our hearts?

    I can’t shake it off. I think about it logically..I tell myself “they have their lives, blah-blah, etc..” But being near them would be life having continuity instead of whatever this is. Eskimo on a floating iceberg. (can I say that?)

    1. Oh my! Im replying to all of you! I need you in my life to help me! I’m struggling so bad with this and my two aren’t even gone yet! Just the anticipation even if a few years away is killing me! The whole change and adulting sucks and were so close i don’t want it to go away.. how do I get through it? Please reply to my email

      1. Oh, I so understand how you all feel! My son left this morning for a job 700 miles away. I am a divorced mom without a partner – and my amazing 24 year old has been my rock, my friend, my pride and joy for so long that I am devastated. I am literally in pieces; I have a daughter in college who comes home on breaks – but my life as a mom with my kids under one roof has been the happiest part of my journey so far. What to do now? I have to move forward but am just not sure how to do that without another adult partner for support. My friends are wonderful – but in the end, all I see is the empty space on the floor at the base of the stairs where he piled his shoes; all I can think about are the bike rides that I now have to take alone. I know that sounds self-pitying – but this change has been most difficult of all so far.

    2. The strangest thing is this phenomenon with sons and daughters is so prevalent yet never talked about and shamed in pop culture. It’s not right. :/

  27. Our son and his boyfriend plan to move across the country and it hurts everyday. I’m happy he’s so well-rounded and happy. And that he wants to live his own life. I’m just devastated that that includes moving 2,000 miles away. I’ll admit, I selfishly don’t entirely understand why it has to be so far away on a whim. But it is what it is and it’s my job to encourage. I just don’t know how to go from seeing him every day… to once a year if I’m lucky.

    1. My daughter (19yrs old) moved to Florida (1000mi away) w her army husband. By the end of the year they’ll be stationed who knows where for the next couple of years. They are happy, safe and In love. She left end of June and I was able to see her one wk in July. I hope she never sees this but I got to say I’m heartbroken. I miss her so much. I wish there was more time. Her little sister (17) is home for a few more years but she graduates in June. Our whole lives, we’ve been so close but it’s all changing And some days, it’s all I can do to get out of bed. I don’t know what to do. I try to keep busy but the second there’s downtime or I’m alone, I’m just so sad. I hope this gets easier. I don’t know how to tell you how to cope with missing your son. I hope there’s answers on here somewhere. Best of luck to you and adjusting to this next stage of life

    2. I am also going through this at the moment. My youngest Son is moving 16 hours away to be with his girlfriend, I am heartbroken and starting to be very distant with the girlfriend and I don’t want to resent her but I can’t help to blame her at the same time. I feel like my heart is is ripped out and I am so lost!

      1. We are right there with you in the exact situation. Our son is leaving before Christmas, but says he will be back in January to visit and get more of his stuff. My heart aches, I can’t eat, I’m to the point where I’m not sure how I will go on without him near me. I’m a broken man.

      2. I am going through this right now. My son and I have always been incredibly close,,he even calls himself a mimmas boy! But he moved three hours away ,to be with his girlfriend and Ive been depressed ever since. His girlfriend is great for him,,a good match,and I like her,but find myself becoming resentful because she doesnt communicate with me at all and Ive welcomed her with open arms and thought she would WANT a vlise relationship ,but it appears not. I miss my son so much,it makes me feel physically sick and I went to visit him a few weeks ago and literally felt dead inside when I had to leave. Now I find that I just dont care about much these days. I feel a huge distance between us and know that uts normal for kids to start their own lives,but didnt see him becoming so distant with me,,it hurts and i spend a good deal of time depressed and crying. Now im hoping to see him for the holidays but i guess that will depend on what his girlfriend wants to do. He texts me daily,and always with an ” I love you mom” ,but Now i feel like i just font care about Anything,,my reason for living moved away😔

        1. Amen Bobbie, what made my world left my world, I’m lost, sad, life is nothing, how can we go from loving the very moment we know we’re pregnant, loving like never imagined for 20 some years then poof what made your life worth living, gone, there’s nothing like hugs from your babies poof now what pills therapy even alcohol nothing makes mother’s heart shine like hugs and kisses from our children. I just have yet to find one thing to live for. I pray you have family and friends you can turn to. I’m sorry I can’t give you something to ease your pain. 🥺

      3. I feel that resentment towards my sons girlfriend and he’s not going anywhere. Its just her taking him away from me! I know its ridiculous but tell that to my heart! I get hot and uneasy everytime she’s around! I just want my little family of 4 to never change!

      4. Be careful. I have two sons. Trust me when I say the girlfriend rules the roost. You don’t want to be on her bad side. We will lose every time. Best wishes. ❤️

  28. My almost 19 year old is about to move 1400 miles away and he’s driving by himself. Packing his stuff and moving on. While I’m proud of him and his opportunity where he is moving, I have been mourning for the past month. I have been on a roller coaster of emotions and some days cry non-stop when I’m by myself and sometimes I don’t know why. I still have a 10 year old daughter at home who I know will keep me semi-sane but these overwhelming feelings are horrible. I’ve been nothing but positive about his move to him and keep telling him it will be an adventure but I feel like I’m in quick sand and can’t get out. I wish there was a magic button I could press to turn it off. I am glad that I am not the only person who has or is going through this. I also have talked to friends who have gone through the same thing but it doesn’t make it easier.

    1. I haven’t found anyone till this site that gets it! Sometimes I feel completely crazy(literally)
      It’s been the hardest thing in my life going through the best adulting kids in the world!
      I wish there was a magic button to turn off the hurt also!

  29. My 23-year-old had planned to travel around Europe between the end of his job and starting a Masters at university, but COVID19 messed up his plans. So instead, he stayed with us for two blissful months.

    This morning I accompanied him to the airport where he left to start in his new university city, and I’ve been crying for five hours now. I am seriously considering moving closer to him. But that would be stupid – there’s no reason to think he’ll stay in that city once he’s finished with his studies.

    1. I hear you!! My 27 year old son was home for 5 wonderful months during covid and now going back to Paris, where he has been working. Mommy-ness kicked in during those months and I loved cooking again and spending time talking and hiking. I have to say bye to him today and dreading it. I don’t want to cry but I know I will. Best of luck to you. I wish there were groups where we could all get together and complain to each other

  30. Oh, thank god, I thought I was crazy, a helicopter parent, a clinging mass of insecurities and silliness. . . but apparently I’m not as crazy as I thought. My son is in his early 30’s, thinking about marriage, and has been 600 miles from home for the last 8 years working. I kept thinking that I’d get used to goodbyes at the airport, but every time we drop him off, my husband and I are quiet for about 30 minutes on the drive home, because we miss him so badly already. When he’s home, all is right with the world. My daughter lives nearby, and we see her often, which is such a blessing — we talk often, and it’s been a joy to see her and her new husband starting their life together. But my heart sings when I have my WHOLE family around the kitchen table eating or playing games, or working on a puzzle. My husband has a bounce in his step when he goes out for 30-50 mile bike rides with our son, and as they plan their activites for the time we’ll have with him. I buy his favorite caramel popcorn at the store, and Cheezits. We talk, we laugh, we play — and then he leaves, and all is quiet again. He’s like a shooting star, that lights up our lives for what seems like only moments, and then is gone again. My husband and I are so grateful and proud that our kids are independent adults (really — we are), making their way in the world, and making their own mark on the world. But still . . . I remember as a child when my grandmother would literally cry whenever my family was leaving after a visit. Standing on the front porch of the farmhouse, waving, tears rolling down her face. It used to bother my dad (her son), because we lived 300 miles away, and visits were only monthly or so, if that. As a child, I was never sure why she was crying (did we do something wrong? Is she hurt? Guilt, guilt, guilt!) At least I don’t cry — but now I know how she felt!

    1. My son graduated from college in NorCal and then moved 5ooo miles away to Berlin Germany . Lived there for 8 years, now he’s back.
      Now my youngest is leaving San Francisco to live in Portland Oregon .
      I am unfortunately estranged from my eldest who lives in Nevada.
      I have a middle child in LA.
      My parents took me their only child away from their displaced families and moved to another continent.
      I have no roots and apparently neither do my children . I’m surrounded by people who are all born , live and die in one location their entire lives. It’s all relative .

  31. My son moved out of our home at went to college 4 hours away to finish the last two years of his degree. He is 19, and an only child. He is a fabulous child, always was, and only a joy to raise. At the same time, we have sold our home and moved to a nearby town, and so while closing the house, I said goodbye to all the ghosts of my son; seeing him in every room. This week, my son broke his collarbone and elbow in a skating accident. He is by himself until his girlfriend/roommate gets back in a couple of days. He called tonight in tears; he had moved too quickly and his collarbone “crunched” and he was in a lot of pain, as well as frightened. He said they just ignored him at the emergency care and said it was normal. Fortunately, a friend of his was availalbe to take him to the urgent care. He called, and after a bit of tears, he said, “I think they are right; I just moved wrong and it just hurts, but, Mom, I’m alone here and I was scared. ”

    I am so, so blessed he will be okay, that his friend was there to take him to the urgent care, but, my heart is breaking. I cannot believe this grief. Good lord, we raised a wonderful son to be independent, and now that it is happening, all I can think is that this just sucks.
    Found this site and needed to vent. Hopefully, I can eventually embrace the change and watch my son grow and fly. Doesn’t feel good now, though.

  32. Hi, All,
    Thanks so much for posting this, and giving all us parents a place to vent. My son, 25, moved to NC last year with his fiancee, now my daughter, 23 moved out. (We live in NY).We still have two kids at home but the heartbreak of losing the older two is kicking us both in the gut. It’s harder because my daughter moved out suddenly last month, at least we had time to prepare with my son. I feel like I lost my best friend. My husband and I both cry off and on at all different times of day. I know they have grown up to be happy, responsible independent adults, and I should be happy, we did our job. But the heartbreak is quite real at times. My heart goes out to you all. May you get to see the grown kids and grandbabies more than you ever hoped. May we all find many rewarding ways to fill the empty nests. Now I know why my mother nagged us incessantly to visit her all the time and insisted on Sunday dinners. I won’t do that to my kids though, schedules don’t permit it and I don’t want them to resent my placing demands upon their free time. Best of luck to you all!

    1. I am so glad I found this thread. I am dying a long lingering death of depression and loneliness.
      I have three sons, on moved to the UK, one is hoping to move to Thailand to become a Buddhist monk and the other one has met a girl from another cultural background who has decided she doesn’t like us.
      My husband laughs, says we raised fine independent men who don’t need us and wasn’t that the whole point?
      Not for me. I will never recover. I want to retire, but I feel I will just lay on the couch and die. We are Canadians, so the distances are massive.
      I feel for all of you, but my pain is not getting any less

      1. I think that it is important to find a way to get past this, to really see and understand your husband’s point of view, which is healthy. It’s time to rediscover yourself. Your sons will be better off too!

      2. I feel like I completely understand how you feel. I’m laying in bed, so freaking sad, scrolling looking for some way to deal with this. I understand your husbands point. This is very bittersweet. We’re so damn proud of our kids and our goal was to raise them to be strong independent adults. Nobody warns us that when that happens your heart is crushed.It’s the hardest thing in the world to get used to so far. I would love a magic button just for a break from being sad. Hang in there. I hear you

      3. My daughter just saw me for a couple of hours today – she lived 2 1/2 hours from me on Vancouver Island but is moving to Nova Scotia with her husband and my 2 grandsons – 19 and 13. Her oldest daughter is in Vancouver – I am in Victoria and my heart is broken – I feel it is some kind of weird dream – its so hard to say good-bye – they’ll be 6,000 miles away – I won’t meet my grandsons first girlfriend or see them grow up anymore. I don’t know how to deal with the pain – I was there for my daughter – babysit always – the kids never had a babysitter other than me – and now they are gone. It’s Tuesday and Thursday is my birthday – no surprises for me – just one horrible thing that I have to figure out how to deal with – I am churning inside – between anger and grief – what can I do!!!!!!

      4. I hear you Karen and I hope your boys make time to visit more. And I hope the other girlfriend works out you are nice people.
        We are in Sydney Australia and my son lives in Banff Canada. Daughter in London. Think the Canadians and Aussies love to travel. So far away though..

      5. You’re feelings are exactly mine. The depression and loneliness and feeling like it’ll never get better! My kids aren’t even gone yet, twins are 20 and I’m dieing just the anticipation of when they do leave for whatever reason, probably marriage. I want them here with forever! The thought of being alone just the two of us makes me sick to my
        Stomach, for real! Its gut wrenching

    2. Hi Trish, my only son has been living with us for almost a year now. Tomorrow he is moving to Alabama to begin grad school. I’m so happy for him but amazed that once again I feel sad and lost that he’s leaving. I’ve been through this a lot. First there was college 5 hours from home. Then, he moved to Madagascar for six months, then to Florida – 13 hours away for a year, then to Haiti for 4 months and then back home. I guess I will always feel sad when he leaves. This time, he is really packing up almost everything he has room to take with him so I think the time he has used our home as home base is ending and it should, he’s 27. Every time he leaves, I adjust again. This time will be super hard because of Covid and how hard it is to fill the empty space with my friendships. I’m not alone. I have a great relationship with my husband. I guess I feel like no job I’ve ever had was as fulfilling as raising him and being a mom. It was my sole purpose while he was growing up and I doubt anything will ever completely replace that. I was thinking about the days before WW2. Back then, I imagine that many children stayed in the communities they grew up in after becoming adults. I’m not sure that’s true but I bet it was a lot more common. Now kids can end up anywhere. Anyway, I’m nostalgic for a time I never even experienced. I dream of the days when your children lived right down the road or next door. I also have a step-daughter and she lives 12 hours away and we only see each other once or twice a year. Oh well. I’m trying to be happy that they are both doing so well. SIGH.

  33. These comments really surprise me and I find myself coming back to them time and time again. I am the child of an almost empty nester and I was looking for some tips to tide me over as I am relocating to be with my boyfriend and I will be over 4,400kms away from mom and likely unable to visit until COVID19 is under control.

    I have a bit of excitement over getting to be with my partner full-time come September but there is a very pervasive sadness as my mom and I have worked remotely for the past 6 months and we grew a lot closer because of it. I had no idea that leaving was going to hurt so much on both sides — I thought she wanted me to leave after 25 years lol! I have been wracked with guilt over leaving, sadness over missing her later years (though she’s not even 55 yet), and an anxiety of how lonely she is going to be when I go.

    She has never forwardly expressed any negative feelings to me (except that she’s going to miss me and be sad). She does seem a bit excited to live alone for once (as she never has before) and get to live a bit more freely with her partner of 13 years.

    Some of these comments here have really hit home and made me reconsider my decision / look at alternatives for staying closer. As I’ve got a bit older (25) I’ve realized that money is great but family and friends really triumphs all. I also cannot imagine having kids and being far away from my mom. It just seems cruel to take everything away from her when she has worked so hard as a single mom. No time for hobbies, friends, etc as she was too busy taking care of her daughters.

    I have already spoken to my partner about coming back in May and he was more than happy to try and find work out here so I am looking at my move as a temporary thing. I feel very blessed for this opportunity and for my partners agreeableness. 8-12 months apart does not seem so bad with lots of visits sprinkled in between if possible.

    Anyway now I’m rambling… but just wanted to share my thoughts from the nestling side. 🙂

    1. Marie, I am so proud of you. Frankly, society doesn’t speak often enough to what you stated as such a plain truth: it is cruel to the parent – they worked so hard and sacrificed so much. Now their prize is crippling loneliness? I’m not sure why our society is lacking on making these points. Best wishes and hopefully you can stay closer to home.

  34. Wow..These comments have been continuing on for 7 years. I did not read through all of them but about a quarter and I am not sure I feel very hopeful for the future. I am 47 and my two sons are 22 and 18. 18 yr old got to “graduate” through this covid crap and have felt sorry for him throughout it all. Oldest son came back from college and they are both still here at the moment, but since oldest left for school last fall our marriage has been on the rocks. My wife tells me to suck it up and does not understand it at all. She is tired of hearing me talk about missing my younger children because that is how I see them. All I ever wanted was to be a decent father and now all I see in our house are ghosts of the past. She is able to live in the present, brainwashing herself with hours of tv but I do not watch television so I try and find projects or books to keep busy. My boys have virtually nothing to do with me anymore unless I mandate time together and still there is their phones and social media. in the way. I like to think I have not forgotten how to relate but apparently I have. I try to remind myself how I was at that age, running around all the time and hardly home, but I regret all that now and dont want the same for our relationship. People keep telling me it gets easier but after reading these posts I am not so sure. Sometimes I feel like it makes no difference if I am around or not because they will just keep going through their same old routines. My mother tells me that my father used to say he never found his golden years. I dont know if there is anything left to work toward or not. Still trying to remain hopeful though at times, even though some days I can barely breathe and feel like I am being stabbed over and over. God bless you all. And the answer to some of the males on here is yes, there are other males going through the same.

    1. I feel so sad when I read your post. And all the others. I dropped my daughter off 3000 miles away for her first job last week. That’s why I’m searching the internet for empty-nester advice. I have a younger son in his second year of college. I am so happy they are leading productive, happy lives. It’s what my husband and I aimed for. But I really just miss my daughter. That’s all. I love who she is and feel like a very good friend just moved away. Boys, yes, are less enmeshed with their parents. My husband tries just as hard as you do to make the connection and feels hurt when our son doesn’t respond. Keep trying. One day your boys will know you care. I am deciding to make other connections, rekindle friendships, pour myself into time with my aging parents, reach out to others who are lonely….. there are so many. It seems senseless to me that any of us are lonely when so many are lonely. Why don’t we find each other? It’s tough in the age of Covid-19 but I’m endeavoring to try. Also, it’s not for me to judge at all, but it seems your wife is engaging in her own kind of avoidance. Maybe you can develop some new interests together? My husband and I are taking up kayaking again, and some travel. I’m also remaking my daughter’s room (with her blessing) into a space for meditation, painting, indoor gardening, whatever strikes me as a healthy pursuit. I don’t want to keep walking into her room and feeling loss. I need to fill it with new memories, too. If I sound like I’m giving you a pep talk, I’m really giving it to myself. This is a really hard threshold for me to cross, but my husband keeps reminding me, this is what we want. What if the kids were living in our basement and not working toward a good life? It’s true. I hope you can find some peace and rebuild companionship with your partner and those in the world around you. I will try to do the same.

      1. We do need a pep talk! My daughter went in the Navy and I am moving in her room so I can sleep with her dog lol! The pup cried the first night and so did I! She packed everything so really nothing of her’s in there but 2 things on the wall and one small corner in her closet ready to go whenever she gets stationed somewhere. I am replacing her bed though her blessing because its time to replace but she asked me to keep her furniture. I am on day 3 only of at least a month before I hear from her but gets a little easier as I keep a daily journal for her and print pictures of the texts from her boyfriend and of her dog and fish.

      2. My son and his family are considering moving 2 hours from home which really isn’t a big deal considering from what I’m reading here. But we are very close and get to see the grandkids multiple times a week. I really shouldn’t feel bad but I do. Shame on me for this and I should be grateful its not across the country somewhere. I don’t drive far and my husband may not either in the near future because of medical issues to be able to visit them whenever we want to, even though we would certainly be welcomed with open arms.

        1. Robin, Terry, and Mary,
          Great to see the responses. It really is a difficult time and is definitely a paradox that we are sad for what we have prepared them to do. Much of the time I just wish I could remember what it was like for an 8 and 4 yr old to rush into my arms when I got home. Dont get me wrong. We have a decent relationship with each other, but the parents are no longer needed for much more than financial assistance. Everything we have ever done has always revolved around the children, travel included, so when those excursions start to be only the two of us, it will be hard. I am definitely grateful I did not have an 18 yr old leave for the service or someone move to China to teach ESL, but it remains hard just the same as we are left to pick up the memories and hope to make more. We are beginning the end of our journey as they begin. I really thought I just graduated High School yesterday, but the person in the mirror disagrees. I do find it odd that only one spouse has these intense feelings according to stats.

          PS. Robin, My wife is saddened at times, but I am a dweller, or ruminator and her glass is always half full. She looks forward to the future and what shall be while I see my part in this play as over. I should have fathered many children instead of just the two. Sometimes I think I will start fostering the most hardcore guys I can find. We shall see what happens. Was good to find this page though and I appreciate everyones responses.

          And I do agree with Terry that we all do need a pep talk. My wife tires of hearing me go on about it, but that is how I cope. Hang in there Terry. You will be at her graduation ceremony before you know it.

          Mary, good luck to you as well. My mother watched my boys for us since the oldest was about 3 and then I convinced her and my stepfather to move next door to me so my sons would always know them and they could be a major part in their upbringing. It will work out for you I am sure.

          1. Robert,
            You hit the nail on head in your reply many times over for me. It’s almost like I wrote it myself.
            I am the one taking it the hardest and I know my husband gets tired of seeing me cry all the time even though he is doing his best to be supportive of me. He feels it too but he’s not the emotional one, I am. We are trying to find things to do, just the two of us like before we had kids. But my husband is having medical issues now and driving for him is becoming an issue. He is the driver in the family as I do not drive anywhere near as much as him mostly from anxiety issues I’ve had for many years. So now our outings are becoming more and more limited as time goes on. I just see our future as being lonely together at home a lot. We do have other children as well, 1 is also away and the other is fairly close but way more independent from us. Our child that is fairly close, even though we have a very good relationship together, we don’t get together quite as frequently as this one that is moving. We are going to try to reconnect with friends more but this pandemic is making that hard. Fall and winter will be upon us before we know it and I am not looking forward to it at all which are usually my favorite times of the year with all the holidays. Our child who is moving is the one who always popped over by himself or with his wife and or with the grand kids at the last minute just because. We also have many dinners together just because. Now all that will be gone. It’s so heartbreaking, even though I truly understand their reasons for moving 100%, I just wish it would be closer. Holidays and birthdays will never be the same not having all of us together in 1 place as frequently as we do now. It’s so heartbreaking, I’m crying just writing this. I do wish you and the others well. We will get through this, trying to stay positive.

        2. None of that “shame on me” stuff. It’s different and you feel what you feel! Allow it! It takes time to adjust and even then it’s rough. Love them when you are with them and keep busy when you are not. Hugs.

      3. My daughter lives 900 miles away and every time she visits its like I have to rip the band aid off again when she leaves. Its the worst feeling. She left this morning after 9 days home. So like you I was searching for how to cope. You think I would have this down pat by now but no! No matter what it doesn’t get easier. My best friend lives 900 miles away and it truly saddens ne.

        1. I’m sorry for your pain Wanda. I myself will know your pain in the near future. My 17 almost 18 year old Daughter (only child) will be finishing school this coming school year, and she immediately plans on going to college in California. Which is well over 2,057 miles away. I can’t handle when she sleeps over at a friend’s house for more than 1 night. Let alone watch my only baby move across country. I don’t know about all you parents, but I can tell you that, this adulthood thing came along WAY too fast. I’m crying just thinking about it now. I’ll be a complete basket case when the time does come.
          Thinking to myself how I need to stop hovering so much, and I have to let her spread her wings…. At least I’m not like her Dad… He’s making plans to sell our home, buy an RV and follow her to wherever she decides to go.
          It’s so hard to face the fact that poor baby, isn’t a baby anymore. ☹️😢😫

      4. Wonderful chat from you, Robin!
        All this is a nother season in life. I read on here; someone quoted” I will not succumb to emotion and act on what I feel”.
        We have 1 child moving across the country. One who travels 100% of time, 1 who has 1 child; but we feel not as important and most interaction isn’t initiated by him.
        Our adult kids are not our personal trophies.
        When I hear others our age their AK’s( adult kids) call them every day… I am not sure what I feel? Our kids are very independent. We can’t begrudge our kids for growing up and finding their lives: just because we miss them.
        On the other hand: millinials tend to be inward focused?
        All of life has meaning and destiny; we must let go so the adults can find their way…

    2. Dear Robert,

      Tonight our youngest (26), who has been out of the house for seven years….(to college and then is living on his own for three) drive down our drive with his next stop being Texas! He has decided to move to Texas and the good news is his sister is there now in the same city he’s moving to. But it doesn’t help with the mess and the knowing of a long distance relationship with your kids. FaceTime and visits are all wonderful, but I miss the chance to go to coffee or breakfast or go play golf.Nobody really talks about the empty nest, but it has been a huge deal in our home. We’re kind of wandering around like a lost puppy, not knowing what to do next. You spend your whole life doing things with and for your kids, and then when they leave it’s very difficult. Some days I just go and sit in their rooms and look around and feel their presence. I know I will get through it and there’s so many good things to come. Like grandchildren. I hear that that’s gonna be really fun. Also we’re in charge of where we live. So if I wanna move closer I suppose I can. There’s a lot of decisions when you’re older, and I never expected it to feel this difficult. My heart is half happy and half hurting really bad. But I’m so grateful to God that I’ve had my kids and they’ve brought so much joy to our lives. Keeping finding what you and your wife like to do! I also had a girlfriend at work tell me that the some of the most special times that she’s had with her parents are family vacations. So if they’re planned well in advance I think that can be a highlight of the years to come. Take care!

      1. You desxribed perfectly hiw I feel too! How I want to just have cofee with my daughter or take a walk. I thought it was weird that I sometimes sit in her room and just sit there. I dont know if it makes me sadder but its something I need to do to feel closer to her. She left this morning after a 9 day visit and here I sit again, heartbroken.

    3. I’m actually so glad to hear a male going through this! My husband doesn’t get it at all!
      It makes it harder. I feel so alone!

    4. Thanks, Robert. I have two daughters age 18 and 20. Both in college about 3 hours drive away. Their mother and I split up when they were 8 and 10 and a few years later moved with them and her new husband. So I went from seeing them almost everyday to only seeing them every other weekend. It destroyed me. Now they come visit for a holiday and they’re here such a short time and on their phones. Hard to get them to play a board game or do anything that involves more interaction. Then they leave again. I’m sitting here bawling my eyes out. And I was wondering exactly that, am I the only guy? Comforting at least to know that I am not the only one who goes through this. Eventually I’m okay again and used to not seeing them though I miss them very much. But every time they come and then go it’s so so hard. As they’re packing up their stuff I’m trying not to cry. And then as soon as they leave it’s so quiet and lonely. At least most of the time my girlfriend is here so I’m not completely alone when they leave but right now she’s with her family so my home is empty and my girls just left half an hour ago. It’s brutal.

  35. I have 1 child that lives close and 2 that live away. I break down the day before they leave, knowing how upset I’ll be when they physically go. Sometimes I feel it’s easier not to see them, even tho all I want is for them to be with me. I keep it all inside because I don’t feel supported by my husband (not their father). I don’t know how to deal with the pain. It seems to be getting harder/worse, rather than better over time

    1. I’m sorry you experience the same pain and don’t have the support that you need. It’s truly a difficult situation to just accept it like we’re told we should. It’s a hopeless feeling because we can’t just change our life to up and move where they are. Grief takes over and becomes the norm. It’s awful.

      1. Dear All of You, I brought up 4 children far away from any relatives on both my side and on my husbands side. My husband traveled often for his work and worked and commuted long hours. It was usually me and the kids, one big clump of us. My life was my children. College time meant that i clung more tightly to the ones still finishing up high school. One by one they departed for University and i mourned their little selves and replayed memories of the old family unit -together, all together and Un-Fractured . One by one my children finished University and suddenly, one by one they were offered jobs out of state, very far from here. Now, there will be no more pop-ins. The little tight knit unit i created is no longer there for me to round up. I stare out the window and fight my thoughts that linger and keep me gasping for air. And then i recall the words of Eckhart Tolle “Accept the isness that is the present moment.” Yes, the pain is great. Yes i would have written this part of my life differently. But i will not continue to tearfully fight and then emotional succumb in some heap to that which is what is. Simply-IT IS. Wishing each of you, myself included, peace in our souls where love is abundantly alive.

    2. I too am coping with an imminent departure of my 26 year old after a three month visit. He has been living 1,495 miles away for the past eight years. I have run the gamut of emotions anticipating his departure and it has reminded me of the thing C. S. Lewis said “The pain now is part of the happiness then. That’s the deal.” The joy we had in being together these past months wouldn’t have happened unless we’d been apart and even though we are far from each other geographically, we manage to see each other 4-6 times a year and keep up with each other weekly. Since his first year of college, he has never been here at home for so long and probably will never be again because the Corona Virus initiated his homecoming then the death of a family member extended the time he was here. At some point my husband and I do plan to live close to him but probably not until we retire. Thankfully my gym has reopened and I will be working out daily as well as swimming. The exercise should do wonders to ward off depression and also help me work off three months of celebratory meals. While home he planted flowers and an herb garden and I will be monitoring everything very closely and watering and weeding and enjoying what he planted for me. I am going to miss him immensely but I can also anticipate and plan our next Family Vacation. I’m trying to be philosophical about it. I know that with great love comes enormous pain and I believe with my entire being it is worth it. There are so many blogs and articles on the internet about estranged families. How lucky are we to have close emotional ties to our children? I am feeling your pain though. May our pain be mitigated by our great love and the memories we’ve made.

    3. I feel your pain. I am the same. For years I have been suffering badly when my daughter leaves after a visit back home and now that there is grand children it is ten times worse!
      I am dreading that my daughter that lives close by also want to move abroad with her family… I am very close to my 3 year old grandson.. I practically raise him, it will break me.

  36. I am so glad I found this page. I was a single mom for years and now have a wonderful supportive husband. My daughter whom I’m very close to is choosing to live over 3,000km away from home with no family where she is, just friends. My heart literally aches for her. Seeing my daughter only 3-4 times a year is heartbreaking, we have good quality time when she is here but the saying goodbye is devastating to me every single time. I really can’t handle the distance, it leaves me feeling as empty as can be and I have no choice in the matter. She reciprocates the same feeling that it’s hard and I think to myself then why are you doing it. In complete despair.

    1. I feel your pain. I’m in the same situation with my daughter. My daughter lives far far away. Every time I say goodbye I feel horrendous grief. Overwhelming sadness that to be honest, is hard to cope with. I too raised her as a single mom. We are close. I know I need to let her go, and I have. But after every visit I am seriously a wreck and it lasts for weeks. It feels like a part of me goes with her.
      I want to be able to feel happy that I raised an independent daughter. I’m not.

      1. I feel for you. Distance is an obstacle that is very hard to overcome. I wish there was a solution for the grief. I’m sorry you are going through it too.

    2. I 100% relate to what you are saying.
      Im In the very very beginning of the same situation and I can’t eat, sleep, stop crying. Besides the cliche “I need to start my life ” that we’ve all felt…I too think “why” when we do have a great relationship, and enjoy each other’s company so much does it have to be so for away? Although I obviously moved out once..I could never have put my mother through the pain of going so far. That said I’ve never been “successful” in the career/financial aspect of life & the only consolation is that that likely won’t be the case for her, but honestly there is no consoling me, I’m in so much pain and feel this is a depression I may not come out of. Mothering has been my life for so many years and now it litterally feels like it could be the death of me.

      1. Wow… June… you are echoing what my heart is feeling. I lost my 22 year old son last year and just yesterday my 26 year old moved several hundred miles away and he unexpectedly took his cat who I raised as a kitten. So in the last decade I have lost my marriage of 25 years, two homes, two dogs, my childhood best friend, sister and fiancé to cancer, my job, my youthfulness and now my son and cat. I have been crying non-stop since yesterday and I can barely function. On top of all that I’m dealing with having to look for a job and my car broke down yesterday. I am so miserable and lonely. I’m so sorry you are going through this. Many prayers for both of us. This is really bad.

        1. Just a small bit of advice that might help. Get another cat! I’m in the same situation as far as my two daughters
          being so far away. I have two kitty cats and they’re really good company! It makes being alone not quite so hard! I have a significant other but he lives 40 miles away, and we only get to see each other on weekends due to his work situation. My “Boys” are always there to greet me when I come home! So nice to come home not be alone. Also try to find a past time that you enjoy. I take ballroom lessons and love it! Hang in there, dear!

        2. As Laura said, please get another kitten or another animal that bonds closely with you. Know that your cat is bringing joy and company to your son. It might be worth sharing with your son that if the cat becomes in anyway difficult for your son to take care of, it would be a huge gift to have the cat back in your home. As hard as it is to say goodbye to so many things in your life, starting a new relationship with an animal (And new friends) is REALLY important for your psychological health right now as you go through the pain of releasing the past enough to seed the dreams of a happy future. This is being responsible for taking care of yourself. It sounds like you are use to taking care of others. Now it seems like time to give that same love and dedication to yourself. Be a positive example to your sons on how to move forward in life’s hardest times by cultivating loving relationships for yourself for the future, starting with cat is a wonderful idea. Your sons will not only have a giving, loving mother, but one of the strongest mothers ever to look up to for life. And the animal will help you meet the need of nurturing – its hardwired deep in our psyche, the need to care to feel purposeful. It will help more than what logically makes sense.

        3. I am crying now just dropped my 24 year old daughter to the Navy recruiters. I was fortunate to have her here when she got her Associates in one field and Bachelor’s in another as her life decisions changed. The University was close enough to drive to. But now I walked in her empty room as she packed and downsized before she left. I have her pup, fish and car until she eventually gets settled in a year or so. My son left at 18 came back at 36. So I am ready for him to move on again. Daughters are different.

        4. Oh my gosh Raechel! What heartbreak you have endured. You are a strong lady and I hope you can take it forward one step at a time until you can recover both emotionally and financially. Keep your goal at becoming stronger everyday.

      2. I feel exactly the same! I hate this! I feel like I’m never going to be fulfilled and at peace!
        I’ve thought about adopting when my 20 yr old twins leave.
        Being a mom has been my life it’ll never be the same!

  37. Mother’ Day. Daughter lives in another state and the only way I can see my grandchildren is through pics on facebook or video chat on messenger. Seeing pics of my grandchildren being cuddled by their paternal grandmother at my daughter’s house at what was obviously a Mother’s Day party for her has left me feeling jealous, hurt, and depressed. (I didn’t even get a card). I miss my daughter and grandchildren and I shamefully resent that her mother-in-law has taken my place and she gets to have the loving close relationship that I crave so much with my grandchildren. My daughter flippantly tells me that I can fly out to see them but she doesn’t get that I can’t just drop everything for every holiday that comes around. I feel so rejected and angry.

    1. I have a similar issue. I am in the same state but live about 500 miles away and hold down a 40 hour job and when I see post and family pictures of there tribe , I too am hurt and jealous. I have 3 grandchildren and miss them very much and it hurts to see the other grandparents having that great relationship and posting about it hurts me deeply.

  38. OMG….my heart ACHES every time my adult children leave. I never let them see me cry when they go. I do though..sometimes I cry like a baby when they leave and other times my stomach feels sour.

    I can let go, but my love for them is stronger than ever.Life is too short.

    1. Helen i feel your pain my daughter has temporarily moved into her boyfriends family home due to me being at covid high risk due to ill health. we send messages video chat but physically not being able to hug her or have her next to me is breaking me in two and today is her 22nd birthday she did make a visit but we adhered to social distancing policy. when it was time for her to go back as soon as she was out the door i broke down and sobbed for a good hour and now im feeling beyond low she is my only child as i couldnt have anymore i know they say a mothers love is endless but why is this hurting so much

  39. It’s very interesting to read through these responses. I was in a very loving relationship with a single mother and grandmother. When her son, his wife and her grandson moved away our relationship suffered to the point we split up. Her grief became, at least in my view, full on depression.

    I knew she was going through a lot, but these posts help clarify her suffering. She ended things, because she didn’t feel she was meeting her end of the bargain in our relationship. There was no talk about this, just a goodbye and then no more contact.

    I will say that for those of you dealing with a family parting, don’t forget the other people in your life. They can provide support, and they do love you. Don’t look back and regret you hurt or disengaged from people willing to provide the unconditional love you need at such a tough time.

    1. Cooper I’m so glad I read your comment. My son leaves in 10 days to begin his new career in the Navy and he will be stationed very far away. It’s been just the two of us since he was little and he’s been my world in every respect. When he went away to college I was in a terrible depression for months – and he was only 3 1/2 hours away! Now, with the pandemic, I’ve had him home again for the last 2 months and it has been an unexpected blessing to be able to enjoy his company again. My fear is that now it will make this parting all the harder. This time I have a boyfriend who will try to be supportive, but I’m already feeling entirely lost and depressed and my son hasn’t even left yet. I don’t know how I can avoid messing up my relationship, though I’m going to try. I just don’t feel like I have the energy to combat the depression and be a decent partner. Living for my son has just been natural as a single mom. You pour all of yourself into it – so it feels like losing yourself. I’m going to try to be fair to my boyfriend and try to keep it in perspective. I’m sorry you lost your girlfriend though I can totally understand why she might feel as she did. Good luck to you. You seem to be a great and caring person.

  40. Not sure if one more comment will help. I’m 68, daughter is 42. She just got on a plane this morning after a 3-day visit. I can barely breathe. We talk every day on the phone. In fact, she called me from the airport before she left. I know we will have a very satisfying give-and-take adult friendship over the phone until I see her again. Money is not a problem, I can go see her anytime.
    And I can’t breathe, and I’m Googling “sad because daughter went home”.
    I’m no help. But, you’re not the only one.

    1. My son moved out one week after turning 18. First he totaled his car. Then my husband told his gf who just barly moved in with us to move out. So her and my son left. I still have some hatred towards my husband cause I feel it was his fault my son left. But ever since he left I have not been motivated to do any thing. Cook, clean, shop, not one thing. I work my partime job that I hate, come home go to sleep. Instill myself into tv, sleep wake up do the same thing. I usually grab mcdonalds to date cause I dnt want to cook. I feel alone. I cried off and on for a month after he moved out.

    2. I know how u feel. I’m soo depressed my son left. I got no motivation at all. I should be happy to be free and do what I want but I’m actually not and I havent done one thing that I wouldnt have been able to do with a kid. Im sorry ur feeling the same. Sometimes I feel like just checking into a nut house.

      1. Reading these comments has helped me realize I’m not crazy & not alone. But “am alone”. I was a single mom for 12 years. Always me and my girl until I met my husband. At 19 my daughter decided she wanted to go across the country to college. I was so confused as to why she wouldn’t stay on the East coast somewhere. But as a mom I didn’t want to hold her back from a new experience. Even tho I secretly wanted to yell at her and tell her pick another school. Part of me wished I did because she’d at least be closer. Fast forward to her graduating and being 21. She wants to try to make a career out there and stay. My current living situation is not normal. We always rented bc we couldn’t ever get ahead for NY living. While she was in college over a year ago , my landlord told us we had to move. And I wanted to get another apartment until we figured our life out but my husband insisted we move in with his mom to save money for a house (thinking my daughter would be coming back) … well that goal was a year. Now it’s been a year & half and it’s been nothing but toxic. My daughter is not comfortable when she does visit bc of my mother in laws old school ways. So it also pushes her to not want to be around, and it kills me. Now, being my daughter wants to stay out there, I go back & forth with moving out there to be with her, because she’s my world and the thought of not continuing to see her grow up more is making me sick to my stomach to the point I’ve stopped eating as much & I vomit to make me feel somewhat better. I always feel depressed. But haven’t been able to see her since March because of stupid covid. Being around other people and their kids gets me jealous, even though they are younger kids. I had my daughter at 18 so I’m still young. I feel like I’m not done being mom. Being near by to go out for dinner , shopping. Close vacations. But the problem is, she’s still young and where she’s living might not be her forever. Her ultimate goal is Cali which I don’t understand because she says she can’t really stay in NY being it’s expensive but isn’t Cali the same? I don’t think I can swing Cali if I can barely swing NY. All I know is now my husband is pressuring me everyday to make a decision & also he’s picking random states we’ve never even been to. And it’s making my depression even worse, the thought of leaving our hometown without her. And knowing she’d prob never move to where we are. If it was up to me I would stay in NY until she figures out her life & then try to be near her. But I guess that’s not normal. And it’s killing my marriage. Part of me feels like I can’t even be a wife anymore. I have resentment that we never had an established place of residence that my daughter can come home to if things don’t workout. And when I tell him things I cry, every single time. And he’s saying what I’m feeling isn’t normal that I’m too attached and should speak to someone. I’m sorry but this is my only child. I don’t see myself getting better.

    3. It is so very hard, I know. My daughter and 5 year old grand daughter moved on May 11th to live in California. I moved to Florida to care for my grand daughter and now they are gone. With the pandemic, we have chosen not to visit each other. I am still so sad not having them close by. Even though it’s been over 4 months, I still can’t get use to it.

  41. My youngest is getting married and moving halfway across the country. I raised them as a single mom- my only dream in life was to be a mother. I waited all my life looking forward to it and finally had them in my mid 30’s. So now my dream- the day to day parenting, at least- has ended. (Although one is still close to home-I still will miss the other so much.) But in reading all these comments about the parting after the visits being so hard- and I know it will be very painful- I thought of my cousin who lost their daughter to leukemia at age 17. They fully and completely lost her (until Heaven, that is). They would love to have visits with her a couple times a year, even with the pain of the parting after the visit. They would love to be able to skype with her. See her face and hear her voice. Maybe I should focus on the fact that at least my daughter is still here- and I will see her on skype soon and in person in 6 months. Unlike my cousins. Maybe, in remembering some other parents don’t have their child at all anymore, I can be happy and satisfied with what I still will have- her on the earth at least- and appreciate that.

    1. As I sit here empty and heartbroken, I am searching the internet for answers, something to calm me and help me through this.

      Being a single mum for 35 years pretty much, my oldest left many years ago, but I dont remember the absolute abandonment I am feeling now.

      My daughter, 21 is moving out with her guy, she has eased me in to it, but it hurts so much all the same, then… within days, my 20 year old tells me hes moving out too, in with his dad as our home no longer feels like home.

      I started a relationship 3 months ago, bit whirlwind and this person lives here too. They arent too fond on him either so it makes it even worse.

      My son, moving in with his dad hurts me like aknife in my heart. I raised and supported these kids when their dad (who I met as a single mum of the oldest) walked out for their step mum. No support, basically Ive done this alone, to a degree. His father has remained in touch with them though and slowly stepped up for the kids, even helping 2 get jobs, my 20yo and 15yo. Of course Im happy they have a good relationship, its what I wanted, but to leave me to move in with his family because this doesnt feel like home … crushes me and I dont see light at the end of this tunnel. I actually dont see a point going on. Why? That frightens me to no end, I have great support, but I feel so rejected.

      1. I’m in your position right now! I have a 16yr old left & she hates it here. Typical teen & wants out too. Hates her parents. Seems like we all live separate lives & im scared now. My 19yo moving out with boyfriend & his mom! She spends 24/7 with her & I feel very pushed away. I been crying myself . I don’t know what I’m going to do. I feel like it’s my fault. I worked so much the last 6 years. What do we do? Seek therapy?

        1. I feel pushed away too, she wont even go on a walk with me or watch a movie with me she just wants to spend all her time with her bff

      2. I’m in your position right now! I have a 16yr old left & she hates it here. Typical teen & wants out too. Hates her parents. Seems like we all live separate lives & im scared now. My 19yo moving out with boyfriend & his mom! She spends 24/7 with her & I feel very pushed away. I been crying myself . I don’t know what I’m going to do. I feel like it’s my fault. I worked so much the last 6 years. What do we do? Seek therapy?

      3. Sad to say I have lived through a similar experience. When you say you don’t see a point going on, I reached that point as well. It is a pain in the heart that is indescribable however, I did go on.

        I don’t know if you believe in God or as I like to call him, LOVE, but there is something in this world bigger than each of us. That something bigger regardless of what you call it, loves you.

        I Just imagined, that whatever that force is, decided the way things were going I was never going to be happy. No matter how good a mother, how good a wife I was I wasn’t being loved and respected as I should have been.

        God said, you will not treat my little girl that way. He took everyone away from me is how I saw it. In reality he took me away from all of them! It has been 12 years since then. The road back has been hard for all of us but now, even my ex husband, his wife and new child love me!

        Never give up, give in, to God. He has a much better plan for each of us.

        1. Thank you for that hope Lori,

          I am completely and utterly alone now for the first time in my life and I was crying and yelling at God earlier… I was asking Him why He allowed me to be born into such a painful world where you lose things over and over again. I feel soooo alone right now.

          1. Rachael,
            God didn’t intend for the world to have so much pain, but the sin of man changed things. Our hope is now in Jesus Christ who died for all of our sins. He loves us and gives us hope and strength to carry on. Yes, life is painful but it is wonderful knowing that we have a friend in Jesus who understands every emotion that we are having.
            I left my two sons and grand babies to move to another state to help my aging parents. The boys have moved on with their lives and I am an emotional wreck. I pray a lot and ask God to help me with my pain and give me guidance on how to get my emotional needs met. I think that I need a pet to love on! 😊
            You are not alone, have hope!

          2. Rachel, I’m so sorry for all you have been through. I’ve lost many of the same things as you have and it was heartbreaking, and the only reason I survived was for my children. Now both are moving out of state with the new men in their lives and I can’t imagine how I am going survive. Everything I looked forward to during hard times is gone now also. The pain is unbearable. My heart goes out to you. K

      4. I know this is an old post that no one will probably read but my heart is bleeding so badly for my youngest
        I just was not ready for him to leave yet I really don’t know why I should even hold on thank you so much for posting ladies
        it lets me know I’m not alone

    2. I’m so glad that I found this site tonight. I’m in the Midwest and my 27 year old daughter has been working in Hawaii for the last 9 months. She’s coming back March 8th but will only be here for a couple of weeks. I’m divorced and she’s been living with my ex since she was 15. They live a couple of miles away from me and until she started her travel nursing last year I would see her a few times a week. I would help her study, we go on nature walks, make dinner, have long talks. I’ve got a son who’s 30 and owns a home 15 miles from me but stays with his girlfriend 30 miles from me a lot. He doesn’t call or text much and when he does stop by it’s just to switch vehicles since he keeps one in my garage. Every time he stops it’s only for 5 minutes or so and he beats feet out of here. He and I were always close and I just don’t understand what has happened to our relationship. I’m heartbroken over it and am wondering how I can just focus on enjoying whatever time I get with my daughter knowing that she’ll be leaving again so soon. I’m feeling abandoned. It’s good to know I’m not alone in my feelings.

    3. How beautiful Nancy. Your reminder above, is all important- the fact that they are safe, healthy, and we are still able to see them ‘in the flesh’ on occasion. No, it does not make it easy. Yes, the pain of realizing there are no ‘pop ins’, and overcoming somehow the hope they would have settled only a car ride away. Of my four children, one lives overseas, and 2 are taking jobs in other states this Summer. Only one will be 3 hours away finishing her final year of University. And then where will she go…

  42. I’m glad I found this post. It’s been a rocky road for my husband and I for the past >4 years. Since my daughter graduated in highschool, she moved out and back in 8 times in the last 2 years and now leased an apartment which is qite expensive because she also bought a dog. She’s our only daughter and we love her so much, but it seems that she can’t wait to be on her own. She dreamed of becoming a doctor, her mind is not into it, failed and dropped her courses, took one or 2 pre-req courses for nursing and then ultimately stopped and took a gap year. She’s been serving at 2 restaurants and earning good money. When she was at home, we told her if she’s not in school and working FT, she might as well share in the expenses and she hated it. She treats the house as if we are strangers, she only stays in her room or goes out with friends or work. We’re strangers in our own home. She got another dog and we told her we could not take care of another one because of our back problems due to accident and asked if she could return it for now until the other dog gets older. She said, she’s leaving with the dog. So now, she’s on her own and works 2 jobs and she vowed she will never come back home. No matter how much we beg for her to come home and us pay for her tuition so she can focus in school, it all went nowhere. Her heart and mind are not into it. So now, she rarely communicates with us. Before, whenever she calls, we’re right there in an instant. Now we felt we need to give her space and allow her to navigate life on her own. If we are no longer have a space in her heart, we can’t do anything but continue to pray for her safety and that God will guide her decisions. If she feels down the road to go back to school, it’s her decision. I just hope that she at least come and visit us, but that’s me, not her.

  43. Wow! I’m glad I found this post. I have twins that are 18 now. I’m a single dad who raised them since they were 3. I’ve never remarried and in fact stopped dating several times because they didn’t like the person. My daughter moved in with my mom a while back after my dad died. My son now though is ready to move out , and I’m not sure how to handle it. I guess I’ve been way over protective always because I worried so much about them , but I guess I’ve wronged them by being that way. No matter what life threw at me , I always had them and now faced with the fact they are adults and I’m about to be in my house alone hurts. I don’t know how to make this transition. My heart breaks knowing it’s over. They no longer are my little children and I no longer can make their choices for them or protect them from this world. Not even sure this is normal for a man to feel this , but it for sure hurts. I don’t even know what I’ll do with my life now. I feel lost to say the least. I sure hope I can find some peace with it all.

    1. I certainly will say it’s normal for me. To me, it seems like you are just a good, loving parent. Good luck.

      1. Hi Bob, I hope you are doing ok. I can totally relate , my son is moving across the country in a few months and I too have been horribly depressed. I can’t understand why and I am just so upset. I have been reaching out to friends and crying my heart out. If you have people in your life that care about you then maybe you could try reaching out. I am lucky I have a good councilor too, maybe you could find someone to help you work through your grief . Hang in there and be kind to yourself .

      2. Hi Bob i know how you feel. I moved away from all my kids a few years ago but I always came back and visited I only moved 2 1/2 hours away but I was also in a relationship that brought me to Kansas part time for a month here in there and then I will come back so I would stay with my kids but now I’m moving back to where my kids live which is Broward County Florida and just found out my middle child who is one of my daughters is moving to North Georgia and she has to my grandkids ages one and four and I’m devastated

      3. I feel the same way, my daughter send me a text that she was moving in with her boyfriend in week. Tomorrow is the day we help her move and I am so heartbroken I can’t even help her pack.

    2. Thinking of you. I know the feeling. Not much to say right now because coming to grips – but know others are out here.

    3. My son just left Sunday afternoon, 1200 miles away now. It has been he and I all these years, even when he served in the Marine Corps. He has moved in and out several times over the last 4 years, but not 1200 miles away! I am having major meltdowns. The sight of anything belonging to him triggers me. I have had to close the door to the guest room / his room. I know your lost, hurt and depressed feelings. I’m right there with you – being a human parent. So what now? I have no clue.

    4. Feel exactly the same at the moment but my daughter is just choosing to spend most of her time and sleeping at her boyfriends parents home

    5. Oh my I have twins also. I can’t bear the thought of them being gone! I had to get on a anti depression med bc I was crying all the time. And this is just the anticipating of them adulting, leaving! What will I do when it happens!

  44. I have these same feelings; my kids come to visit and I cry for days. I feel abandoned but they are grown men and are very successful. Is it because, I no longer have anyone to depend on me? To just sit and chat about nothing? I am remarried to a wonderful man and I feel so bad for him. He has to look at his wife cry over grown children leaving after a visit; must think I am a wack job and need to be under psychiatric care. Granted my youngest lives a few states away and my oldest lives in another country. It is hardest to say goodbye to my oldest; I was a stay at home mom and he went everywhere with me for over 2 years. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to divert my feelings to positive memories and excitement on our next visits?

    1. I too have the same feelings. My daughter is due to fly back home in two days. She has come for Xmas/ NewYear.She is a grown adult and has her life and left home quite a few years ago and is doing well in her life. I just hate the goodbye at airports. I work myself up into a right state. I wish she just lived closer. I want her to visit of course but just hate feeling so bereft when she has to leave. Nice to know others feel the same as me.

    2. Reaching out within days of my daughter having her second child, a baby girl. But over the years, after ending a 25 year relationship, and my daughter being my little girl forever, I’m still so reminiscent and practically debilitated mentally and emotionally over letting go and moving forward in celebration of a second grandchild. I still spend way too much time thinking of her as my little girl, our moments together, yesteryears. Being an “all star” father has/was my everything. I get all of these shares and keep the faith that I’ll move on to another life and role as a grandpa and still her dad. I know no other love that I have for my daughter and her new journey as hers to cherish but why is it so difficult for me to welcome a new era and journey for myself…after all this is life. Probably answering my own questions in that yearning for replays of yesteryears is not healthy nor what my daughter wants since it’s NOW that she needs her dad more than ever to enjoy the present journey. Letting go with love.

    3. Same jere. Oldest was my best friend when his dad got hurt. He joined the army and it about killed me. I got divorced, he got married and ended up near my new hubby and me for years. He and his fa.ily which includes my granddaughter just got stationed very far awAy. I am a disaster. My youngest is grown and travels for work. I feel gut punched and depleted.

  45. My youngest daughter just got married Sunday. I am so sad for no reason! She has been living with her bf/now husband for several years, so she hasn’t been at home. After both of my daughters moved out 5 or 6 years ago, I divorced my husband (he developed substance abuse issues- I wasn’t waiting for them to leave- I just gave up waiting for him to get his life together) and moved in with my elderly parents to care for them. I like her husband. He has a good job. They bought a house. They want to start a family. I love the idea of grandbabies. So why am I sad?! It is just the let down after the rush of wedding prep? Is it depression over my failed marriage? (I am seeing a wonderful man now and living my best life, so I am not at all regretful about not being married- but maybe feeling a little bit like a failure in selecting my ex-husband to begin with?)
    It has been three days. If this goes on much longer it will really start to affect my life. I’m already barely functioning at work and at home.
    Is this just feeling sorry for myself? Narcissism? Some other unreasonable thing?

  46. Reading all these comments makes me realize I am not alone with my feelings. I am a single mom with 3 adult children that all live with their significant others. I am alone. The house has been empty over 4 years. I’m in the Midwest. The oldest moved to the east coast and is in law school. The next is in the Marines. He has either been stationed on the west coast or in Japan. I didn’t see him for 2 ½ years at one point and he’s about to go back there and plans on staying for a number of years. My daughter lives ½ hour way, but has never invited me to her place. She doesn’t have time to come over or get together. She’s always busy. They all are. I thought I was close to them; especially my daughter. But I must have been wrong. I wanted to raise them to be independent, but not to forget about me! They don’t call. They don’t write. They rarely visit. When the one in the military does come home on leave, I wind up being miserable the day before he leaves. He’ll sleep in and I dwell on the fact that he’s about to leave. It hurts so much that I almost wish he’d go then. It actually seems easier when I don’t know when I’ll see any of them again and try to forget that I spent more than ½ my adult life raising them. None of them have children which I guess is good since I’d be sad that I wouldn’t get to see the grandchildren grow up. Yet how I wish I could be a grandma. I’ve been told things may change when they have children. But I don’t think so. I’m envious of my friends that have grandchildren that live near them. Those of you with a spouse, at least aren’t completely alone. I wish I had found someone for me in the past 19 years I’ve been without a partner. I don’t even date. Guys seems to want the gorgeous women with the long hair and fancy nails. I’m just a down to earth person trying to figure out what’s the point of me being alive if I have no one to love and no one that cares about me.

    1. Cathy I feel your pain. I still have a son who’s 24 living with us, my husband has had a brain injury, which leaves him physically impaired and not as quick mentally, but he’s still my soul mate. My daughter and family, two grandsons now 6 and 4, are living near London, we live in Cornwall UK. I miss those kids so much, but I do have my husband and believe it or not I do wish that my son was able to move out with his lovely girl friend, but their jobs aren’t paying enough to buy or rent their own property. I’d be sad to see them go, but I’m even sadder they can’t afford to go. We can’t win with feelings can we? My husband’s health is not great, he’s 60 and I’m 62 still working part time, and I fear for what might be in the future. My friend has just lost her partner and she’s lost but her two grown up kids are still with her. She still feels lost. It’s an awful human part of life, I’m dreading the ‘what might bes’, and I do feel your heartache. We are all in this together but we have to get through it alone. Take care.

    2. My only child and son moved to america from ireland two years ago and the intense sadness and missing him is unbearable. It is as raw as the day I found out that he was leaving. I now have a grandson and I miss seeing him grow up. People say that I can visit but the good is taken out of it because I have to leave and for a good three days before I leave I’m in bits. Then there’s the driving to the airport and then the goodby’s and I’m alone again and not worth talking to and I wonder too what is the point… It doesn’t get easier. It’s the one thing I always dreaded, him moving to another country. No amount of people telling me to do this or join that group will help. I want my son near me to be able to visit and see each other whenever we feel like it nothing else will help me. There’s nothing I can do.

      1. I am so very sorry , I feel for you and your pain . Please know you are not alone I am sending you love and lots of warm huge hugs xox

        1. So happy I found you all. I’m so missing my son and he lives close by. He has a lovely fiance who I also miss but get to see every week or so for girl time.
          What I miss is spending time with my son – you know, hanging out, having a cup of coffee, I’m not asking for the world.
          I’m so proud of the person he is, just wish he actually wanted to spend time together, instead of feeling obligated.
          I know this sound selfish and it is – they lead busy lives – but I deeply miss my incredible son.

          1. It makes sense. I deeply miss my kids, at times it feels as if my heart literally hurts. Thanks for sharing😊

        2. I am not alone thanks goodness. I raised my grandson now he’s 25 and moving because of no jobs in our area. I’ve been sick over it for weeks but I know that’s what has to happen, it still makes me so sad. Don’t we serve a great God that gives us Love and hold us nearer when we’re weak and have those lonely feelings when our KIDS leave it’s like I feel my heart drop. Whew!

      2. I feel you completely and mine are only 12 hours away. But with work and how expensive it is to fly or even drive it is hard, I miss my daughter more than anything in the world and they have only been gone 6 months and it feels like a lifetime. I just start crying for no apparent reason. My husband who is not her father does not understand what i am going thru as his daughter and he are not close. I just want to stop feeling so alone all the time. Yes I have my husband but it is not the same. My daughter and I are extremely close for most of her life it was just her and I. I just do not know how to get past this. We are seeing them for Thanksgiving and already i am thinking about having to say goodbye again. I hate it.

      3. I am experiencing the same as you; my only child lives only 1 hour away from me but I hardly ever see him. He is married and I have been told that he now has “his own family.” I try to have friends and keep myself busy but nothing takes away the pain of feeling that I am just an option instead of a prioirity. I was always close to my parents and was a part of their lives until they passed away. It is difficult for me to see how many others are dealing with the same problem! I don’t know if I will ever understand.

        1. I LOVE your comment about wishing we were a “priority and not just an option”. Soo glad that I found you all! This holiday ( as all of them can be) has been brutal, my boys are 32 and 36 and I am so proud of them, but I can’t ever get past not REALLY knowing them any more, they are launched, and that’s healthy and my life should feel full, but I grieve profoundly regularly, it can only be described as grief over that connection to my boys that I will never have again. Thankyou thankyou thankyou for letting me know that I am not alone…

          1. Julie, you have worded my feelings so precisely! My two sons, ages 25 and 29, just flew to their homes in a different state, and my tears started flowing. The holiday went just fine, they are doing well, but we don’t see each other enough to have that same connection we did years ago. It’s no one’s fault; they both work full time and are in serious relationships with wonderful ladies. However, both are so busy….and I’m not a top priority anymore….

      4. I know how you feel. My daughter born and raised in New York moved to U.K. when she married her husband. To make matters worse she has an autistic sister! I am overwhelmed with depression! Everyone tells me how wrong I am to feel upset. I am appreciative that this site exists. Atleast I know I am not the only person who feels this way. I feel s ashamed since you are supposed to be happy they are getting on with their lives. I wish my daughter married someone from here! Or her husband would have considered living here. They have a farming business so there is no chance of that happening .

      5. I am right there with you. My son lives in CA and he is visiting me right now. This is his last full day here and I’m a mess. So depressed and sad. I’m all alone. I work full time, I’m 60, with no sign of ever meeting anyone to share life with. My son’s dad, my ex, lives in CA, and is remarried. They see my son fairy often but I am lucky to see him once a year. Like you, people tell me to join something or find a hobby. It’s very hard at my age.

    3. Omg feel you i stayed alone my daughter getting married the wrong person i feel so sad i raised my kids and they only look for me need something i thought as got old would take care me and no its just as you raised grown them dont want part off you no more i feel miserable sad very sad.

    4. I feel the same. I do have grandchildren but I have to fly to see them. My adult children have very busy lives. The only holiday we get is Thanksgiving. My Psychiatrist had me in tears yesterday because he told me he wouldn’t treat me if I kept drinking. I need him for medication because sometimes I feel suicidal. My husband is controlling and we have moved many times. He says we’ll be here in St Louis for 5 to 7 years. He is 68 but his job allows that. Drinking was the only way I could handle things but he says the meds don’t work if I drink so I am on day 2 and depressed. I get 2 Xanax a day and no more. It’s really hard when your children like you said are independent. My only support I ever felt I had was my mother and she is 93 and in hospice. I don’t know what to do. Talking to therapist next week.

    5. It is all so hard. The literal distance is something I didn’t plan for. I guess we all think our kids will grow up and live near us. They are all so busy. I have one that’s a military spouse. I’m like you…reading all of these let’s me know I’m not alone.

      1. Reading these posts make my non- stop tears feel a little more manageable! My youngest son just flew back home. My husband and I moved to the other side of the country…to a more temperate climate four months ago. Our oldest son and his girlfriend are planning on moving here in a year…I sure hope so!! My middle son works in the big city and lives in a tiny apartment 3,000 miles away. My youngest son is doing graduate work 3,000 miles away. I thought this would be great for everyone’s personal growth, and that they would all come here in time. I don’t think I was realistic. I am so sad and overwhelmed with grief. What have we done!?

    6. I know how you feel. My two daughters just went back after three weeks at home. My son lives ten minutes away and says oh I will come and see you but when he does, he’s on the phone or stays for 5 minutes. I then moan at him and we spend my limited time arguing. My girls text but the oldest one is always too busy for me and the youngest gets fed up with my messages. Husband doesn’t get it when I say I’m sad and ends up
      Not talking to me or shouting that I’m miserable. I have spent all day sitting in my bedroom crying and thinking about Christmas. I always spend the last day with the girls miserable and tearful so they just keep their distance from me which makes me even more sad and feeling not wanted. I’m sitting typing this in floods of tears and feeling so sick.

    7. Cathy,
      I’m in a similar situation. I’m listening to a podcast called The Life Coach School with Brooke Castillo. It has helped ME move on with MY life. I’m using her tools and looking forward. It has worked for me. Maybe check her out. Blessings and prayers. A fellow mom, Connie

  47. Wow, so many different feelings and thoughts. My daughter just left, again, for home miles away. It never gets easier and now that I’m aging I think it’s actually harder. In the back of my mind, you’re always wandering, is the last time I’ll see her. She comes in about every 2-3 years . I cannot afford airfare and it’s too far to drive. When she comes in she has to split her time between her father’s family and then with me. It’s just me, and there is a bunch in his family so my time is pretty limited. I have another daughter who lives in the same town as I, I only see her maybe 3-4 times a year. She is consumed by her Dad’s family, has half sisters with nieces and nephew. So, it’s hard, it’s something I’ve always struggled with and cried a lot. I keep telling myself, they’re happy, that’s all I ever wanted for them. But I still miss them terribly.

    1. I spent my day today in tears when my 25 year old daughter went back to her home which is 2 states away. We see her a few times each year and it tears me apart when she leaves or I leave from visiting her. It doesn’t get any easier.

  48. Reading all these comments, and for the most part they are from mothers. This feeling we have towards our babies never leaves. Dads just don’t feel the same. I have enjoyed some parts of being a mom, and hated others. To struggle and love and try to be the best mom for 35 years just to be told I have failed is just too hard. I really don’t recommend having children if you are looking for friends, they are a season in your life.

    1. I am a single Dad whose wife left three years ago. She is the fun parent and my sons have lived with me while in college. They graduate this week, and move to NY next month for their new jobs. Dads do feel this too, especially when the mother is not really the primary caregiver. That can still be the case for a married couple. Don’t underestimate that either or both parent can feel this same depression and sadness. My sons and I are very close and I we have worked hard to prepare for this very difficult time.

      1. I agree Dan. My husband cried daily for over a week after our son and his wife moved to Ireland from NY. I cried outright for two days but was strangely composed after that. My husband told me he thought I would be the “basket case.” Every person feels emotions but may express them differently.

    2. This has been a refuge the past 24 hours for my breaking heart. I have had 7 years of loss and trauma and now my twin daughters have both moved thousands of miles away. They are my only living biological women in my life! As an Adult Adoptee it pulls the loss thread right down to the bottom of my soul. I actually found this site looking for help in navigating this final Season of Life where all the losses tend to stack up in our Soul and the work we seem to have left is all about Release and being Alone.

      Thank you, THANK you each and every one of you Moms for sharing the searing pain that this kind of Parting Grief actually is like! Every woman I have met as an Empty nester has shared this heartache, and my older friends tell me it never goes away – it just changes shape as the Parting goes on and on. I am 63 and mother of 5, spend over 30 years raising and being the Resource of Love and training, presence and strength – it truly hurts to be forgotten and I refuse to be invisible! I am choosing to speak up in a more forthright manner about how my kids ignoring me feels, and ASK for respect. The married ones are now in wealthy families and they never say No to any of that side of the family’s smallest request. My daughter just moved from Washington to Baltimore for her husband’s residency (5 more years too far to reach and too busy to make time for us). I found out at a huge going away event her MIL threw for her son that my daughter had spend days crying in one of his second cousins (from out of state, never met her before) arms about how much she loved all of us and her twin was her Best Friend and she Loved us SO much…..this is the Cousin bending our ear for an hour….but she NEVER spoke any words like that to a Single One of us!! She was famous for crocodile tears when she was little and it just feels like she is all about being Famous and popular, actually spending time or calling us – she’s Too Busy! Once she was my dear little companion in our family , I stayed home to school them and create events for other families – now she can’t take time to even call me or let me know what is going on…..I am supposed to “follow her” on fb and instagram to know anything!!
      It makes me so tired to try to feel love for her anymore, she’s just a flashy taker and I don’t respect her husband – he wants to work as few hours as possible to make the most money; he won’t even speak to my husband or I, runs up behind us to pretend to connnect and then rushes off to his friends, family or video games. It feels like he’s a needy boy that just shopped for our daughter, and only wants to talk to our youngest son and get him out drinking with him. I come from an alcoholic family and it breaks my heart that my adult kids think the coolest thing in the world is to be a bartender and know all the liquor and drinks in the world. Many people in both my adopted and birth family have died at early ages from alcoholism, I raised them to want to live a healthy drug-free life – until he changed our values. What shocks me the most is to see how young doctors are totally into drinking and smoking cigars what happened to Healthy Living??
      I am sorry for being so long, it’s been a long heart breaking season the past 10 years. My mother told me many wise things, right before my kids finished highschool she leaned over one day and told me “These are the BEST YEARS of your LIFE – enjoy them!” She was warning me about the Cliff Ahead. Later in her early 80’s she told me: every decade has its work, every decade has its blessing. The work of the Empty nester seems to be Living with a Hole in your heart; I am choosing today to not let it invade my Soul – but to nourish and cherish the Inner Life that only I can nurture.

      Blessedly, I have a few kids who truly cherish me and we have a sweet connection despite thousands of miles – they make me feel valued and Worth their Time and Attention. What’s so hard is the great chasm with the others such that I feel my once whole Mama heart is now a jigsaw puzzle.
      May each of you know how Valuable You Are! I will be coming here to get my bearings often – we NEED to know we are not alone, and this does indeed, Hurt!

      1. I am a grandma for the first time, I’m 59. My son is going on an interview this weekend In Texas. My youngest left for Pittsburgh last may. I dealt with my daughter but I can’t even bare the thought of loosing my 3 month old grand baby. Buckets of tears. I I don’t understand why family is so unimportant these days too many people. I know we’re supposed to support and love our children success. I’m feeling very selfish and very sad😔 they do want me and their dad in their life, I must be grateful for this. I just can’t get a grip.

    1. Our son moved cross country a few months ago and I feel like I am on a-roller coaster… I have another son in Colorado and six years ago a son who passed away. I am very conscious of
      Not trying to micromanage since the death of our son – it would be easy to do. The tough part is the grief periodically that after an investment in family, he has moved away. I am happy for him but sad for me. I recall resenting my mom when I moved away and did not want to be manipulated by guilt. Guess it has come back to haunt me so I act as if everything is ok which, some days it is. Tough part two; most of his friends are still around, not wandering to far. I would take a few states away if on the same side of the coast! I sometimes ask myself why me! In my moments of self indulgement… it is the new norm. It is said “you give them roots so they have wings.” I only wish the wings would have not carried him so far. His girlfriend lives in Calif too & in my worst moments I tear up thinking every holiday will be spent with her family who resides there too. I put a full stop to that thinking when it happens because I don’t really know about the future. Meanwhile, back at the ranch I just got a text from him asking how my day was and that he loves us. A lovely surprise! I lost one child and I don’t want to lose another through alienation. He knows how I feel, I shared it and told him I am struggling a bit. I also told him call often, live an interesting life and love big.

      1. What a wonderful post Jill. I too have good days and bad days, even close to a year after my son moved to Ireland from NY. We just have to be happy that we love them, and they love us right back. That never changes.

      2. Thank you for posting. I’ve been thinking I’m the only one out there who feels this level of despair and often wonder if I’m crazy. My son also moved across country and I miss him terribly. I try to hold it together when we talk as I don’t want to guilt trip him. I understand it’s a parent’s role to raise a child to be independent and happy but it just seems unfair that we give 25 or so years of our life to be left behind.

        1. I thought I was the only one who felt this way. After my son moved out 6 years ago, and lives in another city, I still miss him terribly and when I see him I feel deep sadness because I miss being close to him and seeing him often. It never gets better. I thought by now it would. Staying busy, getting together with friends, nothing makes it better. Why is it easier for some and so hard for others? I kept thinking something was wrong with me.

  49. I love to group besides all attentive to winning more tangled public problems as regards our role, network with me through my forum conceding that you think the same.

    1. I can so relate to this. 4 out of 5 of our children went to college and now are planning to move away, states away. We can’t afford to go see them much, it’s all about their lives, no family loyalty or consideration for the pain they caused. My pain turns to rage. I am enraged now. I feel so betrayed. We sacrificed so much to build this family and now they are just tearing it all apart. I honestly flip flop between crying and swearing. I love them so much and am desperate for their attention. The worst part is that they want me to be emotional supportive of them, they want me to be the same mom I have always been. If I don’t answer their phone calls the get upset, 5 kids calling me multiple timessages a day forcing me to either have a long distance relationship or none at all. Sometimes I get so angry that I wish I never had kids. I don’t believe this is right. I think k families are supposed to stay together, work together and pull together. This just feels like self centeredness. I know they have the right to live their own lives, I just feel like they should think of someone besides themselves. I am probably wrong but this just sucks.

      1. I completely understand your rage and emotions your going through. I have one daughter and one son I’m a single mom who devoted my life to give them theirs. Now the time has came that my 24 year old daughter feels like she wants to move 950 miles away and I am devastated and angry and sad. But I pray that she will find value in family and come back one day. This is so stinking hard but I’m putting my faith in my God and faith knowing His plans for her are much better than mine.

        1. I get ALL of these situations. My 27 year old daughter is moving from Washington state to Vermont in 30 days to live with the man she loves. I’m retiring from after 20 years due to health. I was diagnosed 3 years ago at 55 with Parkinson’s. I feel like I’m dying, cry all the time and wonder how will I continue to breath. How will I get out of bed? What for?

          1. I can relate. I cry because I miss my 29 year old son. I have only him in this world. I see him and so proud and happy for him and am fine and happy for a few weeks then miss him so much I cry. I moved cross country to ar least be in the same stare as he is. I have had health issues and have no friends yet here. Things will get better but for years this has been going on. We are very close. He cares. He texts me. We can talk current events, politics, films, books. I raised a good man. I pretend I am ok around him, but just holding on emotionally as I am depressed because my health and finances are a mess. I need a therapist or womans group again.

      2. I’m in a similar sitauation. My 2 adult children moved out a few years ago. The single eldest decided to start a new life in the opposite end of the world (21 plus hours flight to be precise) Decided that he prefers to live his life overseas and return to the country of origin of his grandparents.
        The youngest one has completed university degree a few years ago and will follow with a one way ticket to Europe soon, no plans on when they will return, with his partner to get overseas work experience / travel.
        As the children grew up, we were quite a normal family. My parents being European were overly controlling with me and I could not go out and wasn’t allowed to study at university as it was 2 hours away and that would mean moving out of home as a single girl. I later readlized my mom didn’t have many friends having migrated to a new country so basically she kept me close. I realised later she didn’t really have friends, just acquaintances, and didn’t care to have any either as she had her daughters . Also she didn’t encourage me to make friendships and I was never allowed to go out without her. I resented that years later and was determined to let give my children some freedom of choice as they researched their adulthood and encouraged them to make friends and do activities.
        Apologies for long story but basically my parents micromanaged my life to the point of who I married . To top that off I feel like I don’t have anything in common with my husband, really like room mates and I’m the cook, cleaner and gardener.
        My husband refuses to travel anywhere, as he has elderly parents to care for. My sibling has gone over retirement age and does not want to give up work, has a big family and I’m the one doing the most for my mum.
        My children appear to only think of themselves. They actually never invite us to their social activities. It’s all about them and their friends. I don’t say anything in fear of turning them against us.
        The eldest has taken a cut in earnings overseas and has just moved into and virtually taken over his grandparents old house.
        Life is miserable at the moment…Just boring old husband and the oldies.

        1. I’m in a similar situation but reversed. 8 months ago I packed up and moved from Canada to the US and married a man 2 months later. Back home I have a 21 and 22 year old son and daughter. Moving was way harder then I imagined! I did not realize how hard it would be to be away from my family, whom I have always been close to. I miss the kids terribly and feel such guilt and that I have abandoned them. I know they miss me too, they have said all the want is for me to be happy. But I am not. My husbands and my relationship has been rocky from the beginning, I have not been able to legally work, drained all my savings, feel very isolated as it is just my husband and myself 24/7. He is not close to his family, except his 23 year old daughter who lives with us. He has no close friends at all. It is all very overwhelming. I am so torn between staying here and wanting to go back home. Anyone have a similar experience?

          1. Tamara, I moved from New York to Florida recently. I was fine for a while but now I miss my adult children terribly. One has a baby on the way. It is not as easy to fly home for everything. I have a good husband, he is very happy here, however I feel lost now that some months have passed. My husband and I thank goodness have been together for many years. He is so happy and says “you can go back and visit” but it is not the same as getting in the car and going, when my family needs my help in a day’s time. Us mom’s suffer the most. Susan

      3. Wow. All these comments and stories really hit home. I’m blown away by how much pain we moms share. Thank you all for sharing your stories. Although my pain is still very heavy It provides some comfort knowing I’m not alone.

        My 2 daughters each live a plane ride away. I can’t just drive and have dinner with them. We need to travel to see each other, so it involves planning and money. Needless to say, I rarely see them, and it only happens if I travel to them.

        They were my whole life as they were growing up, and I centered everything around them. I tried very hard to create a tight knit family, believing it would be for life.

        I’m very proud and happy for them, as they are each pursuing their dreams, but it seems that they forgot their family. When they first moved it destroyed me. Complete denial and depression. I despaired them not being at home every day. But that anguish grew to learning to live with visits. But as they’re getting busier and more involved in their lives, visits are non existent.

        I feel that if family was important to them, they would show interest in visiting. It’s not a matter of money as they know I would pay their way. What tears me up so much is that I assumed we would always be close. Why wouldn’t we be? I did everything I felt was best to foster a strong family. I Operated a business so I could work it around their schedules and be there for them. I was very involved in their school and extracurricular activities. I was always there for them and family was always put first. I assumed this would result in lifelong closeness. If we don’t have family, then what do we have? I consider family as the fabric of life.

        Being a mom was my calling. It felt right and what I was supposed to do. It was my life and greatest joy. Nothing in life ever surpassed feeling complete as being a mom.

        Yet, despite my efforts, it seems like our family connection is not important. All they want is their lives.

        This has rocked my world, my soul and my ultimate purpose of living.

        When I grew up, I was a latch key kid. Always alone and extremely lonely. I dreamed of having a close knit, loving family. And I really tried to create one. I really did my best. Despite the efforts and sacrifices, my family is dissolved. This is more painful than I can bear.

        I am trying to “find myself”and rebuild my life, as they say we empty nesters should do. I’m left with no other choice. My daughters are not coming back. But I feel my purpose and true joy is gone forever. Every day, I wonder if I failed, or did something wrong, or if it’s just a sign of our times, and inevitable breakdown of the family in this day and age. It really just stinks. All I can do is to to move on, with this torturous pain inside.

        1. Mama LJ,
          I read your post while crying and nodding my head. 2 of my kids have moved a plane ride away as well and planning visits is never easy. My other 2 are here but have been diagnosed bi- polar and I go long stretches without hearing from them as well a being worried to death. My kids were ( are ) my life and now I feel like I have no purpose. I feel like I don’t matter. The pain is really unbearable and I don’t know how to make it lessen. I’m hear if you would every like to talk.

        2. I’m struggling to recover from a wonderful family holiday last week where the highlight was my son’s wedding. Two of my 4 kids live abroad (1 lives thousands of miles away). It was so great to have everyone’s back together for a week but now I feel real grief. I can’t stop crying and feel like my life is now meaningless now that my kids have lives and loves of their own. Finding that I’m not alone is a great help. I raised my kids to be independent and I’m glad that they’re off living exciting and fulfilling lives. Most of all I am glad that they’re happy. My husband was sympathetic at first but his sympathy is wearing thin now. I have my own business, lots of lovely friends, a kind and supportive husband so why do I feel so utterly miserable? I need to get a grip!

        3. Please volunteer with children! Become a court appointed special advocate, a Big Sister mentor, hold the sick babies in the hospital, foster parent, Salvation Army Angel, etc. Fill your world with children who need a good mommy figure in their life. Good Luck to you.

        4. Mama L.J
          I can feel your pain. The word tortuous describes my feeling left too. The lack of concern for family connection. I think that is what bewilders me given all the effort to build one their entire lives. Broken hearted! Take care of yourself best as you can!


        5. Dear Mama LJ,
          I feel the same way as you. I gave up everything for my children and also always took care of my parents and grandparents too. I am stunned and hurt that I will have no such family of my own now that they will all live a plane ride away. It’s so hard to comprehend that they don’t feel the same loyalty that I did to my own family, that they would not want grandparents close to their children, that our family is no longer a priority. I could understand it if I were a bad parent or a poor example, but this feels so unfair. I want their happiness so much, but I can’t understand why it doesn’t go both ways. I’m so sorry for your pain! K

      4. Our kids don’t owe us anything is how I look at it, my 24 year old daughter is moving out of the country for a job for 2 years, we r real close, I could be selfish and tell her I want her to stay, but she is her own person and I have to let go, and be happy for her. They are adults and have to be their own persons.

        1. This is so true. And exactly how I feel. Still sad and miss my son. He and his wife just left for Germany this week. Super sad, but super proud! Its their journey!

        2. I love what you wrote Brenda, I’m so glad I came across your reply. My daughter is 26 and just graduated from grad school in PT and took a job in Pennsylvania. we live in Okla. We are also close. It is tearing me apart that she is moving so far away. I have been beating myself up that I should have tried talking her into staying closer to home the first couple of years just to get ahead. But You are right, they are adults and have to be their own persons.

      5. I feel your pain! Thanks for share! I raised four children and I’ve lost them all three geographically and one to a Baptist Church. I gave my whole adult life to have a family and they have all left. I am heartbroken and sad and I don’t think I will ever recover. What happened to families in this country? Our values are messed up! There are too many options. Why does the family not matter anymore? I feel like you have to be perfect or Rich to attract own children. What happened to love and having a support group nearby?

      6. Did you move away from your parents to start your family? No one lives next door anymore and America has been about the nuclear family for a very long time. No one wants to feel pressured to have a relationship. You are not their friends but a parent who teaches them to move on and devote their lives to their families as you did. We must have a life outside of our kids. You all are making me depressed and although my tendencies are to think like everyone on this post; I dont want to. It’s more depressing to have expectations.

  50. Could anyone advise me regarding the deadline for Hempsons Training Contract Application? Happy Holidays from our family to yours

  51. Oh my goodness! I feel the same. I’m a wee bit lost to be honest. Our daughter and partner moved 6 hours away four months ago and we won’t be seeing them at Christmas, daughter and SIL both working, as am I and I also am a carer to my husband who has brain damage, not as bad as it could be but bad enough.

    Our son lives with us still, and he has a girlfriend and hopefully they too will be able to move in together, after all we want them to ‘grow up’, the housing market is bonkers in England, low wages high rents and mortgages.

    The awful thing I’m finding hard is that our grandchildren, whose births I was at, are now 6 and 4 and it’s these little beings I’m so broken hearted about. I wanted to be in their lives for a good bit longer, baking with them, having them for sleep overs because at these ages they are so funny and so much more interesting than when they were little babies, now is the time you could start reading them stories, go to the cinema together, paint faces, glue and stick things, and now that wont be. There wont be that close bond now and that’s sad.

    The thing is, and here’s the real sad part, when my two were 11 and 7 we moved 6 hours away for a project my husband was working on, I was so sad leaving my parents and we’d had a family fall out with my husbands mum, which really hurts me that it happened to this very day. My parents didn’t show any hurt, they were supportive, my mum in law was devastated and their were other family fallouts involved. It’s only now that my own daughter and family have left that I now understand 100% how our parents must have felt, and that has been the hardest thing to come to terms with, the pain we caused them and how we didn’t understand. I have to say I was homesick, cried every day for two years, but my husband became unwell and things went pear shaped and the dilemma that followed took over. Survival instinct kicked in. When all our parents passed, in five year period, my home town died with them.

    I’m 62 now, husband a wee bit younger, my neighbours and friends have got their three children all living in the town, an new grandchild just having been born, I am a wee bit envious, but mainly so very happy for them.

    Nothing stays the same, and we plod on, failing health is fought and we all live to see another day.

    We are not alone on life’s journey, there is still goodness in this mad world of ours. I’ve become a bit of a political activist late in life, keeps me out of mischief. I back Mr Jeremy Corbyn here in England, bit like your Bernie Sanders, because at the moment the world’s leaders are total rubbish.

    Happy Christmas everyone from me here in the UK, united in this awful empty nest syndrome/abandonment lol! One day our children may find out what we know now and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

    1. We spend 18 or more years putting our little humans above us, before all else. We bolted to them in the middle of the night when they cried, we wiped away their poop, their snot, their spit and vomit, their tears, we cleaned their bloodied knees. We shuttled them and their friends to sports practice, to summer camp, to dances, we planned birthday parties, made costumes for school plays, bought or baked 30 cupcakes for their class on short notice (these requests are always short notice) we helped with their studies until we could no longer understand their coursework. We paid babysitters, tutors, tuitions. We rejected our husbands advances in fear our little humans might still be awake and need us, or god forbid hear us or simply because quite often we had nothing left to give our men at the end of a day spent invested in our little humans . If we didn’t have a husband we often rejected offers from men who were not suitable or worthy of our little ones , not worthy of the time we’d have to steal from them in order to grab a quick drink or enjoy a movie or a night of dancing. When we did indulge in a rare night out be it a legitimate date with a man or just a night out with the girls we werent really there, not entirely. We were thinking of our humans, our minds preoccupied with worry, to-do lists guilt. The opportunity for us to feel beautiful and alive if only for a few hours is often rejected as too costly and frivolous. The men who do make the cut only do because they know and accept they will never be first string. Never our top priority. They accept a background role and the smart ones dare not challenge that order ever. The worthy ones, the men who have the greatest chance of being allowed to sit in close proximity to our human cubs and become part of our pride understand they too need to agonize, encourage, sacrifice, instruct, act with tenderness and patience towards our children or they will be exiled one way or another, bloodif and hobbling if need be. Anyone granted access to a mother’s child had better earn it honorably not just once but each day. Even the mothers who don’t bake or sew and glue construction paper hats work long hours, accept lower pay, endure their perverted boss’ innuedo, spend hours in traffic, take night classes, rise early and return home exhausted so that our humans have more than we did. We pray and plot so they have better educations, bigger yards and more hugs than we had. At the end of our long days we spot our reflections in passing on our way to the washing machine and notice the loose skin near our jawline, a tummy not flat or plump and fertile but flacid, silvery stretch marks on our breasts, hips and thighs. Sagging butts, sagging knees. Puffy eyes, limp hair. We forfeit our beauty, our freedom, our libido, our dream vacations. We traded our youth our freedom, our privacy and autonomy for the greatest events of our lives. Motherhood. We were never victims or servants or martyrs even when we felt as such (quite often). Even before we knew what we were in for, even in our inexperience we somehow understood the rules, we knew we would fumble often and fail at times. We knew the unspoken rules: our humans get the better option, we take the lesser. They get the second helping even if we haven’t eaten yet. We were willing to yell and instruct harshly even when it hurt us to ensure they understood the perils of danger, recklessless and foolishness.
      We cry when their hearts are breaking, We circle, growl, rear up on our hind legs ready to battle, willing to die a bloody death if anyone of anything threatened our humans. At times we swallow our stinging pride, weep in private and take the high road if its better for them. We taught them to tie their shoes, to clean up after themselves, to be honest, polite and considerate, we taught them to finish their homework, go to bed at a reasonable time, to fill out job or college applications, we teach them how to get on the right train, how navigate their way through international airports and how to drive. We teach them to not need us. Who are we? Who am I now? For nearly three decades they are the entire reason we exist and they leave us for school…for love, for adventure, they leave us standing in a doorway watching their tailights in the distance. Alone. Strangers now to our own selves. It’s been so long since we had time to do as we pleased. We feel hallow, useless. If we are not mothers who are we? This is normal. This is natural. I won’t feel ashamed for lying on my son’s bedroom floor and crying in a heap of Harry Potter books and video game cases he didn’t pack and take wit him. I’m not ashamed I lied down on my daughters bed with snot and tears smeared across my face just so i could sniff her pillow and smell her still. I dont think I will never get over this and that’s okay. I like my kids more them me. I was the best version of myself when I was for them Now I need to learn how to be the best mother to my adult kids that I can be .

      1. Crying reading your post…. especially about the videos left behind…Those things rip my heart out, though I realize it’s not rationale. Guess it’s just part of being a Mom❤️

        1. My daughter is Erin Eileen, I’m Eileen. I’m one that every picture and video brings a tear as grad schools further and further away are in the near future and it’s a tough pill to swallow

      2. You wrote it so sincere, so to the point. I cried, reading it, every word was about me… I am that mother as well. My oldest daughter graduated last spring and moved out 6 hrs away from us. I cannot get used to it. I cry badly each time she leaves again after her visit (I don’t want her or her siblings to see it). Since June 2017 she came to see us 3 times. Thing is – my heart breaks each time she leaves. It starts even day or so before she leaves. Just imagining her driving away Again makes me cry. I cry driving in the car, had tears in my eyes at one of my college classes today. She left today…
        And your question – If we are not mother, who are we? Probably that’s the answer as to Why do we grieve and cry. We are in our children forever. When one of them move out, it’s a great part of our heart leaving. It does hurts.

      3. Well said, big heartfelt hug to you, you are a beautiful person and I pray for happiness and peace to you as well as to myself. Our third act of life is awaiting us so don’t torture yourself . Much love to you for sharing your feelings,

      4. I feel the same. I am divorced and raised my only child, a girl, for the last 28 years. I have always supported her, loved her, taught her as much as I could, traveled with her, allowed her to become who she is. But now, she is moving about 16,000 miles away to an Asian country to marry her boyfriend who is from there. I really, really want to feel good for her, yet I find myself in a heap of tears, going through pieces of papers when she was young, looking at photos, always wanting her to contact me, but she is busy and has her own life now. I don’t know if I will actually recover. I want to feel joy for her, and I am happy she’s found her place, but so far away? I am retired and realize I have to find other things to do. She was my world. I realize this is life, and life goes on, but she was my best friend, my traveling partner, and I glowed at all of her accomplishments. I feel selfish, yet, I am in such pain to know I may only see her once every couple of years or so, and I am now much older ( had her in my 40s). I’ve been to counseling before, so I already know what the routine is. I just parrot over and over again my sadness and loss. I AM happy she is happy, but my happiness is also mixed with deep pain and sadness. Does this sadness every leave?

        1. Reading all these comments and have felt much of these thoughts myself. Yet, I also see the opposite of children moving away. The parents with kids that have drug addictions, don’t work, have no goals or plans. That is really heart breaking. We have children to help form people that are part of us. Raising them is the goal, making them strong and independent is the end result. Young parents are just so busy these days, both working and all the children’s activities. As grandparents we are just not in the loop anymore. We have become the parents we wanted to get away from. Let them go, and find yourself again.

      5. I hear you and feel your pain. I still am not at a point that I can pick myself up off the floor and proceed. Too much of her is reflected around me. When I was young, I vowed I would never have children. At the last minute, I changed my mind and my world.

        I will also still try to be the best mother to my adult daughter. But it is really hard! I want her to have the best life she can have, and be the person she is inside. It is like someone ripped into my chest and twisted my heart out. I have at least quit texting like a maniac (which I know drives her mad). But I live for the few days she responds.

        I feel like a crazy person. I raised an incredible daughter. But she is so far across the world, and I am aging, so it will be difficult for us to be together. I am proud of her, but I am just so sad. I don’t want to be sad.

        Anyone here finally resolved this pain? I guess this is what is called “Mother’s Love.”

        1. I have felt EVERYTHING you list. I was clinically depressed for years, in therapy and ultimately on medication. My eldest with whom I was the closest of 3, fell in love, moved to Israel in the course of 2 months notice and made her own wedding there with her fiance. I had always imagined planning and making her wedding with her. While she always promised to return, it’s been 4 years. It was last Spring that I had a panic attack when she revealed she was pregnant–my worst nightmare feeling she now was taking away being a grandmother from me as well. I have been up and down emotionally, missing her terribly and then being enraged at her selfishness for “breaking up the family I built.” Now I don’t feel that way anymore. I realize that our kids’ dreams aren’t necessarily our dreams. Maturing means having minds of their own. Realizing that while we would like for them to think the same as we do, and probably expected them to? No! She married a wonderful man, is a practicing attorney and a great person. I hear from her weekly and talk for an hour. It’s not what I would have wished for or wanted but it could always be worse. I am learning to accept it. Do I sometimes (often) still hope she will return–YES. But then again, I wasn’t always a mother either. I had a life before motherhood and believe I can still have one after. I now invite more friends to the empty chairs at our table on holidays. Life is what you make it. Trite, I know, but true. Good luck to you.

      6. My wife and I know how you feel.My father abandoned me as a child and my mother is very abusive and mentally ill. My whole adult life I have known nothing but my sweet beautiful wife and our children. Our Son is open to live where our adult Daughter does. She just graduated with a masters degree and we are nothing but proud of her but the ending of what has been our whole existence up to this point is leaving us both listless,depressed and a total sense of loss. We dreamed of being with our grandchildren but that future looks very doubtful now. I am very close to retirement actually only months away and my Wife and I are wondering what now? We love each other deeply and she is my best friend but our children moving away is incredibly depressing.

      7. I read this barely through crying eyes and a breaking heart. My 27 year old daughter is moving in 2 days 3000 miles away and I feel like I’m literally dying. Also diagnosed 3 years ago at 55 with Parkinson’s. Also retiring from my job of over 20 years due to my health and need time to take care of myself. Been married to same husband for 27 years so I know how lucky I am. As much as I love my spouse I feel that once she leaves I’m all alone even tho I know I’m not. I guess that’s grief and I feel like I will NEVER be happy again. She is the best thing I ever did in my life.

  52. nice to know i’m not alone. i just googled “how to stop missing your kids when they move out”. and stumbled onto this post. not that i want to not miss them…just would like the achy-hole-in-my-heart pain to lessen. :/

    1. Hi Suzi, my name is Kristy. My youngest son moved out a year ago this month and I have had the hardest time with this. I’m married, my husband works 2nd shift and I haven’t worked since March. I had to quit my job due to stress. On top of everything. I’m going through menopause! My youngest son and me are close. He is my best friend. Such a sweet, God-fearing young man. I also have a son and his wife and grandson who live about 4 hours away and a daughter that lives about 30 mins away. My youngest son is only a little over an hour away but I honestly feel like I’m grieving. I don’t have any friends around here so I sit and think about things all the time. Any suggestions?

      1. I completely understand this. I would love any suggestions too. It’s nice to know that I’m not loosing my mind and other Mos feel like this. I’m having a hard time also. No friends or family.

      2. I totally understand the alone.
        I have t stopped crying and my youngest leaves next month for the army.
        My oldest just left last month 12 hours away .These guys were my friends too.Going to the lake or watching a show with me so I wouldnt be alone.Now I’m so depressed I don’t care if summer comes at all.
        I will be the lonely lady at the lake no more Friday night Netflix and pizza..

    2. I get it I am terribly lonely and sad.
      My 2 20 something daughters live 4 hrs away. I am soo depressed most of the time. I am unhappy in my marriage and feel there is nothing to look forward to

      1. Im sorry for you and feel your pain. My husband died a year and a half ago, kids and grands live in different states; would love to have someone to pal around with

          1. Hi, I’m Beth, Mom of four and just lost my last, my best friend and daughter. I work, but only to finance my passion; being a mom.
            Now that its over, I am lost and lonely and afraid of being alone.
            I am only 55, but feel like I’ve aged so much in these last two months and the sadness isn’t abating. I cry nearly every day, from missing my kids and from joy when they do make contact, which seems to be rarer, for moments at a time and usually just because they need something. I look forward to plans we make only to be hurt when the visit is hurried or interrupted by text from her boyfriend. Often, visits are cancelled last minute because a friend has become available and off she goes, oblivious to how rejected I feel. New Years Eve I avoided her because I couldn’t stop crying and she was angry that she couldn’t reach me. I thought she might gain some insight, be so happy to see me and stay awhile, but on New Year’s day I got 5 minutes with her as she ran in to use my bathroom, scolding me for making her worry and on the way out…”um, are you working tomorrow? Can you pick me up?”. Runs to the impatiently waiting boyfriend. I jump when she does call because it’s all I get.

        1. Hi, I’m Beth. All I ever wanted was to be a Mom. My last of four has gone and I don’t have anything that I always wanted to do. I have a full-time job, but no real friends because my daughter was my world.
          We did everything together, in fact just days before she left, she told me she’d never leave because she needed me so much. We were both working and saving for a house that would eventually be hers and I had just bought her a new van she could use for her nannying side business. Her ex, a heroin addict, called and threatened suicide if she didn’t come back to him called and she just decided to leave home refusing to discuss it. We are speaking and I showered her with presents at Christmas because she came over and called and we were spending time together. But, now, I only hear from her if she needs something, no time to chat. I cry every day when I get off work. I want to move on and make friends. It would help me, too, if you are still in need of someone to talk to.

    3. I too stumbled onto this post. I am a single mom trying to deal with & not take my daughter (only child) moving to Australia personally. She moved with knowing no-one, having no job; transportation or a place to live…I would handle her moving to anywhere in the states better but this 9,444 miles, 30hrs & approx $2,500 in flights is not sitting well at all.

      I have however been told “Dirty Jerzy” is not where she feels at “home”, Australia is. I thought we had a close relationship to recently find out it was one sided. I am so heartbroken dealing with all these new revelations. I am having an extremely hard time with this. How did I not see it?

      1. Hi Paula,
        I know what you mean and I feel for everyone in this thread. I too am heartbroken and trying not to take it personally but am really struggling. Both My Adult children 26 and 22 moved across country recently . One to California and one to Seattle . I live in New Jersey😢. I never thought about them moving that far away . I always pictured them close or at least no more then a couple states away drive . Now all I can think of is not seeing them , not being able to help if they need me , not knowing any grandchildren We may ever have and also not being able to afford traveling back and forth . I feel so guilty for grieving like this .after all they are happy and trying follow Their dreams and be independent like We raised them . I’m sinking and want to stop . Grateful to find this thread so know others feel the same and it’s normal .

        1. You said it so well. I am so grief-stricken and depressed. Even though I had many interests and work full time, none of it has meaning anymore. I was energized by the fact that everything I did was for them. I loved being MOM. Why do anything now? I’m also worried about getting older and needing help and they won’t be there. The last one was my best friend. She said she never wanted to leave me because she would always need me in her life and then in a matter of weeks, decided to go live with her troubled boyfriend. Her focus is on helping him now and I am no longer needed.

        2. I am in the same boat . I have a career and now separated from my kids father. I have four wonderful children and I am alone in Texas pondering what’s next. My mom lives here and once she’s gone -I will have no one. What’s next? Who knows ?? I hope for the best for everyone!!

        3. My oldest son is moving 1500 miles away in 4 weeks. He is leaving tomorrow to go for a few days to find a place to live. He has been talking about moving to Colorado for a couple of years but he wouldn’t go alone. Now that he has a girlfriend that is willing to go with him he is packing up and leaving me and his sister and brother behind. It’s incredibly hard to think about him so far away. We don’t come from a lot of money so I know I won’t be seeing him very much and it is literally crushing my heart. He has been my rock since he was little and he still is even though I am happily married. He and I went through some ugly times when he was little with his father and I don’t know what I would of done without him. I had this image in my head of him meeting a nice girl, getting married and having children. I know he will be an incredible father but I was hoping to be an involved nana. I know that was my dream and maybe not his even though he is very connected to me. The day he told me he was moving he sobbed so hard and I didn’t even know what to do. I later felt so horrible for not comforting him but I was trying to hold my emotions in and not let him see me cry. It came later when he left. I crumbled to the floor and bawled my eyes out till I couldn’t cry anymore. I find myself crying all the time now. A simple thought of him will send tears rolling down my face. I’ve spent so much time being a mom that I don’t know what else to do. I know I can’t keep him here, but I pray that he won’t stay there for the rest of his life. Everyone that hears he is moving thinks it’s an awesome adventure and I want to think that too. I want to be supportive but I feel like a piece of my heart is being ripped from my chest. I stumbled upon this while searching for ways to cope and it is very helpful to hear that I’m not the only one that feels this way. I am dreading the day he packs the car and leaves. How did time go so fast and take such a turn? It seems that just yesterday I was running him to all his baseball games . I have so many questions running through my brain. Why does he have to move so far away? Will he ever move back near his family? I find myself thinking too far in the future and try to pull myself back to the here and now but my fear of not being a part of his life anymore takes over. A phone call is not the same as a talk over dinner. How do I deal with the grief and be supportive at the same time? Has it gotten any easier?

  53. So glad I’m not the only Momma who sobs like a nut job when saying good bye to my grown son. I live the Northwest and he lives the south east and it had been two years since we had spent any time together. I too felt like I was invincible on the lead up to his visit and when the time came to leave him at the airport yesterday I was inconsolable. I wanted to lay in bed and cry and I feel like no one else understands how I feel. It’s a little better today but still on verge of tears. I’ve been an empty nester for quite a few years so not sure why this keeps happening. Hoping to feel a little more normal soon but right now it feels like the sadness won’t end. I’ve no answer for why this happens or how to get over it. Guess it’s good to know I’m not alone.

    1. I understand and your not alone every thing you have said is happening to me . My son my only child is moving to California. We live in Ohio. Iam a wreak. I fill like Iam the only one missing him. He is my world and Iam depressed. Devistaed I can’t function. I only want his happiness. But I can’t get over this.

      1. Renee, thank you for posting. My heart aches for you! I’m in a similar situation- from Ohio and my 24 year old is now calling CA home. We talk every day, but it just isn’t the same. I would give anything to be able to just pop in and visit with her for a cup of coffee or a quick hug. She wants to have children and I am already a hot mess thinking about how far away I will be from her and any potential grandchildren.

      2. I too live in ohio and my oldest son is moving to Colorado. I am struggling so bad with the sadness. A simple thought will send me into tears. Has it gotten any easier? How have you coped?

      3. How are doing since it has been a good year since you posted? I have two in CA and I live in North Carolina. The tears have been flowing since my 24 and 27 year old kids left on Sunday. They are doing well in CA but I miss them so. Thanks for listening.

    1. Well, glad I stumbled upon this site. My daughter is marrying a Brit on Friday. She has lived in the UK for almost 2 years. She loves her job and is very accomplished,as is her husband to be. Part of what is hard for me is that I am single and raised both of my kids to be independent and well educated. It has backfired in some ways, as they are both doing well and really don’t get why its hard for me to go so long without getting together with them. My son lives about 700 miles away and seems to be a bit better with understanding, but I believe his wife has a lot to do with that. At any rate, I am struggling with being happy about this wedding. I am also wondering how I will ever afford to travel and visit her in the UK. She seems to think its doable and I should just buy a ticket and come visit. I will be on a fixed income soon and don’t really want to take a second job just because she chose to move abroad. Skype helps, but its not the same. Any suggestions? I guess the ache will always be there and just get more bearable with time?

      1. Oh goodness. I hear you. We raise them to be educated and independent, and when they leave we are sad. I very envious of those who have their children near them.

        I’m currently visiting the 19 year old (military in Arizona) and today we part. Tomorrow the 26 year old leaves for Virginia with her boyfriend. I’m so curious as to ‘How the hell will I survive with such a sad heart ?’ That I’m glad to know I’m not the only one feeling this way.

        Perhaps this is a season like all others. It’s time to grieve yet start to focus on ourselves while being available and supportive for our children.

        Perhaps you can do a very part time job and the proceeds are your Travel Fund- whether to visit the daughter or elsewhere. When I retire I will do that.

        In the meantime our hearts can heal…so we hope!

      2. AL –
        The day after my daughter graduated she rented a Uhaul and moved out. Although she has visited she has not moved back home and has been independent and “pursuing her bliss” for the last 5 years. Recently she gotten a job a flight away and joyous about exploring a new city and a new career. As one who had her children late and did not return to a career I made many sacrifices in order to stay at home with them. In the last five years I have had medical issues that can all be improved with exercise. I have joined the gym at the local community college that has aquatic exercise classes, yoga, spinning, etc. etc. The release of those endorphines and the conversations with other people “of an age” is helpful. I also do part time babysitting thru and feeling useful to moms of little ones makes me feel better. Yesterday I enjoyed a sunny day at the park pushing a little 2 year old. His joy was contagious. For a little while at least I felt better. It would be a nice way to make a little extra for that trip “across the pond”.
        I am hoping when she is settled and we go visit I might feel better knowing she is happy. Isn’t that what we really want for our kids?

    1. Hi — I’m a 26 year old who stumbled across this thread after googling being homesick as a young adult. I moved away after high school for college, which was only 1.5 hours away from my parents home. It was definitely manageable and I think being that young made it more exciting than nostalgic.

      After graduating undergrad, I moved out of state (about 7 hours away) for law school. I just graduated and will be starting my new job in another state—about 5 hours away from “home” (which is and always be my parents home).

      I love hearing all these perspectives because I never thought about it from my parents’ perspective. They act so strong about me starting my life and following my dreams, but I KNOW they feel the same way as those on this thread. I see it on their face whenever I leave after an extended visit. Goodbyes are SO hard, even after doing so many of them, and I usually cry the entire first hour of my drive back to my new home. It never gets easier, leaving home. In fact, this last visit, I stayed an extra two weeks because I just couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye. Fortunately, I had the extra free time due to my job not starting until the end of summer.

      I do know, personally, I feel guilty/homesick almost everyday because it was ME that moved away. In my ideal life, I’d live around the block from my parents forever and have dinner with them every night. Seriously. We are incredibly close, especially my dad and me. We still talk everyday (he’ll text me good morning or “goodnight hon 😊” and at least one “I love you” everyday — and often we’ll have an hour long phone call) but nothing in the world compares to bonfires in their backyard, being around all my siblings, laughing up a storm, and soaking in family. It’s especially difficult for my dad, I think, as I’m his only biological child (he married my mom, who was a single mother raising my four siblings, so I’m the youngest).

      It’s painful because at the same time, I have my new life here—in so many ways. I’m in a serious relationship and we’re both starting careers. I pray that one day my path brings my partner and I back near my hometown, but nothing is certain. Especially if I were to have children, the thought of them not growing up near their grandparents pains me.

      I’m sorry to ramble. I guess I just wanted to let you all know that you’re not alone, and maybe your child is struggling with their move just as much. After reading this thread, I personally want to be more vocal with my parents about my guilt and sadness associated with my transition, and to let them know that in no way does it mean I love them any less. I know some of the stories shared on here have a bit more hostile relationships with their children, but I think openness and honesty and communication can make us all feel better, even if we’re starting from a place of anger or resentment. It’s very likely your child already feels guilty in certain ways, but that doesn’t mean you should hide your sadness, either, because these feelings are totally normal and go both ways.

      On a postive note – thank God for technology that enables us to communicate like never before. FaceTime. Airplanes and trains. Text messages. It’s possible to love at a distance. In fact, it’s made my love and appreciation of my parents so much stronger.

      Again, my plan (God willing) is to move home one day. But I won’t verbalize that (yet) to my parents in case it can’t happen. So do know there’s hope of your children doing the same, but it might not be expressed.

      Finally, nothing in this life is permanent. The only thing that’s guaranteed is change, so this situation, too, will change — and you never know exactly how. Where I’m at now is certainly not what I anticipated four years ago… and where I’ll be four years from now? Only God knows that.

      I do know that “home will always be home.” No matter where I’m at. And I’m sure all of your children feel the same. There is nothing like home and the love and warmth of parents support.


      1. Well, glad I stumbled upon this site. My daughter is marrying a Brit on Friday. She has lived in the UK for almost 2 years. She loves her job and is very accomplished,as is her husband to be. Part of what is hard for me is that I am single and raised both of my kids to be independent and well educated. It has backfired in some ways, as they are both doing well and really don’t get why its hard for me to go so long without getting together with them. My son lives about 700 miles away and seems to be a bit better with understanding, but I believe his wife has a lot to do with that. At any rate, I am struggling with being happy about this wedding. I am also wondering how I will ever afford to travel and visit her in the UK. She seems to think its doable and I should just buy a ticket and come visit. I will be on a fixed income soon and don’t really want to take a second job just because she chose to move abroad. Skype helps, but its not the same. Any suggestions? I guess the ache will always be there and just get more bearable with time?

      2. Thank you for your wonderful post. It certainly does help to see the situation from the other perspective. In a perfect world we would all have every opportunity to live and work close to those we love. My son and his wife moved to Ireland (she is from there originally) 3 months ago. I know they miss us as much as we miss them. All we can do is video chat and visit (we’re going there at the end of the month) and hope that they are happy and healthy. After all, that is really all we wish for our kids, but some days the absence seems almost unbearable.

      3. Thank you for posting this. I left my son at school and we are extremely close and it is so nice to hear it from your perspective. I pray we will remain close but he seems to have another life and I am feeling like somewhat of an outsider now. Please let your parents know how much you miss them too and maybe let them read this post! I am going to try to keep it together for my son’s sake lol.

      4. what a sweet post. it’s nice to hear your perspective. i always try not to let my daughter know HOW sad i am missing her. i know she’s homesick a lot too though. i hope it works out where you can live closer to your family someday. but if you can still reach each other within a few hours it’s homestly still doable!:) and fyi it would make my day KNOWING my kids might like to live near me someday…even without making promises. 🙂 best wishes.

      5. Thanks Jackie for your insightful post! I have daughter also moving far away Pa to Fl. Not for work but health reasons. I have struggled with her moving so much only thinking about how I am feeling. Your post made me realize how difficult this must be for her also. I am extremely greatful for your honesty in sharing your feelings with us parents out here who are feeling sad. Thanks!!

      6. Jackie –
        Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, feelings and perspective, from the younger generation. It’s much needed, I think, by some of us empty nesters who feel ‘rejected’ by our adult kids who’ve moved far away, even though we’re happy for them and proud of them at the same time. It isn’t even a matter of feeling ‘personally’ rejected, it’s more a matter of feeling that the value on family gatherings, traditions, and support systems that we thought we had instilled in our kids … wasn’t important to them, after all. And I know that even that, isn’t true. Sometimes competing interests in life take over. It’s good to know that you still feel the closeness of your family bonds, and I pray that it continues for you and takes you on a road that gives you comfort. Take care!

      7. Jackie – I got a little choked up after reading your posting. My husband and I both grew up in the same town and went to the same schools as did our parents. When faced with the decision of moving so he could keep his job and I could be an at home mom or my returning to work and him finding another job where he might get potentially laid off we chose the former. We stayed in touch with our families which was about 300 miles away. We were there for the holidays, mothers or fathers day, and for a week in the summer which was the real quality time. Every time I left in tears wondering if it was going to be the last time I would see them. Both my parents died of dementia and I was able to care for them. My husband drove up for his mom’s surgeries and her final days. Even tho my dad didn’t know who I was on my last visit I introduced myself to him and his face lit up and he gave me a hug. It sounds like you appreciate you parents. If “home” is where you want to be, make it happen before life gets in the way.

      8. Thank you, Jackie. Your sweet post brought tears to my eyes. My late 30’s daughter will be moving in August from Seattle to the N.E. For us, it will be a 5.5 hour flight, then a minimum 90 minute drive to where she and her husband & 4 year old daughter will be living. They are moving for his work. My daughter (currently lives 3 hr drive away) is being so kind & thoughtful and sweet to me – calling more often, telling me she loves me, reminding me this move wasn’t what they had in mind but it’s the best option; even telling me she wants us to move back there. This all became final just a couple of weeks ago, and I am so heartsick I can’t even allow myself to think about it yet. My heart just feels so heavy and sad. I’m 70. The thought of seeing my daughter and her family only a couple of times a year is beyond my ability to imagine. It just makes me feel sick to my stomach. And my granddaughter – the thought of missing so much of her childhood just kills me. Right now I seem to be trying to figure out some other option for them, but that’s ridiculous. They really are going to move. I have a son who lives with his family (wonderful wife & 2 kids) in southern Oregon. The kids are 13 and 8. I don’t want to leave them either, which is what I would be doing if we moved back east. I’m really just heartsick. I’m so sorry others are painfully going through the same thing, tho I do find some comfort in knowing I’m not alone. Thank you for your post. Thank you everyone for sharing your situations and feelings. May we all find ways to lessen our sorrow.

      9. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond from the “adult kids” point of view !! It gives me hope mine feel the same. I know they love me & care about me, i just hope they want to always make keeping up a relationship, a priority. I hope your Dad has the priveledge to see your post someday. Just seeing those words, or hearing them, from my kids(1 in particular) would greatly help to alleviate my feelings of abandonment. Thank you !!

        1. Hi everyone, I am so glad I ran into this website. I am 29, pregnant with my 1st baby, originally from Europe. Moved to the US 5 yrs ago with my now husband, also from Europe. Today, on mother’s day, I called my mom, she didn’t pick up, I sent her a pic of my first pregnancy pants, saw the message but no response. Then I called her and she responded a bit ‘cold’, said sth like oh yeah it’s mother’s day, yeah saw the pic, I’m watching a movie now. I lost it, I felt rejected and had to end the call early to not cry. As a bit of background, my mom and I have had a very close relationship, we were alone until I was 7, I never met my real father, but since then she’s been with my stepdad whom I consider my dad. Their relationship has ups and downs, in the last couple of years it seems they have grown apart a bit, but they’re still there for each other. But my mom and I used to be very close, have laughing fits, talk long hours, go biking, genuinely enjoy each other’s presence. After today’s call, I broke down in tears, feeling a solid example of how we’ve grown apart. And after talking about it with my husband, who I love very much and am very happy with, I just googled what she might have gone through to understand more. After I left 5 yrs ago, I have been feeling guilty every day, I miss her terribly and hate that I caused the growing apart. I wish I could live close and I want to return, I really do. But we have much better career options here for both of us and frankly make so much more money and I feel like I need this money to be able to provide a better life for my baby. But I understand now so much better what she must have gone through. How much I have hurt her. I call her every day and most of the time it’s good days, she is brave and supportive, but sometimes there are down days when it’s all about ‘when are you coming back. This year we also found out my mom’s brother has pancreatic cancer so it’s been extraordinarily difficult. I feel very guilty for leaving her in it. I scheduled a flight home in March but the coronavirus travel ban made me come back 3 days after arrival for work and not to leave my husband here alone. That must have been agony for her. And I also understand now that she might be angry at me, I never thought of this aspect of her feelings before. And that’s okay, I guess she has a right to be in a way. We have never really talked about her feelings, where I come from you don’t open up very easily, we don’t say I love you like you do here in the States, but tomorrow I will call her and open it up. I will acknowledge the pain I have caused her and ask for forgiveness but I will also try to explain that I can’t live without my husband and I think she wouldn’t want me to be unhappy in my personal life only to make me physically close to her, and I wouldn’t want that honestly either. I will also acknowledge the fear and anxiety she must be feeling about not being a part of my baby’s childhood and I will do my best to involve her as much as possible. We still do plan to move back to Europe in about 4-5 yrs. My mom is very young, only 53, so she is still fit. She is also very accomplished in her job and travels a lot so she can come visit me. But I am pushing my husband to make the move happen within that time frame. I will tell my mom how much I love her and how important and needed she is and how much I desire her attention. But I will now also understand that she does not need to be my emotional support line on call, that would be selfish of me. I will say that one good thing the coronavirus brought me is that I started making my mom call do video calls with me, before we only did audio, and it is such a big improvement, I can’t understand why we haven’t been doing video all the time. I love my mom so much, so so much, and feel like I understand how she feels so much more after reading all your posts for about 4 hours today. And soon becoming a mom myself, I will at least know what to expect. Thanks for sharing everyone.

  54. Since divorce, I had lost favor of my now adult kids when my ex met someone – We actually got on as good friends after divorce and something started changing. Turns out he had a GF who had never been married nor any kids in her late 40s. One yr post divorce of a 20 yr marriage he remarried – I never did.

    My kids pulled the one parent against the other during HS and my ex began to permit “asylum” and painting me as a bad and unstable mom. He permitted them to move in with he and his GF – one child then the next. He promised never to try and come between nor take the kids from me. I could never do that to him or my kids. He was angry because I wanted the divorce after yrs of going to marriage counseling alone.

    My kids stopped speaking to me and it made me truly sick from every point. The house we co owned fell apart as did his promises to help me pay for it. I was trying to find work while he enjoyed 1mill salary – Id been a SAHM – couldnt find work. My daughter left to move west w a BF and I thought I would perish from loss. My sister died at the same time when she moved. My sister happened to live her life in the same state and area my daughter moved to.

    My son would sporadically speak and get coffee but he was living with his dictatorial father and did not have that same rigid heart – he was tender and creative and emotional like me – and wanted to fit in. So he began mimicking his father including how he was cruel to me.

    I had lost my home and moved away to my elderly parents. My son didnt help me pack up my truck nor get coffee with me when I asked before I left.

    I was distraught and my daughter had talked with me for a while prior to this – but cut me off again.

    She moved back home to the area we lived and is still there.

    They wouldnt speak to me for 2 yrs.

    I almost ended my life twice over it because I was so distraught. I was suddenly no longer worthy of motherhood due to divorce.

    I have apologized numerous times and reconciled. My daughter came for a short 3 day visit – my son she and I were supposed to visit back in their home area – but my son stopped speaking to me. Seriously there was no fight nor text that happened to cause this and all attempts to open up talking were iggnored by him.

    Neither his dad nor sister will tell me why

    My daughter is frosty to me now but puts on a cool veneer as though I were ignorant or incapable of intelligence. She disagrees with every word out of my mouth even when I agree with her ideas.

    She came here since my son wouldnt speak to me…and went home. I feel like my hopes, dreams and future of having a beautiful relationship with them and extended fam are dashed. I heard my ex through her voice and comments when she spoke to me.

    I am mourning a life. A life that died and took me and my soul with it.

    1. Gypsy, I am so sorry to hear this. My heart breaks for you. My daughter just moved away to another state today for a good job and it feels horrible. I feel so alone, and we have a close relationship, so I can’t even begin to understand how you feel. I just came across this page googling for support or something to help cope better with the situation. I just want you to know that someone out here cares about how you feel, and I hope things get better for you. Ill be sending positive thoughts and prayers your way.

    2. I have had many people I loved in my life abandon me. It is always hard. A relationship is a two way street. If our children choose to not have a relationship with us we need to accept it. My daughter married to a abusive man has not talked to me for 3 years or allowed me to see my grandchildren. I have grieved this all this time. Now, I just have to accept we each have only one life to live and we each get to make our own choices. She told me she can’t be responsible for my happiness. So now I choose to remember her as the little girl who loved me and all those happier times. We can’t change them, let them go.

  55. I also have a really hard time with my kids living far away. When my daughter first got married and moved away, her husband promised she could visit often and stay for a long time. Then he started getting upset and angry when she was away so now she only visits twice a year. So I have only seen my granddaughter who is 4 1/2 seven times. I also don’t visit there because he is very unwelcoming. Our other daughter lives even farther away and she has now announced she will not visit if the rest of the family is here. This means we haven’t all been here together since 2012. The worst part is when I complain to friends and they are like, I could never accept that. We are so blessed to have all of our children and grandchildren living right here in the same town. I see them all the time and we vacation together, etc, etc. I’m looking forward to retirement because then hopefully my husband and I can go visit together. I just don’t understand how this has happened after we tried to be the best most supportive parents. But that is our life.

    1. Hi Mona. What you’re going through must be extremely difficult. Have you tried video chatting with your daughter and granddaughter? Maybe you can have a weekly scheduled chat, that may help you feel more included in their family. Unfortunately we have no control over who our kids choose as partners. The people we know as our children sometimes seem very different when they are adults and have a partner. I know it’s difficult but we have to accept the choices they make (even if they would never have been our choices).

      1. Confused. You say daughters are far away then say they are all in same town. Just trying to understand.

    2. I’m so very sorry. I am on here because I obviously have some issues with my kids leaving in various ways, and also because I am divorcing from a completely unfeeling husband who has cheated and is turning my kids affection to cool all the way to anger. I only see being alone and crying desperately for the full life I had befor where being a mom with all of its fun and activities truly defined my life. I keep trying, but I’m slipping deeper into depression and desperation even having tried lots of therapy and antidepressants. I just don’t see my life anymore. It hurts. I hate that this is happening to you and send good wishes to you that your life will see a new horizon.

      1. I’m so so sorry, I’m going through somewhat similar circumstances, it hurts so bad I don’t even get out of bed some days I don’t see the point in it. I just sit there and look at their childhood pictures try to make sense of everything just spilling tears. I am so so lonely.

    3. That’s exactly how I feel. We had a great family life. Two of my three kids moved to Big cities. I can’t stand it. I’m so sad.

    4. You are not alone. My wife and incredible Mother of two poured our lives into our children now they are talking about moving to the West Coast. We are so depressed.Being loving parents has been our life…now what????????

  56. I was a single mom for many years and finally got married during my daughter’s Senior year of high school. The engagement and wedding occurred in one day as a surprise! My husband lives in the next county. I also have a son who was 19 at that time and lived at home.
    So I lived in both houses for a few months. My daughter and I weren’t sure how to do this. We spent as much time together as possible but still lived our lives. I was a teacher at her school too. My son had his own income so he didn’t mind much either way.
    After the school year was over I moved to the next county. The kids didn’t want to live there. I was surprised at how taxing this is emotionally. Its been almost two years and i think about missing them daily. I see them at least once a week and talk daily but i hate it. I’m excited when i get to see them and devastated when they leave. He lives with grandma and she’s getting married next month so she lives with her fiancee. Sometimes I feel I should have got married later but at that time when i was home they were often out with friends or working so I was often alone.

    1. I’m from New York originally Long Island and moved to south east Florida Fort Lauderdale area in 1979 I gave birth to my two daughters who are now 28 and 33 they both have babies my grandkids and I have a son age 22 who goes to college in Orlando I went through a big divorce and in 2014 met a man we got engaged and I moved in with him on the Florida gulf Coast which is the west coast of Florida I also stopped working because my fiancé works out of Kansas so now I travel back-and-forth with him all year around and Kansas 4 to 6 weeks then home for to six weeks then back to Kansas for to 6 weeks etc. all year my sadness sunk in all of a sudden when the newness of my relationship calm down I then realized the deep sadness incredible pangs of sadness is because I can’t be around my kids like I was used to being around them when I only live five minutes from them I didn’t think about what I was doing my daughters cried when I moved my son was already starting college in Orlando three hours away from us so he was kind of used to separation I was so used to running around my daughters and shopping even though I worked I had my own life and I went through a big divorce living only five minutes away I slide my kids around me and I was always with my grandbabies now I live almost 3 hours away I don’t drive across the state due to an accident I was in I don’t drive that far anymore but this article was great because I did not understand why I cry all the time when I think about my kids and how much I miss being around them and I’m crying as I read this it was so different five minutes away from them and I know some of you live states away or countries away but when I’m in Kansas because I go back-and-forth with him we moved in together February 2015 so it’s been three years and three months now and it’s getting worse he will not move to the East Coast of Florida won’t even consider it I just missed them in my daily life so now I go to visit and stay for a week or 10 days and then it’s so hard to leave I’m very close to my grandchildren I want daughter has two boys ages seven and five and then my younger daughter has a little girl age two and she is pregnant with her next baby and due in August 2 years ago stay with her for a month when she had her baby and I will do that again then it’s always so hard to leave I think I was a dummy moving away from them I still buy them things when I think of them and send it or bring it when I get to go there and I miss my son because during all this mess he went to school away in Orlando my fiancé never helps me get to Orlando and I feel I’ve neglected my son and barely visit him at college because I don’t drive but I will make an effort this time to visit him I do see him when he goes to Broward and sometimes he visits me of course all my kids visit me But when they leave I have sinking we need a group support group you can write to me at [email protected]. I think there’s a book we could buy that someone posted up above to understand how we feel I’ve never had depression before never felt this sad several of my parents passed away my grandparents passed away I’m glad I found this little forum

      1. Being an empty nester after a divorce is devastating. I’m happily married again and my husband is great to my boys, ages 26 and 31, who don’t live near us, but it’s not like we can have family gatherings with the 4 if us, or go on trios together, my husband isn’t their father. I miss the old family unit. We are in different times now, gone are the days where grandparents lived nearby and we saw them every weekend, the problem now is that a lot if our kids leave, I don’t think it’s natural and it’s a never ending dull pain in my heart that never goes away. I feel for all of you. xxoo, Pam in Charlotte

        1. Hi Pam, I couldn’t agree with you more. I divorced when my kids were in middle school, and remarried when my kids were in college. My husband is wonderful to my kids, and although they like him, he is not their dad. Now that they have left the nest, they split their time between me & their dad (as they should). But it is SO hard to share them. I never let them know how sad I feel when they spend time with their dad. I don’t want them to feel bad. I just smile and tell them to have fun. My sons live less than an hour away, but I don’t see them that often. Maybe once every 6 – 8 weeks for dinner. I do feel blessed that my sons are independent and happy, but I do miss the old family unit. I know this dull pain will be with me for the rest of my life.

  57. 27 years ago I had my son me and his dad didnt work out as we were teenagers, I latermaried my husband who raised my son from the age of 6. His dad passes away (and not really involved) when he was 14, and for 11 years the dads side of the fail really havent been present in his life.

    At 23 He moved across to the west coast (were in central) with his longtime girlfriend. He was gone 2 years not only gone but I never saw him he only called me when he needed something but oh how I longed for the phone calls. I missed him terribly and I cried the first month he was gone, it didnt get easier but I was happy that he was happy and I kept telling myself I raised an independent young man that was living life how he wanted and was proud of that.

    Things didnt work out with him and his then gf and he moved back home to get his financials back on track, I know moving back in was hard but we tried to make the transition easy for him. He’s been back now for 2 years. His dad side o the free family finally wanted to get to know him they flew him out to California for his uncles wedding, they made life out there look so perfect that when I picked him up from the airport he says he had such a great time hes moving there end of July.

    I feel betrayed. I have done every thing I can for him. my life was him! these people havent been in his life for 25 years and now he’s leaving to go be with them. I know this sounds so sefish. I want him to do what he feels is best and I am trying to happy for him, I told him I support him and love him no matter where he is. But my heart is crushed. I know I won’t get a chance to go there often due to my finances and after the last time he moved I honestly dont see him making the effort to come see me. I feel like I was this horrible mother and hes just trying to leave.

    I know children grow up and live there lives but I never thought my son would move a zillion miles away.

    I loved reading all the posts, I dont feel so alone, its times like this that motherhood is hard.

    Hugs to all of you that feel the same way I do!

    1. About a month before my youngest child graduated college she informed me that she was going to Alaska two days after graduation. I’m not sure if it was the shock or the heartbreak that hit me first. My beautiful, brilliant daughter, was flying off to a place that I most likely, will never even afford to visit. ( financial reason’s at the top of the list)
      My youngest daughter, whom I believed to be my closest to me, was going the distance, to work in a gift shop. I was crushed, as she told me, “Mom this is something I need to Do”, “I promise I will be home in September when the tourist season ends.” I begged my husband to help me talk her out of it. I was convinced that she was running from something or someone. I feared that for her psycho-social growth, ultimate success and well-deserved happiness. Did someone do something horrible to make her flee? Did she not get hired for a job of her dreams?
      Just turning 21 years of age, far from all of her friends and family who loved her, with no more than a one-way ticket and her 3 suitcases.
      Five years later, after 3 tourist seasons in Alaska, and 2 in Colorado, my daughter has made her permanent home in Copper Mountain, Colorado. Here she says, she is able to snowboard or hike Rocky’s trail, every day of her life. She has worked her way up the ladder from, “gift shop salesgirl”, to “Buyer “. Very happy with her job ( works as a hostess and a dog walker) to help with living expenses, and claims to be happier than anyone can hope to be.
      I remain crushed like someone ripped out a vital piece of my heart which can never be replaced.
      Nowadays, I still miss her every day that I breathe. I am getting older, and when most people my age are looking toward retirement, I have begun working 2 jobs just to keep the Student Plus loans out of default.
      (The loans that she begged me to sign and swore that she was going to pay off, without our help.
      The first 3 months, I cried probably 24 hours a day. Now that happens only a few days a month. I try not to be caught up in the past, everyone I know assures me that she will return someday but I know otherwise.
      Whenever I get really depressed, to the point that I cannot be consoled, I reach out to my daughter and try to explain the hole in my heart, that’s when tells me” Mom, you and dad, were the best parents in the world. I always I was loved, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.
      I text either good morning or good night almost every day. She always answers and texts me pics and asks my opinions about recipes or health related issues as they arise. My daughter calls home at least once a month, I try not to call her too much because of the time differences, and with her rotating schedule, I am never sure when she’s at work.
      She visits once or twice a year, but doesn’t stay at our home anymore when she is here.
      Wanderlust or Gypsy? I will never understand, why she has this intrinsic desire to live so far from everyone who truly loves her.
      The whole in my heart cannot ever be replaced, I will never be the same, I will go about my life, crying when I think of her. I will never stop feeling that either she’s running from me or from an experience that she cannot ever forget.
      Yes, I too am selfish, I love each of my childern, and my husband of course. I am getting older, and my baby girl will never really be part of my life again.
      I love you LAUREN, if ever you read this, please know that if I had one last wish in my life, it would be to wake up tomorrow and you would again and replace that piece of my heart that belongs only to you.

      From Momma

      1. Hi, my name is Joanne and I just ready your post. I sitting outside on my swing crying because I completely understand how you feel. My beautiful daughter got married last night and it was the most beautiful and perfect wedding I have ever been too. I am so proud of my daughter and how she turned out. The problem is she lives two hours away and yes I know it’s not awful and I just was with her a couple of hours ago but I want to see her all the time. She is so important to our family and she has something so special about her that draws people to her. She is amazing and I know I did an amazing job. I don’t want her to know how sad I get but I think she probably knows. Now that she’s married I certainly don’t want to cause and issue because my emotions are nuts. I just love her so so much and can’t stand not knowing when I will see her again. What is wrong with me? She just texted me and said how much she loves me I should be so happy but I want to cry. Is this normal ? Only people like you would understand.

        1. Joanne,
          I can totally relate to your situation. My daughter and I are very close and she just got married last month. I have talked to her several times since and she is happy and settled. Why am I sad and cry all the time? It just sort of hit me and is really playing havoc with my emotions. The transition of letting your kids go is way,way harder than I imagined it would be. My husband looks at me like I am overly-emotional and it’s hard to visit or talk with someone when you’re crying all the time. This website has sure been an eye-opener. I truly thought I was the only one who was experiencing this!

        2. Gosh, I’m in Louisiana, sitting in my bed watching the Bachelorette reading this, and your story sounds exactly like mine!! My daughter got married last Saturday. It was beautiful and better than we could have imagined. She lives 3hrs away with her husband and is in Medical School. She graduates next May and will most probably be moving to another state for Residency. My younger daughter lives 2 hrs away and just got engaged. She just graduated with an accounting degree. Sounds like a perfect situation, but I too, am terribly sad and could cry at the drop of a hat. I have a husband of 30 years who does not understand how sad I am. My girls were my life. We shopped together, talked about everything, and now I feel lost, even though they’ve been out of the house for years now. When they visit and leave, it’s like they’re leaving for the first time. It’s crazy. Most of my friends don’t feel this way. I feel like I just can’t move on with my life. I’m constantly thinking of the last and all the fun we had together. I don’t have a bunch of girlfriends and haven’t talked about this with anyone, fearing they’ll think I’m some crazy lady stuck in the past!! I’m so glad to see I’m not alone!!

        3. I moved away from my adult kids and for the last 2 years, I’ve only seen them every 4 or 5 months. I’ve dealt with it pretty well, while starting a new life on the east coast. But now, my daughter has moved to LA so she’s even farther away. and she got engaged. I am so happy for her and for her new life but I feel so depressed. She just visited with her fiance and I am struggling so much after they left. I can’t stop crying. I haven’t ever been this depressed after seeing them. Maybe it’s because she’s so much farther away now. I don’t know. But i’m having a hard time. My boyfriend is being sweet but I don’t think he truly understands. I just want to sleep and cry. How am I supposed to go to work and cope? Any suggestions will help.

      2. Hi, my name is Joanne and I just ready your post. I sitting outside on my swing crying because I completely understand how you feel. My beautiful daughter got married last night and it was the most beautiful and perfect wedding I have ever been too. I am so proud of my daughter and how she turned out. The problem is she lives two hours away and yes I know it’s not awful and I just was with her a couple of hours ago but I want to see her all the time. She is so important to our family and she has something so special about her that draws people to her. She is amazing and I know I did an amazing job. I don’t want her to know how sad I get but I think she probably knows. Now that she’s married I certainly don’t want to cause and issue because my emotions are nuts. I just love her so so much and can’t stand not knowing when I will see her again. What is wrong with me? She just texted me and said how much she loves me I should be so happy but I want to cry. Is this normal ? Only people like you would understand.

      3. Your story has broken my heart, I feel exactly as you do. It’s Like when my daughter left she never looked back, I’ve been depressed now for 3 years. She doesn’t visit or video chat so my only contact is if I text her or call her which most of the time she doesn’t answer I’m so depressed I don’t know what to

      4. I’m so so sorry, it hurts so very very bad when they move away. My precious girl is moved away and it hurts me every minute of every day. I had no idea stabbing pain I would feel having been a stay-at-home mom spending each day for 18 years being her mama. I still have a high school or at home though and I’m just preparing for the day that he leaves. He already prefers to be with his friends as is very normal I know. It just hurts so much knowing that I have to experience this all over again when he leaves the nest, he’s planning on going to college out of state. I’ve heard about empty nest syndrome years ago but had no idea the stabbing pain that I would experience at that time. I understand and feel for every single person on this thread.

  58. ~*~*~*~ Whoa… I have not read all of these comments yet. Just have to say something now. I live in Texas. I am a single mother of a 19 year old son. He will turn 20 in August. This is day two of his unexpected sudden Moving. No warning, no time to prepare, and he didn’t want any belongings from his room. Just the clothes on his back. My heart is broken, I dont know what to do. I am so distraught Ive not been able to eat, sleep, or function. I am actually feeling physical pain in my chest. I am partial disabled and relied on my son for certain small tasks. I have no other living family, no local friends, my best friend of 20 years just passed. I am on the internet trying to find some way to cope. I have been independent most of my life, but right now I know I truly need someone to talk too, help, anything! If you feel the same way or just need to talk PLEASE reach out to me. I know I need you, maybe we can help each other. I am going to leave a Number with texting capability. Please, lets start from there and talk. 713-396-3039 ask for Destiny

    1. Destiny. I turned here tonight as my son has just told me he is moving to Florida with my 3 year old granddaughter (light of my life). I’m in NJ single and can relate to you. I feel your sadness. My daughter who is in NJ (thank God) her husband of 3 years walked out on marriage. I’m so shaken by all these changes and now my son moving has finally brought me to tears I been trying to be strong and have faith. Like you my children are my life and though I want them happy, I pictured such a different vision for their adulthood where we hang together and grandkids around me. My marriage ended 19 years ago n that was a devastation as I never saw it coming. Haven’t met anyone I care for in all this time feel like why am I still alone what is wrong with me. Finally accepting that the only guarantee in life is change and trying to adjust daily. I’m a loner don’t have friends to turn to I pray you find your way as I must also. [email protected]

    2. Hello Destiny, feel the ache in your heart. I have lost friends who passed, and one who moved away. Daughter and partner moved five hours away but it’s the grand children who are now 6 and 4 that causes the most of that pain in my heart. I wake up and that ache is there, I go to bed and it’s there. I know it’s bad for my own health but I can’t make it stop. I’m in England and most of the mums on here are in the USA. I hope you get some comfort knowing there are a lot of us out there feeling this way. Sending hugs through the ether. xxx

      1. This is my first comment here. How are you doing now a year and a half later? I am experiencing my son wanting to be independent and distancing himself now that he’s driving and has a job, and it feels like I’m dying from emotional pain. Single mom most of his life but with long term boyfriend since he was 10. We’ve all been very close and now he is 16 seems to hate us. I can’t live like this and I don’t want him to ever be far from me. I just want the next few years to be making happy memories with him while he’s still here in the same house😢 I cry myself to sleep every night. Somebody please just make me believe that there is happiness again after motherhood. I’m hope everybody on here feels at peace and truly happy again somehow and that this feeling we all have is temporary. I just can’t even imagine not seeing him regularly for all of my life. 😢

        1. My son just told me last night that he is moving out to work 1200 miles away for his work. I am numb, constantly crying. He’s my only son. I’ve been a single parent since he was 3 years old. His father passed from cancer. We have done everything together. I have been in my room constantly crying and cannot get it together at all. I know he has come a long way with his career and I am trying my best to understand that it’s his time to fly. I know because of the distance I will not see him for a long time.

  59. I cannot tell you how many times I have visited this page and the comfort it brings me knowing I am not alone. Today is my last day of my visit with my daughter. She’s running and errand and I am here crying. I hate the thought of leaving. She lives seven hours away and even though we talk once a week it’s never enough. I have a job I love and good friends, but a part of me is missing without her. I miss not being able to just run an errand with her or grab lunch. When she left for college (in the same area she lives now) I felt like a part of me was ripped out and I have never recovered. Why doesn’t it get any easier?

    1. I hope this site is still active. My daughter married 6 months ago, I had trouble coping but at least I get to see her. My son, my eldest just left to live in Japan. I was a full time mother who worked mostly from home. My children are my whole life, and I have not stopped bawling since I put Joseph on the plane yesterday. He is fluent in Japanese and always wanted to live there, at least for a while. He accepted a teaching position that came up quite suddenly and I had little time to prepare. I live in Texas so it is so very very far away. I feel sick and can’t even go in his room. What am I going to do?

      1. To top it off, I’m an only child and will have to move my aging mother into his room soon while she is waiting for an opening at assisted living. I feel horribly overwhelmed.

      2. Catherine-same. My daughter is moving 4,000 mikes away to be with her boyfriend of 4 years while he goes to graduate school. They will be living in Hawaii. I can’t stand to even look at her room or her things that she left behind. I hope it gets easier. Has anyone started a support group from this forum? I read where it was mentioned.

      3. I am also struggling with my kids being far away. I can’t stop crying after my daughters visit last week. I don’t know what to do. I was giddy before and during her visit. Now, I am so depressed. I just want to sleep and cry. I have to get myself together and go to work. I’m not sure how to do that. My boyfriend is really worried. It’s not him, I am just struggling with missing my kids so much. We’ve lived apart fro 2 years but for some reason it’s getting worse when they leave after a visit. I miss them so much. Maybe now it’s because my daughter has moved from our home state of Texas (I live in Maine now) to California. And she just got engaged. I should be happy for her…and I am…but I’m also very depressed and feel like I’m losing her even more. Kind of like she doesn’t need me anymore? I guess. I know it’s silly and we are very close. But that’s how it feels. My son is still in Texas. and I miss him, too. But I admit I’m closer to my daughter. But I miss him, also.

    2. I really don’t think it does get easier. But let yourself cry -it is a release of emotion. Otherwise you will do damage to your health. Be strong, so you will be ready for the next visit. I have a long wait myself, but I’m trying to do some things for me in the meantime.

      1. Marianne and Catherine – we could be triplets! My son and daughter in law are moving to Ireland on Monday. I am so sad and happy at the same time. I know they need to make their own life, but it is just so far away (we live in NY). My daughter in law is from Ireland and has a lot of family there, so that makes me happy, but my son has never lived away from us (they lived in our downstairs apartment and are 29 and 31 years old). I love my daughter in law like she is my own child. I have always been a strong woman, but not a day goes by that I’m not crying–at work, in the car, anywhere! Thankfully my husband and I love each other and still like each other 🙂 and have a full life together. Also, our daughter and 2 grandchildren live right down the street from us. Thank you for listening!

        1. Thinking of you this week, Marie! I just skyped with my son and his family – not quite the same as hugging and loving in person, but it’s better than nothing. Stay strong!! 😉

          1. Thank you Marianne! Well, they are gone. I cried for days, then oddly stopped. Now I am concerned for my husband, who is still extremely weepy. Everything he does or touches reminds him of how much he misses them. We use WhatsApp and will also Skype. I hope this gets easier…

      2. I am heartbroken and feeling suicidal since my daughter left with her husband 3,000miles away. His family is there but what about me. As a single parent who is very close to my daughter I am devastated and don’t know what to do Also she is pregnant and I don’t want to miss one minute.

  60. Is this group still active? I live in southern NJ. My son’s family, with my one and only little grandson, is moving to England. My heart is breaking. I cry so much. My dreams of Sunday dinners at Grammy’s and babysitting my grandson are over. I will be flat-grammy, visible on scype or facetime. Of course, they will come for Christmas and we will go there occasionally, but this is not what I wanted or expected and I am having such a hard time. I have a daughter also. She is an hour and a half away, but she leads a very busy life. She is single and rightfully busy. I guess I just always thought my kids would be close by, we’d visit, they’d visit and life would be good. We’d all grow old together. It sounds so dramatic, but I feel like my dreams are shattered.

    1. Wow, Marianne I could be your twin! My daughter just announced that her and her husband are moving to Germany. They both have excellent jobs in NY and there is no need for them to make this move except for “lifestyle”. I don’t understand it and never will. I am heartbroken and have been crying for a week. I’ve lived this before as she spent 5 years in Italy. I know what it entails-seeing her at Christmas and maybe in the summer. Phone calls and Skype are difficult because of the time change. They will probably have children shortly and I won’t be part of the grandkids’ lives. I wish I could get past this. Simply devastated!

      1. Oh my gosh, we ARE twins!! Thank you for being there. It’s good to know I’m not alone. My son lived in Cairo for 4 years and Italy for 3. Now, with my grandson, it’s even harder to see him go. It’s not something you ever get used to. I do find that making myself busier is helping this week.

    2. I am feeling your pain Marianne. I found out yesterday my daughter and son-in-law put in for all overseas bases for the next 4 years of his stint. I have gone from having my granddaughter with me for 4 years while there were in San Antonio to adjusting to them being in Virginia (thank God I had enough money to fly and see them a couple times a year) to now with them going overseas I will not be able to afford the travel. I have not been able to talk to anyone with crying. I feel numb all over and am just functioning to get through the day.

      1. Cheri, I know that feeling. I couldn’t tell my sisters about my son moving for a time because just picking up the phone and thinking about it, I started crying. I finally sent them a text and explained that I just couldn’t talk about it yet. Numb is the perfect descriptor. Thanks for being there.

        1. I can totally understand your pain. My girls are 25 and 22. Both married with around one year old baby boys. My oldest lives in the same town as I do and I see her family often.
          However, my youngest is a different story. She has had a rough life and I was there for her all the way through every bit of it. Her husband is a bit of a gypsy. He can’t seem to work more than a few months at any job. They lived with us for a few months, awhile back. During that time I bonded heavily with my grandson. I was able to see my baby girl everyday. Needless to say, my husband and her husband didn’t see eye to eye about my son-in-laws work ethics and taking care of our daughter and grandson. They were gone very soon after that.

          They first moved about 2 hours away. That hurt ALOT worse than I ever thought it would. I don’t seem to know what to do with myself without my grand baby. He is very attached to me as well. He is one of those babies that loves with all his heart and soul. I got to where I would go get him every other weekend so he could come stay with us and play with his cousin. My daughter and husband rarely came to visit though. I always went there. Every time I took him he me I cried my eyes out and went into an anxiety attack. Heart and lungs feel like they are being squeezed. I can’t really tell you why I cry, but I do every time I leave my grand baby. I know I will see him again. I know he will be just fine. My heart just aches when he goes back home. I have tried to figure it out, these are some ideas I’ve thrown around: I had bad postpartum depression with his mom, her and I have always been very close, I had a bad miscarriage after her then had to have a total hysterectomy due to endometriosis (wanted more know da but God had other plans), her baby looks exactly like her when she was that age, I bonded too much with him while they lived here, afraid his dad is trying to take them further away from us. Who knows? I feel totally crazy!

          Next thing I know, I called my daughter on Wednesday and couldn’t get in touch with her. I finally called my son-in-law and find out they are in another state checking on another job for him. Guess he got tired of his last one (not sure he made 60 days). They are going to be working as ranch hands on a ranch. What?? They moved this weekend while I had the baby. My emotions were off the chart! I was crying all day today, knowing they were coming to get him and I had no clue when I would see him again. AND, they have no cell service where they live, so no more calls, texts, or video chats with my daughter and grandbaby. I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest..

          Am I a total lunatic? Why do I hurt so much over this? Anyone else have these issues, too heavily bonded with grandchild? Anxiety attacks?

          Thank you for listening. I am happy I found this page and others with similar circumstances.

          God Bless!

          1. My son, his girlfriend and my little grandson left for Europe yesterday. This is painful. This is hard. You are NOT a lunatic! One minute I realize I need to keep busy and do so…..the next minute I realize my hands are shaking so badly, I need to put down what I’m working on. One day at a time is all we can ask of ourselves!

          2. I see there are a lot of us hurting. We moved to the Phoenix AZ area to be close to our youngest son and his wife and daughter seven years ago. They told us they were committed to this community and planned on staying until our granddaughter graduated from high school. So we bought a house and my husband retired. Incidentally we are not wealthy. I have been disabled for many years and it was wonderful to be near a son and family and feel settled. I could face the possibilities of the uncertain future with less trepidation knowing he was 2 miles away. 3 days ago he told us they are moving to North Carolina. In another 5 days they will be gone. And I am a basket case. Crying uncontrollably, trouble catching my breath, trouble sleeping, a lot of nausea. I have been very close to my son but they never allowed me to bond very closely with my granddaughter. So I am grieving what is and also what should have been. I am keeping the gardens alive with minimum attention and trying not to throw out too much food. But this is one of the most difficult times I have faced. My daughter-in-law has a very good job and is transferring. She would have had to change companies to stay in Phoenix. And her father and father’s wife who she has seen perhaps once a year for years is in North Carolina. I have faith that Heavenly Father will see me through, and my husband is loving and supportive while hurting too. It is hard to realize that my life is irrelevant to my children when their existence and happiness has been central to me for 40 years. I sure wish I had answers. I think time will help. As well as filling in those holes with other activities and other people. I am thinking of finding a place to volunteer with children.
            I hope you find a way. Reach out to your friends. And take care of yourself with judicious use of medication if available, exercise, prayer and/or meditation, and any little thing that soothes your mind or body.

            My husband (the retired counselor, recommends putting the emotional pain in a box (using an actual box), taping it shut and putting it on a high closet shelf. Then just refusing to think about it unless I retrieve the box and open it. He says the combination of symbolic and physical actions has a beneficial therapeutic effect. He is lucky i did not throw the box at him. I did tell him what he could do with it. He says however that many people find it very helpful and perhaps there will be a time when I will be receptive to the technique.
            Good luck to you.
            I feel for you and all the mothers and grandmothers here.

            May Heavenly Father provide comfort and the people and information you need to find your way.

        2. I feel the same way. I don’t want to burden others with my emotional state. I can’t talk without crying.