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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    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 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

    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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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. 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

    1. 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.

    2. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!


      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?

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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?

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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).

    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????????

  23. 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 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.

  24. 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.

  25. ~*~*~*~ 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.

    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

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

          1. My daughter is moving over 4,000 miles away. I’m experiencing cold sweats, difficulty catching my breath and bouts of crying. I’m hoping everyone continues to post. I’m really in need of contact with those going through the same thing.

  28. I’m 57, I have six grown kids- four girls, two boys- they are all on their own, youngest who is 22 now moved out a year or so ago- I have three daughters and the youngest son who live in the same large city that I do, along with four grands with oldest daughter- another daughter is across the country, and oldest son is across the country as well. I don’t work anymore (health issues, that hit- unfortunately- within the same time frame as last one left the nest- talk about lousy timing, lol!), but I’m very, very fortunate to have a wonderful husband who works so there isn’t really a need for me to anyway, and we have a truly close marriage…so empty nesting didn’t send the marriage into a tailspin, thank goodness! Ok, groundwork laid, now on to the matter at hand: trying to acclimate once the grown kids leave. I have read some of the posts on here, and it’s hard to read how devastated some of the moms are, and my heart goes out to each of you- I’ve certainly done my share of crying since the nest ’emptied’, that’s for sure- and even though I have all but two of the kids in town here, I hardly hear from anyone- mainly because they have their own day-to-day lives to live, just like we all did when we were their ages, and some of us were raising kids at that time. I try not to take it personally, although it isn’t easy sometimes…I was ‘mom’ for 35 years, from the really young age of 20, and to be honest, it has been like I don’t have a clue who I am since they have left home- and that has been a bit of a scary one. I’m working my way through it- I was a very ‘hands on’ mom although I had to work outside of the home when they were growing up as well- but you get so caught up in ‘parenting’, the whole whirlwind of it where it seems the days and nights just seem to blend in to one another while they are growing up and we are doing what we do as parents. And now, here we all are. Our kids are grown…they are all out forging lives for themselves, and we don’t have a clue what to do now. One thing that I’ve realized, and remember…I’m in the same boat everyone else is on here…is this: we have to try to remember who we were BEFORE we had children. And yes…we were people before, with ideas, and dreams, and interests, lol. It’s just been so long ago, it’s hard to dredge that person up from the depths of the past again! The thing is this: I read some of the posts up there where the mom knew every aspect of every child’s day to day life, etc.- where mom was still heavily involved in ‘parenting’…and believe me, I know how difficult it is to change gears and move from the ‘parenting’ we did when they were children, to the ‘have to stand back and let them fly’ that we need to do now. And it is no easy transition. But it’s a transition we all have to make, or we are forever stuck in the mode we were when they were in elementary school…and that isn’t healthy for us, for them, for anyone. It’s hard, I know- believe me, I know- and I’m struggling like all the rest of you are. I’m hurt when I don’t get a phone call unless someone wants something (most of the time)….I’m hurt when I call to say hi, and I’m on the phone for maybe 30 seconds before they tell me they have to go because they’re busy, or whatever- I’m hurt that my whole adult life was spent raising all of them, trying to be the best parent I could be, putting them before myself…and now that they are grown, it’s like…well, like I never really had kids, that these are just people who sort of pass in and out of my life at random times, tear my heart out, and flitter away again. Sounds pretty desperate, doesn’t it? lol…but guess what? You really can get past this. It isn’t easy, and it’s going to hurt,,,and it won’t ever stop hurting because in a sense, we are grieving who we were….parents to kids who needed us…and we are grieving the loss of relationships that defined who we were at the time. And that isn’t easy, and it isn’t quick or anything else. So…what do we do? I’m still on the ‘road to recovery’ as it were, lol….and although I’m definitely not through anything and out the other side, I want to share some things I have discovered so far. First…we really do need to remember who we were before. We actually were interesting people, but after having kids, we became ‘so and so’s mom’…and I don’t know about the rest of you, but I totally lost my identity during those years. Try to remember the things that interested you back then, thoughts and dreams you may have had…maybe take a class that interests you, a craft of some sort – I was always involved in artistic endeavors and plan on taking up tile mosaic in the future. What about somewhere you want to visit? When I was a child, my mom had an old black and white pic of a mummy with canopic jars that she took at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History back in the 50s…and ever since then, I always wanted to visit a history museum like that. My husband and I were fortunate enough to spend a few days in Chicago, and go to the Field Museum and art museum and it was amazing….and NOT expensive! We’re talking about other future things as well, it’s a slow, slowwww process…but you have to understand one thing: Your grown children aren’t trying to hurt you…mine aren’t trying to hurt me, although hurt it does- but they are moving on with their lives as adults, just like we all did…and this is how things should be. Be proud that you have raised adults who are actually ADULTING! lol- you raised children to be responsible, and now they are out in the world, being responsible, so…job well done, mom! And dad, lol. It’s a slow process, but you have to move forward and start living your life again, for you- as parents, that is so hard, to think of ourselves when our lives were spent thinking of them….but it can be done, slowly but surely…one step at a time. 🙂

    1. Your thoughts are excellent. My three are all grown now. The youngest got married in Oct. then a month later he and his bride shipped off to S Korea with the Army. My oldest has always lived here until the week my youngest left, she and her family moved an hour and a half away. The middle son, with the youngest grandkids is a career missionary in SE Asia. So six years ago, all three were here and now they are all gone. I’m lost. My calendar is empty except for helping my aging parents. I liked your suggestion of trying to remember who I was pre-kid days. My husband is loving the empty nest. Lol. I keep wishing I was wired like him, but I’m not. So I’m going to take your suggestion and think back on what I enjoy. What was I passionate before I was a mom. I think I’ll always miss not living life with my kids and grandkids and only talking once in awhile with them. And please know, it helps me to know others are struggling with this transition! I’ve grieved, cried, gotten angry over being ignored, tried to stop thinking about them, give up expections( like when the youngest forgot my 60th birthday), everything I can think of to get the pain, hurt and loneliness to go away or at least lesson some. So this week going to give this process some more attention. Praying each of us continues to heal and grow.

      1. Wow thank you so much i realized this is how i feel after moving three hours away ftom my daughters in ft lauderdale, i now live on gulf coast. My son is on college in orlando. Im always missing them
        And my role as mommy. Miss my grand babies so much i feel im too far. Moved in with my fiance who likes the gulf coast i dont like it.

    2. Your thoughts are excellent. My three are all grown now. The youngest got married in Oct. then a month later he and his bride shipped off to S Korea with the Army. My oldest has always lived here until the week my youngest left, she and her family moved an hour and a half away. The middle son, with the youngest grandkids is a career missionary in SE Asia. So six years ago, all three were here and now they are all gone. I’m lost. My calendar is empty except for helping my aging parents. I liked your suggestion of trying to remember who I was pre-kid days. My husband is loving the empty nest. Lol. I keep wishing I was wired like him, but I’m not. So I’m going to take your suggestion and think back on what I enjoy. What was I passionate before I was a mom. I think I’ll always miss not living life with my kids and grandkids and only talking once in awhile with them. And please know, it helps me to know others are struggling with this transition! I’ve grieved, cried, gotten angry over being ignored, tried to stop thinking about them, give up expections( like when the youngest forgot my 60th birthday), everything I can think of to get the pain, hurt and loneliness to go away or at least lesson some. So this week going to give this process some more attention. Praying each of us continues to heal and grow.

    3. Wow thank you so much i realized this is how i feel after moving three hours away ftom my daughters in ft lauderdale, i now live on gulf coast. My son is on college in orlando. Im always missing them
      And my role as mommy. Miss my grand babies so much i feel im too far. Moved in with my fiance who likes the gulf coast i dont like it.

    4. Mare, thank you for your encouragement. I have been mindful for the last few years that my job as a mom was to “fledge” my young adult kids from the nest as healthy individuals who can make it on their own. It really does hurt to know that I will never be as essential to someone as I was to them when they were young, but I feel I can take pride in doing my job well! And I’m going to be looking for ways to build on all the skills I honed as a mom, to be an encourager and helper to young people and others along life’s road as I move forward as another healthy individual who ca make it on my own too.

    5. Thank you for your wise words. Our son, his wife and one year old left today to move to another state, and I am so very very sad. It does leave a big hole in your life, but I have to accept and respect their decisions. I am fortunate that I have two other married kids with grandchildren in town, so I feel guilty about crying so much about the one who moved away. Facetime is a poor substitute for being together. I was a mostly stay at home mom, and my family was my job. Keeping them close together is important to me, but I have to accept reality, and try to do the best I can . It’s going to take time though.

    6. Oh my goodness. I know I don’t know you, but I could just hug you right now. My 23 year old Son just left a few hours ago. He’s moving 2500 miles away. My husband and other children, along with myself are DEVASTATED. We’ve been crying for the last 2 hours. This is so hard and hurtful. What you wrote makes lots of sense and I had to copy and paste. And text to my husband. I’m really glad that I found this page, and that I can relate to a everyone here. Thank you so much!!!

  29. I am feeling the same heartbreak right now. My daughter has been about 8 hours away finishing up her Doctorate degree. While there she met a wonderful man, got married, and they just had my first grandbaby. They are now leaving for Ohio at the end of May2018. I am in Houston. I am at a loss and can’t shake the feeling of them being so far away. I have a disabled son, so it makes it hard to travel by vehicle or plane. They will be gone for 5 years. I lost my husband several years ago to pancreatic cancer, so the house is empty. I am a teacher and have a good job, but no real friends to do things with. I feel as though my heart has been ripped into a million pieces.

    1. I know how you feel. I’m all alone, too. Both of my kids moved away. My daughter is moving on the other side of the planet, to make matters worse. I have to learn to accept it but I don’t know how. I cry all the time and have a very heavy weight in my chest, like I can’t breathe. I hope this gets better soon because I can’t go on like this. 🙁

      1. I’m so sorry to say,,it never gets better,,it gets harder,,I have two sons in their 40s I’m 62, in a different state ,I cry every day,, I cry so hard and loud my dog starts crying ,,I’ve realized,grown sons cling to their wives ,daughters cling to their moms,I have only sons my daughters in laws cling to their moms ,,,I’m lost I’m so alone ,I feel like I’m dying,,my entire world was my sons ,then one day they moved on and I was alone,I’d kill. Shelf but I don’t have the nerve,,what do mothers do when their children are gone,I watch The Walton’s all day everyday and yearn for my family back,

        1. My heart aches for you. It is the last evening my adult children will have their bedrooms in our home and I am happy for them but trying to piece together how I will go on without their laughter, energetic arrivals, endless conversation, and all things warm and familiar. They are moving out together so I am empty nesting all at once. But what you describe is nearly unbearable. Please talk to someone and find a path to connection. Have you ever thought about fostering? All that love you have and need could be present in helping a child who’s hurting just as you are. Or there are developmentally disabled adults who need a helping hand and have so much love to give. Be a surrogate grandma for a displaced young couple who might not have family nearby but could really use connection, a meal, babysitting, and a parental figure. I SO hope any of this sounds like a possibility for you. You have a lot to give. Big hugs from a stranger in California.

          1. I am in the transition of my youngest looking for a job in Florida where my eldest son is with his middle son is currently in Germany and will return to the states after 2 years away, but then very quickly will be moving to Massachusetts for a PHD program..I am so very proud of my sons and want them to be happy, but for my husband and myself we are lost and broken hearted. While my husband feels it, his family dealt with distance as he was growing up. I on the other hand saw my grandparents every Sunday and have such wonderful memories I had hoped to relive with my own children and future grandchildren. To make things worse we don’t have the money to fly all over the place to see my sons. In order to retire someday and move closer to even one of them, we are stuck here in PA. My husband would be crazy to leave his job now and start at the bottom again. We have debt..lots of it. Dreams of Sundays with family are gone..I will be Skypin Grandma, and if I’m lucky I will see them at Christmas. .we haven’t been together physically as a family for over 2 years now… And I don’t know who I am and what is my purpose. I’m going to set women back to the beginning of time, but all I ever wanted was to be a mom. If I could I would retire and move closer but they haven’t all landed yet and I have an old house to fix before we could even think of selling it to move. I’m so low..praying for all of us. How does a family stay together? I’ve been in the same field for 30 excitement there..I’m worn out…I also have chronic foot pain…life is full of…being sarcastic there…help needed.

        2. A friend reminded me that grieving a loss is normal and that time helps the healing process. And that what a blessing that I am grieving his loss because he is moving 3000 miles away instead of attending his funeral. I can understand that with my head but my heart is something else v
          Please reach out. Suicide is an end but not an answer. You still have a purpose and it can be found. Please, please talk to someone. A crisis line if nothing else.
          My prayers are with you

      2. My daughter is moving to England from New York for her husband..He will never come here. My daughter had an amazing life and is leaving to live in a small town in Northern England. I am devastated. I also have an autistic daughter who is 28 years old and a son..I am very concerned my daughter is giving up her future and will become financially dependent on her husband..I know how you are feeling and there arent many people who understand how deeply sad having a child so far away can make you..🌹

      3. My daughter is moving to Moscow. My other a citizen in Israel. I live in NJ. Both my kids are Orthodox Jews. I am reform married to a Christian. I am in mourning for my relationships with them and it doesn’t help that new son in law is a liar and totally disrespectful. No solution in sight- just gotta move on.

      4. My daughter is moving over 4,000 miles away. I’m experiencing cold sweats, difficulty catching my breath and bouts of crying. Did it get any easier for you?

        1. Supposedly it gets better. My son is moving to North Carolina from here in Phoenix AZ. He waited unti 8 days before departure to tell us. I am experiencing the same symptoms plus some profound nausea. He and his wife are packing and told us we can come over and hang out. I hope he does not realize how cruel that seems. I hope it gets better. Since I have experienced anxiety in the past, I have Xanax which I am finding helpful. Had not taken any in a year but any port in a storm. I am glad I do not use alcohol

          My husband (retired counselor) has offer an intervention he calls the Box. You get a box and place the pain inside, seal it and put it on a high closet shelf. With the understanding that you must retrieve and unseal the box before dealing with that emotional pain again. He is very lucky I did not nail him with the box. I did tell him where he could put it. That being said, his techniques are usually proven in practice and perhaps I will use it in time.

          Right now I am taking comfort where I find it; dog, cats, husband, friends, and Heavenly Father.

          I will live through this, I hope, find joy again.
          May you find your joy again also.

    2. I feel exactly the same my youngest has moved about 270 miles away first time he left home last one of three boys gone and I just can’t cope I feel sad lost angry heartbroken I’m so used to him being here for 28 years me and my husband are finding it really hard he has no family or friends where he is will only see him now and again I can’t sleep or eat I don’t feel like I have no interest in anything anymore I found out so suddenly that this was planned and he never told me till a couple of days before and I can’t get my head roundvhowas he could leave just like that a girl he met 10 years ago on holiday and she got pregnant and my son couldn’t cope with the news he ended up with alopecia went to prison for a year as he couldn’t cope with the guilt then one day got in touch with her and started staying at her house in hull I am in England hull is near Yorkshire then suddenly decided to move there to live with her such a quick decision I will never get used to him so far away my other two live locall and grandchildren but he was still at home I feel so lost please help

      1. Hello Julie Stephenson, I’m in Cornwall and my daughter, partner and two grandchildren went in August to live near London. I’m missing being able to visit them when they were only an hours train ride away, it was as I said in an earlier post a day out. Heart is actually aching, not to be part of their lives the way I expected is devastating, but we moved from Manchester to Cornwall when they were 11 and 7, and the realisation that I did this to my own parents and my Mother in law has actually hit me really hard, how could we have done this? but we did. You do wonder if it’s pay back time. I do get so annoyed at people who say think of the opportunities for you to do what you want for a change. Well you need money and health and sadly both are lacking in our lives. They are visiting in a couple of weeks, for Halloween, so there will be time spent with the grandchildren, who are feral, in a good way, lol, one could say lively. I’ll keep visiting this page, there have been quite a few posts since I last wrote. We are not alone.

    3. Hello T. Murry, I am going through the same thing. My DD and partner are moving 5 hours away. I have two grandchildren, 5 years and 3 years old. I was at their births. We live about an hour away now, we have no car but live five minutes from train station. My husband is disabled, hypoxic brain damage and I now have reduced hours to part time. Relations are a little strained due to a money situation, not of my making! Let’s say they borrowed without asking. My husband is devastated, even though he realises he couldn’t physically care for them he will miss seeing them. We only really see them once a month now, but we can get on a train to visit very easily, two hours travel there and back, so it’s a day out. I am at a loss, but these things happen I suppose, we moved when our kids were 11 and 7, to do with work prospect, I can now understand what my parents and mum in law felt, that does break my heart, knowing that I’d caused someone to feel how I now feel, Karma! I didn’t want to move but my husband was given an opportunity and I went, cried for the first two years. So I can see it from both sides so for me the hurt is a double whammy. I have people around me, but being shy I don’t put on people. I do have a marvellous friend who left to go back to her home town due to family. I was also bereft, no one to have a day out with, but we chat every weekend for two hours, and it really is lovely. I’m hoping that’s how it will be with my daughter and SiL and the ‘babies’ of course. I know how your heart is feeling, truly do. When people use the term heart ache, it actually does feel like your heart is aching. I sleep at night and wake up and it’s there. My feelings are also compounded that we had done this to our own parents. Take care, there is a lot of it about, but we love our children and want them to be happy and as the poem says ‘the loving is in the letting go’.

  30. Wow, I’m glad to have found this page. I don’t feel as foolish or alone about my feelings.

    My husband and I live in California. I’m 62, my sons are 26 and 29 and have been living on their own since college. They are totally financially self-sufficient and hard workers. In general, all has been fine — we video chat with both of them for an hour once a week, which has kept us all close. My 26 year old lives in LA, only about a 6 hour drive from us. Not so bad.

    Five years ago my 29-year-old (who I am extremely close to emotionally) moved to Australia — supposedly for 2 years. Luckily he is home 3-4 times a year for work. We actually see him more than the 26-year old. After about 2.5 years he announced he wanted to get his Australian citizenship (it’s dual with US), which added 2 more years. In the past year he also has finally found a steady relationship with an Australian (they do say they are willing to move to the US).

    My son got his Australian citizenship a month ago and it sent me into a tailspin. I just feel deep down now that he’ll never come back, even though he still says he will (it’s always “in a year”… last year he said he’d be home by March 2018, now he says 2019). I feel foolish that I’ve been hopeful now for 5 years! My husband thinks he WILL come back, but I feel I now need to accept that he probably won’t.

    I’m trying to go through a grief process (I use the book “The Courage to Grieve”) but it’s hard to do when I still think it’s possible he WILL come back. If it was just cross-country that would one thing, but a flight to Australia is 15-16 hours. It’s just really hard to do and it’s not something you do for a 1 week visit. And we’re not getting any younger. We visited once 3 years ago but haven’t wanted to do it again, especially since he comes here fairly often.

    I worry that I will never see grandchildren if there are any some day. This is not the future I thought I’d be living. It’s particularly hard because I’m so very emotionally close to this son. He has always been a bit clingy, which has aggravated the whole situation. And he has always been a dutiful son. He knows how I’m feeling even if we don’t talk about it and feels guilty about it… that just makes me feel worse. The whole situation is so hard! We are both depressed!

    I know that my son needs to finally follow his own heart. I want him to find love, do his thing. By why does it have to be in AUSTRALIA?? There are even more job opportunities in the USA for him — which he readily admits.

    Well that’s my story. At least I’m not alone! Thanks for all your sharing…

    1. Hello, Amy. I am going to be in the same situation as you starting next weekend. My only daughter is moving to Australia and I feel devastated. She’s an adult so there’s nothing I can do. I have a son but he lives 6 hours away from me. I’ll be all alone and it’s a horrible feeling to have. I can only imagine how you must feel with your son already living there. I’m trying to come to terms with this but don’t know how. Any suggestions? 🙁

    2. Ty for your story. I cry every day and am very depressed. I’m 62 retired married but he works 12 hour shifts. My oldest son moved to NC 3 years ago and my youngest who is married and has 2 kids and one more on the way just moved to Atlanta We are in Florida. I have no family here and just moved into a new house not far from my son who moved to Atlanta after an unexpected job transfer. I hate my new house now and hate my life. Please can someone tell me it will get better. We can move to Atlanta in a year but my fear is he can get transferred again and I’m back to where I was. Please help me !!!!!

    3. I’m so glad I saw this post. I have 4 adult son’s. All are financially secure. 2 are married, 1 divorced, 1 happily single. 3 granddaughters. My youngest is in the navy. He is shipping out to Guam, in 3 weeks for 3 years. I can NOT wrap my mind around how far away he will be. We live in Indiana.
      I miss the every day interaction between them. Sometimes so much I can’t sleep.
      Their father and I divorced, 20 years ago, I remained unmarried while they were growing up. Recently I married a wonderful man. We have been married 6 years now.
      I enjoyed a very close relationship with the boys while they were growing up.
      Sometimes I feel like they resent me getting married. When I feel this way, I’m over come with grief.

      1. I’m from Indiana as well. I’ve been crying all day off and on and having bouts of anxiety . My 22 yr old daughter went to college locally where she met her boyfriend of 4 years. He’s from Hawaii. They are moving there where he will be going to school for his doctorates. Since he will be saving $200,000 being a resident it makes sense, but doesn’t make it any easier. I’ve been a stay at home mom and my kids have been my entire life. I can’t quit remembering her little girl days., which makes me break down and cry inconsolably. Not sure how I’m going to get through this. It would help if my husband could be the strong one like he usually is, but he’s as upset as I am.

    4. Hey, I have two sons and a daughter. The youngest is in S Korea now with the army , but will come back to states in two years. The middle son is career missionary. His family is in SE Asia! They have two preschoolers and another on the way. They were just in the stares but now are back home. I can relate to long travel. It takes five flights and 34 hours to reach them. Thankful for Skype and What’s App. It’s hard. My heart hurts, but it’s the way it is. I think we have to be willing to let go of our dreams. Kids miss them terribly, but try to focus on the fact that at least we have Skype. It’s hard. I don’t have a magic cure for the pain, but to say, limit the time you think about it each day. If not, it will eat you up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        2. Trish and Veronica, I am crying as I write this. I am a 64 year old mom and grandmother. My oldest daughter and her husband announced after Christmas vacation that they are moving to Delaware this summer! We live in Miami. We are a very tight knit family and I was very involved in helping to raise my 2 granddaughters. I just can’t imagine my life without them! My other daughter is just as distraught. I know that it is selfish but I hope they can’t adjust to the cold winters and come back.

        3. I feel the same way Veronica my daughter and I are very close. She moved to New York two months ago and I have been struggling also. She has MS and I absolutely hate her being so far away. It’s about 5 1/2 hours from home. I definitely share the same close relationships with my daughters. My younger daughter just got her masters degree and will be moving soon too, hopefully not as far away. I can relate to what you’re going through. I am so sad and depressed even though I know she’s an adult and this was her choice.

      3. Oh Trish and Hockeymom- my feelings exactly! I was never that mom who whined at my son asking him when he was going to get married, when he was going to give me grandchildren. I was happy whether or not these things happened. But then he did fall in love with a girl we really love. They married after 5 years of dating. And now a grandchild is on the way. Our hearts are full. But the chance they are going to move far away is very real. The high cost of living here, job opportunities elsewhere, and a great chance to buy a home elsewhere is enticing. But my heart is aching at the thought of having a grandchild far away, missing the milestones- first day of school, first school play, first sports play, holidays – and the little sweet moments of reading to him, sharing some time together. I know millions of parents deal with this all over the country, but how? Yes, a support group would be wonderful if I only knew where to find one.

      4. Lori
        Hi everyone,
        I understand what you are feeling and so glad to know that my feelings are normal. I am a 56 year old grandma of one. I have so much to be proud of but yet I am sad.
        I have a husband and several good close friends, but when I’m alone I am sad.
        All 3 of my kids are college graduates with good jobs. But it’s not like when I was younger and my parents and in laws were right around the corner. Now I’m happy to get all three of them together (with there spouses) as a family once a year if that! All my daughter wanted was to get married now that she’s married I feel like I’ve lost my best friend. She is no longer close by. Miss doing things with her. Just not knowing what to do with this next chapter of my life. My most proudest accomplishment was being a mom and being there for my children, now it is a quick phone call and a short visit with one or two of them every couple of months. They are happy, which I am glad for that, but I am so sad. I wish there was a support group too.

      5. I wish here was a support group. Two of my 3 adult sons and their families live out of town. I get so depressed for almost 2 weeks before I snap out of it. The highs and lows are tough.

    2. Oh Trish and Hockeymom- my feelings exactly! I was never that mom who whined at my son asking him when he was going to get married, when he was going to give me grandchildren. I was happy whether or not these things happened. But then he did fall in love with a girl we really love. They married after 5 years of dating. And now a grandchild is on the way. Our hearts are full. But the chance they are going to move far away is very real. The high cost of living here, job opportunities elsewhere, and a great chance to buy a home elsewhere is enticing. But my heart is aching at the thought of having a grandchild far away, missing the milestones- first day of school, first school play, first sports play, holidays – and the little sweet moments of reading to him, sharing some time together. I know millions of parents deal with this all over the country, but how? Yes, a support group would be wonderful if I only knew where to find one.

    3. Good for you! I am never married with no kids and struggling financially.
      You have a husband, 3 launched, educated, healthy sons who live 30 minutes away.
      You have a good job too, and I am guessing good health. What’s your beef?
      Get a grip sister. You have a blessed life.

      1. Frieda, I think we all agree that we are blessed to have happy, successful children. Mothers have a special bond with their children that many people do not understand. It is bittersweet for us when our children move away from us (physically and/or emotionally). Yes it is part of life, but it leaves a void in our hearts. I know that you do not have any children, but please don’t criticize us until you have walked in our shoes.

        1. I still remind my sons in their 40s on a regular basis that I carried them nine months, never took an aspirin had natural childbirth took all the pain to make sure they would be healthy, now I feel like they have forgotten me because they have happy families of their own,,, should I ask my so n and daughter in law if I can live with them,,,is that really fair to them,,I remember when I married and had our sons how happy our home was with our family ,I don’t think I would have wanted my mother in law moving in and taking over,,,but I promise I’d stay in my room and never interfere ,I just want to be around my sons,I’m dying of a broken heart ,and a broken heart is deadlier than most illnesses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          2. A tea party,,my sons have been the air I breathe since the days they were born, I recently was visiting my sons and hugging and touching my sons face like I’ve done since they were born ,they are in their 40s ,I love my sons ,they are my boys, no matter how old the get,I have to show my love by hugs and kisses like moms do,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        I sigh..

        I hate this ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      2. Jb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      2. Husbands do understand as I am a Husband and father and am devastated buy our children moving away. Being a dad is all I have ever known. The sadness is crushing.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        4. Gabriella Smith,

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

          “Xenophobic”? Are you also brainwashed?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          1. I feel exactly the same way during their visits. Struggling to find a way to deal with all of it. Thinking of you.

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

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

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

      Hang in there! -Veronica

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      David & Veronica, The GypsyNesters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Hi Susan,

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

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

    Thank you

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

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