When the Empty Nest Is Really Empty, Will You Be Ready?

Many parents, grandparents and caregivers look forward to the day when their children or grandchildren are grown and on their own. I remember when my daughter went off to college and was away from home for the first time. I felt like I was walking around in an empty house filled with shadows, stillness, and silence. My house no longer felt like a home to me in her absence. I had been a single parent for a few years during this time of my life. And to be perfectly honest, I was fearful of being in the house by myself. I slept with a sharp knife under my pillow and a light on in the hallway. I never really slept through the night for some time. Also, I was fearful for my daughter. I worried about her well-being constantly and wanted to call her everyday. But, she was in college now and besides, who would I contact to check on her? What would her instructors or professors think if I called or emailed them? How will I know how she doing in class other than seeing her grades at the end of each semester or quarter? Or, was she safe in her off campus apartment?

I found myself listening for the telephone to ring to just to hear her voice. She had her own car and drove around Athens without a care in the world. Of course, I was over joyed when she called me at work unexpectedly for minor issues or concerns. Did I ever let her know about my fears, worries, and anxieties? No, I didn’t. I couldn’t. I had to learn how to handle and deal with what I was going through with out disclosing my concerns and fears to my daughter. After all, isn’t this what I was looking forward to? It came sooner than I expected and I was not ready or prepared for the new reality I faced. During the day work kept me from focusing on her absence. However, evenings and nights were unbearable! One day, I prayed and talked to God about what I was experiencing. I knew I couldn’t carry the burden of my fears on my own. I decided to let go and release her to God and trust His care and protection for both of us. Overtime my fears subsided and anxieties lessened. I gained a sense of peace and tranquility. I hope you too find peace and comfort when your Empty Nest becomes a reality and not a much anticipated goal. It comes sooner than you think. Will you really be ready?

I would love to hear how you handled your Empty Nest and what you did to adjust to the change or changes you experienced.



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