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The Last One Flies The Nest

It's been a week since he left.

I knew it was coming
even still
the  departure of my youngest
brought me to my knees.

I don't usually write about emotional situations
when they are still green in my heart …

But I fear if I don't write now
I will lose the authentic emotions.
I want to remember fully
crossing this ocean of transition
into a truly empty nest
no matter how hard it is.

That's how I know I will be able to usher in the next phase of my life
with honor, dignity and passion.

I want to remember
that I loved my son fiercely
still was able to let go with grace.

For me there is always a grieving process when they leave ...

As it has been
with each of my children as they have moved out
for lives of their own.

When my daughter left for college
I was so very lost
it took me a couple of years
to find myself again
after full time parenting for so long.

It was her leaving for college
that got me blogging.

I was at such a loss of self
I had absolutely no idea of personal direction
only that I had a huge gaping hole in my heart.

I started this blog organically and privately
by just focusing on finding one beautiful picture a day.
Hiking on the beach
reminded me
my life will go on …
even without her daily in my life.

I taught myself to focus on beauty and gratitude.
I made it through  to be better than before.

When my oldest son left for college
I let his alarm clock ring every morning
in the emptiness 
that was left behind.

I knew it would be a process of getting over another 
gaping hole in my heart.
I gave myself time to mourn 
a passing of a time in my life.

But I didn't give myself too much time.
I once again doubled up in my
focusing of gratitude and beauty.

This time
being as it was the third departure
 I thought I would have it all together.

After not writing much of anything 
of this final departure
I had imagined my first post on the subject
would be a glowing and helpful article on
Self Care During An Emptying Nest.

Instead this week it was more of
I'm Not Myself … Again.
I was right back as grief stricken … as I had been before.

Such a roller coaster of emotions it's been this week.
From the first departure day of
 I've got this just fine.
I'm sad
but I've processed his leaving
before the fact
so I'm emotionally healthy and good.

To the next night  of not even  being able to sleep
due to such severe heartache.
Which made the idea of getting out of bed the next day
too overwhelming.

To almost a week 
of the saddest haunting dreams
of seeing their homes
but no front doors …

To a myriad of dreams that seem to unleash every loss memory
I ever had.

Children leaving home
even under the best of circumstances
as all of mine have left ...

are one of life's truly bittersweet moments.

Filled with the sweetest of
 I couldn't be prouder of the wonderful individuals they have become.

Loving adults
full of character, strong work ethics
going after their own passions in life.

Just as I have always hoped they would be.
Just what I had worked so diligently for
their entire life.

I am proud and grateful.

But such bitterness in the exact same moments.

I had to overcome the urge at one point
 to flail myself around
in my broken heartedness of the feelings of loss in the  moment.

The irrational feelings of  my lower self feeling used up
left behind.
(Lack of sleep never helps any emotional situation).

I have allowed myself some pity parties
this week
but I was very careful
to schedule them alone in my room.
I didn't want any of "this" to spill out and mar any other relationships.

a best friend
let me rant and rail on an early morning hike
for that
I will be ever grateful.
C. you know I love you

and other friends
who hiked with me this week
reminded me that there is so much more good to come!

As the days have passed

felt a breaking of the grief
a lightening of spirit.

I am so grateful
I have been practicing good self care all week …

So putting back the preverbal pieces
will be easier 
this third time around.

I have no doubt
there will still be emotional storms
to ride out  regarding my truly empty nest.

They come like swells in the ocean …
sometimes you are lifted  up to the crest
where you can see the beautiful shore coming nearer
only to be taken down the face
with no vision
but that of waves on either side.

But for today
my higher self is back
I can see the the shore 
for the first time since Hunter moved out.

I will still miss him
but his move is local
has already returned for our weekly family dinners.

I can feel the devastating sadness beginning to break apart
drifting in 
is the slight breeze of 
in planning this newest life transition and adventure.

So here's to feeling the pain
of the final child flying the nest
moving towards the shore on other side.

I think I'm going to grow to love this newest view.

From here I can see so much beauty
ever so much to be thankful for …

Especially you my dear readers!
It has been your encouragement and love
that have helped champion me to this view
these last few years.

My heart will be forever grateful.

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life

Thank you all for your loving and encouraging comments
they truly touch my heart.


  1. Hello. I read this from across the Atlantic and wanted to just observe: maybe when the last child leaves that feeling you have, which sounds overwhelming, is telling you to make a change now; one that will mirror the ones your children have made and will reduce that 'left behind' feeling? I don't know, I am yet to get there but I see a glimpse of it ahead with my children and I feel like the way I will get through it is to do something completely different, specifically GO somewhere completely different! I have learned that the one being left behind is often the one who feels the worse. Be the one who goes somewhere rather than is left - and maybe that will help? I hope you're OK though, your heart sounds like its broken and I hope it mends. Lou x

  2. It is clear from your post how important your family is to you :-) I know how difficult it was for me when our last child left to strike out on her own. However, I could not of imagined the joy we have experienced as our family has 'grown up' - you have so much joy and sweetness ahead! Give yourself the time you need, be good to yourself!

  3. Thank you for having the courage to share such raw feelings. I was moved to tears, knowing this transition lies not far ahead for me. I am happily unmarried, and mostly a loner, but my children have been so much to me...I know the pain of letting go that last time will be more than I can even imagine. I will reread this then and know I am not alone.

  4. Such a beautiful and heart-filled post. I know those feelings and there was an adjustment for me to get through. However, as they came back for bits of periods (some a few times), I have realized that being an empty nester is a joy to savor.

  5. I truly love your blog!! The fashion, the decor, and your most heartfelt writing! Thank you!! You captured the sadness just PERFECTLY! Appreciate all the honesty you bring to life! I am so glad you have a blog! Your Fan, Kathryn

  6. Happy New Year friend. I have been out of the loop for a while and not sure when or if I will blog again. I see your blog in my email box and read when I can.

    I so can feel your grief as your shared here with us. I am not where you are yet, but my oldest is a Sophomore in High School!! Yikes, my time is soon approaching!! I want to encourage you though, to press in and keep the faith. I am so glad that you are able to maintain your weekly family dinners!! What a blessing to hold that so dear. I will keep you and your lovely family in my prayers. Peace to you.

  7. How well you have expressed how all of us mothers have had to go through when our children leave home. Why is it that this culture does not allow us to wail when we grieve? as in ancient times.... yes we are mourning a loss but life is a series of losses and we need to grieve fully so we are able to see the other side, necessary passages... A bittersweet time.

    Wishing you all the best and here is my famous saying (which drives my family around the bend!!) this too shall pass. I am an old lady who has seen the worst of life(war) and the best( the sun rising every morning!!) You will survive with grace and fortitude...

    Annie v.

  8. Thank you for your lovely blog, I enjoy reading your posts and thank you for sharing your life with us. I wanted particularly to say a belated thank you for your piece on self care during Christmas, I read it several time and took this to heart and 'gave' myself a bit of time admits the hectic ness of full time work and 5yo childcare to plan some outfits and think about what I needed for me to make it a happy time for us all, the result was that we really had a super Christmas. Thank you fabulous lady, thinking of you and wish you all the best through this difficult time x

  9. Finally some one is talking about this!!! Wow, it's like menopause we get hit often and no one told us about this. So, happy you wrote this!

  10. Happy to find your blog through CastlesCrowns and Cottages! I have two gone off to college andstill have one more left who is 16 and I feel time flying by.
    Such a strange feeling to let your children go knowing this was my sole purpose for so many years... Now they need me in a much different way . Beautiful post and very stirring feelings.

  11. I'm sad for the pain this brings up in you. Your fear of no doors is understandable. May peace restore you and knowing forgiveness embrace you. You aren't left behind. You're the yacht to their skifs.