Let Go

One son lives close by with his wife and our two grand-children, who are to spend the upcoming night with us. I see or talk to my eldest regularly. The other just spent a year and a half in London. His new wife’s job allowed traveling there to live for that length. Cory landed himself a photography job during the 18th month stint which he loved. After a week during Christmas at her parents, they came here for a week and left yesterday back to Boston where they permanently reside.

Though I don’t feel the usual devastation, I am missing him with a scratchy empty feeling I’d like to run from. One time the feelings were so deep, digging and merciless, I called my friend who must have heard the hollowness in my voice as I shared beseechingly, “It hurts so bad!”

Wisely she answered, “Do something that takes focus.”

I pulled the sewing machine out from the closet. You do have to pay attention as to not puncture a needle through a finger. It didn’t take away all the pain but helped.  This time around, the same friend and I had made plans to have lunch and see the movie, Joy, a plan that luckily coincided with Cory’s departure day and time.

So while he’s trying to stuff the last remnants of his existence that had been left in the basement into his car, that which I had gently asked him go through and sort, I interrupted he and his father as they attempted to put the seats down so that could stuff more in, “Bye Cory, I gotta go.”

A quick hug and good-bye. Just as well. I would just stand there in the new slick coat of snow amidst all his stuff on the driveway and begin fretting aloud annoying everybody. Let him go. He has a beautiful, capable, loving smart wife. She is with him now and the time away in London has bonded them into a tightly cemented couple. He cleaves to her. It’s a wonderful thing I do celebrate. Am I holding on to the Cory who only wanted me? I don’t really want that. Not at all. Yet something inside is pulling, hurting.

I believe for those who are wounded in childhood, who when mature must separate from the ‘family of origin’ in order to live and survive, leave behind a family they wish they had, even if it is a fantasy family. My sons became all I had. It took a long time to let go of the first son, and I am grateful his wife has tolerated my cutting my teeth on her. I’m letting go of the second one faster, easier, and less painfully, for everybody.

I found that when we meet with Cory elsewhere, like a mutual camping spot where we meet halfway, then depart, I’m fine. It’s only when he is here at home and leaves that I feel emptied out, forlorn; feelings so painful I just want to escape them.

When he first arrived at the beginning of the week, I started to feel his leaving right away. And I talked to myself, “Come on, be present, enjoy every moment now.”

And I did. And I feel much more able to celebrate his youth, exuberance, their perfect match, adventures and happy life together. Maybe because I have become more connected within myself, relying and caring for my needs first, rather than…well, fourth, or fifth if you count the cat.  

I’m able to say good-bye and let go, without feeling flattened, worse, cannoned down to an endless pit of pain I can barely handle. I still hurt, or feel a loss of sorts, but am I a bad Mom to admit I like having my home back to my home where I don’t have to worry about anybody? And can do what I want when I want? Even if it seems one millionth of the exciting life as his, just as I like it, nice and slow, one thing at a time.

But there’s still an ache. I return from the outing with my friend and pack up the rest of the Christmas tubs. Samuel takes them downstairs past Cory’s once again empty room and I sigh.  Samuel and I watch some renovation shows on Netflix as we wait for grand-kids to arrive, and I give in to the candy my sister-in-law gave us, not liking sugar or wanting it. It works its long time magic making me feel miserable for eating when not hungry and the ache is pushed away by another more familiar one.

But it’s still there. Food only makes the process take longer. I wake at 3 am in the night and have a talk with myself as I realize he’s gone, “You can let your anxiety get the best of you, get up, take something, and be groggy all the next day, or keep trying to go back asleep.”

Using a little self- discipline, I did go back to sleep till 6 am. Even having the grand-kids overnight didn’t take all the ache away, but helped greatly. Be in the moment. It’s hard not to when two adorable little ones are right there to love and care for.

I’d like to thank blanked for the Letting Go Post above…





13 thoughts on “LETTING GO

  1. I wish I knew who wrote this. I’ve had this quotation for years and pull it out often:

    “To let go isn’t to forget, not to think about, or ignore. It doesn’t leave feelings of anger, jealousy, or regret. Letting go isn’t about winning or losing. It’s not about pride and it’s not about how you appear. It’s not obsessing or dwelling on the past. Letting go isn’t blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts, and doesn’t leave emptiness, hurt, or sadness. It’s not about giving in or giving up. Letting go isn’t about loss and it’s not about defeat. To let go is to cherish the memories, but to overcome and move on. It is having an open mind and confidence in the future. Letting go is learning and experiencing and growing. To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you grow. It’s about all that you have, all that you had, and all that you will soon gain. Letting go is having the courage to accept change, and the strength to keep moving. Letting go is growing up. It is realizing that the heart can sometimes be the most potent remedy. To let go is to open a door, and to clear a path and set yourself free.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I know you struggled with the pain and other feelings but it sounds like you handled it all very well and you are getting better at it. Practice and gently sticking with ourselves throughout is the trick I think. I have one son and he is my everything so reading your post makes me realize the hard sad work it will be to let him go one day. I want him to travel and do all he yearns to do yet I want to keep him close too. Hope I will be as strong as you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You described that feeling of emptiness and longing so well. It probably took me about two years to learn how to let go of my youngest son. As a single parent during the last eight or ten years that he was at home, we had become a strong team, and when he left, I couldn’t seem to help feeling broken, or barely able to function. Eventually I finally figured out that I was holding on to something that no longer existed, because he had grown, and in the process of figuring it out, I finally grew into someone who accepted his ability to survive without me supporting him. We always hope our kids find their independence and thrive, but what we aren’t prepared for is the day they no longer need us. I’ve finally … finally, and after much concerted effort, have learned how to celebrate his independence, and simply enjoy whatever time we spend together. It was a slow and painful process, but now I’ve finally learned to be … as you said … present in the moment.

    Thanks for sharing your own observations on the journey. Focused is good. It helps us through the transition, and helps keep our energy pointed toward something productive. I’m going to try to remember this the next time I feel myself overwhelmed with any sort of grief. Shift my focus.

    Good advice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, and your response, so well written and describes the rocky process of ‘letting go’ fully such description.
      Thank you so much for sharing.
      Focus helped, yet three days later I cried to my eldest after he showed such compassion, understanding my feelings of loss.
      So up came the tears, and talking helped. And my eldest with his kindness and wise words said, “I remember Mom, you used to have a plaque on the fridge that said, ‘The best gift we can give to our children is roots, then wings to let them fly.’ ”
      I’d forgotten, and when he said that something inside released and warmth took its place, I felt better. A combo of time and the right words by the right person dissolved the itchy pain…

      Liked by 1 person

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