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…