Waiting for Spring-photo by Patricia

The itchy digging of loneliness revisited, though it took till the next morning after our virtual celebration to hit. Our on-line party was much like the real thing, having both sons together, and the usual teasing back and forth. It could have been chaotic, but was joyful, and paced nicely by both sons.

But that feeling each year that scrapes at my insides when Cory comes home for Christmas then leaves, visited without invitation. Keeping busy helped, but in the moments in-between busyness that dull ache gnawed at my insides. I’d pay good cash not to feel that feeling.

At first when Shane left, now twenty years ago, the feelings risked sinking me in despair and loss. But he left to live his life, a good thing. No amount of reason took away the feelings, only time to adjust to the new life without him. Nonsensical because the entire goal in raising of child is to foster independence.

When it was Cory’s turn it was no less painful. As years passed, tears came with each good-bye threatening to drown me in anguish. There must be more to this than sons leaving the nest. My belief is that it unlocks decades of wretched loneliness living with the traumas of my past that never could be spoken.

Attachments to other beings became almost impossible unless you were an animal or a child. And my love moved freely to them. What little there was to love left. No wonder the pain. Yes, there’s Samuel. And my world would fall apart without him.

That did not diminish the suffering that came when sons left. After years of Cory being married, then the first baby, Cory’s leaving after the yearly Christmas visit didn’t bring as much raw emptiness. The satisfaction of his newly begun family filled the void.

But yesterday, and this morning when a few tears finally fell, sadness over not seeing him, like the ghost of Christmas past, whirled in me. My sweet son knew of my restlessness calling at day’s end after his own festivities. The sweetness of his thoughtfulness calmed the chaotic mix-up inside me.

Leaving, loss, grief, and loneliness go into the pot- mixing, swirling, and becoming unbearable. So look to the new year, transform with the times, and go back to what you know to work on each day, learning to grow.

My sons are sweet. My cup runneth over. But no amount of telling myself not to feel what I feel worked. That I shouldn’t feel this way because others have it so much worse. That I shouldn’t feel this way because I have so much. And all that is true, but one thing I know…. running from feelings, my life’s art, is not the solution, feeling them is.  

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