Aging Gracefully,  SURVIVAL & HEALING

Reading Past Journals And Seeing How Far I’ve Come (Empty Nesting)

Journals From The Past

I pulled out an old journal and started reading my entries from past years. It’s incredible to see them again and to realize how far I have come and how much I have grown since these writings.  I suggest that all women have a journal and write all of their thoughts in it.  Some are sad, some depressing, some happy and some very funny.

I am not sure I could have come through to the other side without having had the outlet of writing it all down as the feelings arose.   I learned this from my Mother. She has many many journals. Some she will share with us eventually and others are for her eyes only. But each journal documented a portion of her journey in this lifetime. The written words help us survive the journey. Journaling is healing.

Sharing Old Entries

I am going to start sharing some of my old entries, maybe just for me, or maybe to be able to help someone else who might be experiencing similar issues or feelings. It always helps to know that you are not alone.  That others are going through similar experiences. Even if one of the pages touches one person, it will have been worth it.  So here goes:

One of the first ones I opened up to was written in 2008 during a very painful time in my life where my marriage was in trouble and both of my children had just moved out to live on their own.  I was deep into the feeling of grief.  I felt that not only was I losing my marriage, but BOTH children moved out at the same time. 

So here goes…….

Friday, March 2008

Current Mood: Depressed
“Empty Nesting”

Mothers spend 18 years or more taking care of their children, protecting them, guiding them in the right direction, tying their shoelaces, kissing their hurts, loving them unconditionally. We cry when they are sad or when they have just accomplished something wonderful. A Mother can laugh when they say something absolutely adorable. We leave work early to pick them up from school when they have tripped on the playground and gotten muddy or hurt. We give up our evenings to attend their ballgames. 


BUT NOTHING prepares us for the day that they leave and start a life of their own. I called it sadness. My friend, Peter, made me realize that it is grief. I feel as though I am drowning in grief. The feeling is so strong and so thick that I don’t see a way out of it. I just simply have to sit with it and allow it to wash over me and hope that one day I will see the other side of this.


There will come a day when I will smile and remember the times of motherhood without breaking into sobs of loneliness and emptiness. I’ll be able to drive past the places in this city  that hold so many memories of the “mothering” me. Or I’ll be able to step into the basement where my son’s bedroom has been for the last 10 years and instead of seeing the ghosts of our time together, I’ll see my art studio or my workout room… or anything other than those memories that are making me so sad.


The wall in my daughters old room is bright red. Last year I helped her paint it that color and we both laid on the bed admiring it. A year later I’d give anything to have that one night back. Eventually I’ll change the color of that wall and move on with my life. Right now I can’t even look in at it without tears welling up and drowning me in sorrow. 


Someday, hopefully soon, I’ll have the pain behind me and my life will come together and I will become a different woman. Not someone’s mother or someone’s wife or someone’s daughter.. but I’ll be someone new. I’ll be on a path of growth and finding my own interests and my own niche in this world. For now I’ll dry my tears, take a deep breath and prepare for the new journey.


Monday, September 8, 2008
Current Mood: Depressed again
“Trying to Find Myself”

So, back in June, I finally got over the grief of my kids moving on. I slowly started picking up the pieces of my scattered life and making plans for my future. Then, one month later, my daughter comes  home for a long weekend visit and breaks her ankle! She was unable to drive or walk for 6 weeks. During that 6 week period I had to revert back to my “mothering” mode again, which I loved! It was a little stressful and totally disrupted the routine I had finally set for myself. But I surrendered to it, KNOWING all along that I would have to grieve again one day soon.

Today is that day. I helped her pick out a new car last week. She has been walking and driving and is ready to move back to her apartment 6 hours away. We loaded her car up last night and then very silently sat and watched television together. My heart was hurting but I tried not letting her see this.She has to learn to be on her own. She has to spread her wings. And my love for her will always be there, no matter what. I try to keep thinking about all of the other mothers out there who go through the same pain. They survive! I will survive! I have already survived it once. Just didn’t know I’d have to experience this again so soon.


NOTE:  I did get past it and I was able to create entirely new relationships with my children. We are closer than ever now. We relate on a totally different level.  And the memories that at one time haunted me now bring me incredible joy!

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