In two weeks, my son will leave for college. And he is not going to a traditional university. Instead, he’s going to a military college to play football. And the knowledge that I will have extremely limited communication with him and will no longer be part of his daily life is triggering some grief.
And once again I am reminded how much grief feels like fear.
When my late husband died, my son was my reason to get out of bed every day. I kept living, tried my best to move forward, because I had a little boy who needed a mom.
Now he is moving forward to his next adventure. And my reason for getting up for so many years will no longer be in my house.
The knowledge that my son is moving 460 miles away to start his collegiate career, has my heart in a tailspin. I feel like I’m losing a piece of my late husband. A connection that only he and I share. And I have no idea how to handle this form of grief.
I am so proud of my son. Excited to see his future unfold. Privileged to be the parent that gets to be there.
And at the same time, I’m anxious. Uncertain of what to expect. Scared of the unknown.
These bittersweet moments remind me so much of grief.
The joy and excitement of the future.
The fear and uncertainty of the unknown.
This has been the story of my life since grief reared its ugly head.
My late husband would be so proud of our son. I wish he was here to help me navigate this journey. To tell me everything is going to be ok.
Soon my son and I will start a new chapter of our lives. It will be the first time we are not writing the story together. Our lives will intersect but now I will be more of a spectator than a participant in his story. And his dad will continue to guide us as we tell our stories.
And I know while this is triggering some feelings of grief, I am not losing my son. He is doing exactly what I raised him to do. Have the confidence to grow up and start his own adventure. And I have the privilege, the honor to watch him become all he is meant to be.
As a mom of an adult daughter, a professor, and a widow, I first want to congratulate you — well done mom!!!!
And then a wee bit of comfort. I was a single mom when I dropped my child off at college, I cried the entire 4 hours home. 8 years later she returned to our home state and we see or talk constantly. It’s different than loosing our husbands. Our children return – they metamorphosis like caterpillars to cocoons to butterflies. You’ve built a strong foundation for you son or he would not be willing to take the chance he is. Empty nests are hard but you did good!
Thank you!!! The support, strength, and comfort helps more than you know.