I am feeling the sharp and “takes your breath away” pain that arises not just with birthing our babes, but with letting go of the umbilical cord to our children who fly the nest.
With the 5th of my 6 children about to leave home, I am experiencing this extraordinary mixture of emotions that arise. And these emotions are rolling in like a tidal wave that feels destructive, unlike my usual “calm on the water” way of relating to my family.
The nest has been prepared well, but she no longer wants to sit in the familiar nest, as it is starting to feel “foreign” or “undesirable” for her in her next stage of life. This mother-bird has fed her young chick the “worms” she toiled to find, and the identity of motherhood slips away much like trying to hold water in your hand. My ‘ugly” has reared her head as I observe my own reactions that have, over the years, formed a pattern of how I deal with this kind of loss and I don’t like it. It doesn’t sit comfortably with me. I become “not a nice person” to be around. My words become sharp, when they would typically “soften the blow”. My connection and quality time I spend as a mother who cares a lot, morphs into me being on one side of the house, while she is on the other. I want to numb the pain. And as much as I have given my children the liberty and lessons to follow their own path, this allowing them to “leave the nest” on their journey of independence is damn difficult.
As two women in their own right transitioning at the same time, there is bound to be pain and grief. So as a curvy, emotional woman and mother, how do I be with the pain, whilst also respecting the decisions of another? How do I not turn into an ugly monster, when who I am is a loving mother-heart ? And how do I not feel offended, used and hurt, when it has actually been me that has been the over-doer, over-carer and sacrificial lamb for my children? My sacrifice has out-weighed self-care.
My answer as I sit still and connect with my inner spirit is this: Let the tears roll. Nourish me. Love her.
What has been your experience of “letting go of a family member”? Post your stories.
Janelle Fletcher – Women’s Mentor, Speaker, Writer, Events – the feminine way of being.
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