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Empty Nest – When Goodbye Stinks


Empty Nest

If you’ve ever dealt with empty nest syndrome, then you understand the ridiculous amount of pain that it can cause those left in its wake.


How in the world does a Momma ever fully prepare for her kids leaving the nest?  Since my daughter was born it’s felt like I’ve been on the wings of a soaring bird, enjoying life to the fullest and riding the best air currents in the skies.  She’s my best friend and we’ve been hooked at the hip for nearly a quarter of a century…but now she’s signed up for a ministry school in California, and reality has hit us both; this is gonna hurt, a lot.


Don’t get me wrong, I want her to go and believe it’s part of God’s amazing plan for her life; can you believe that I was the one that encouraged her to do it?  WHAT WAS I THINKING???  Did I have a moment of insanity when I encouraged her to do this…and what I mean is, “do this to me?”  This has got to be the hardest transition that any parent goes through, and I for one, am not ready at all.  Wowee…the river of tears has been flowing for a few months already.


I truly welcome the boatload of advice (to ride on top of the river instead of being sucked into the undertow of empty nest depression) that several friends have offered up.

My hope is that some of these empty nest painkiller ideas will help you too if/when you have to say goodbye to someone special.

Things to do when you have an empty nest:


  1. Join a Ladies Bible Study
  2. Get a Puppy
  3. Have coffee with friends
  4. Go on long walks
  5. Skype, Text, Facetime regularly
  6. Stay busy, but Be Still and Know that He is God.
  7. Don’t be surprised if conflict comes during the separation, that’s normal
  8. Be gentle and let grace abound, this is a part of growing for both parent and child
  9. Spend more time with your church and family
  10. Take a photo of them and keep it close at all times
  11. Call every day, have others pray for you
  12. Cry then get busy rearranging the house, garage, basement, etc
  13. Focus on hubby and find new areas sound town to explore
  14. Don’t be too hard on yourself
  15. Have young adults over to the house that need a mom or mentoring
  16. Borrow other people’s kids and bless them
  17. Bribe them to come home with pizza and donuts
  18. Visit them often if possible or move closer
  19. Go on little getaways with hubby, reconnect
  20. Send care packages back and forth in the same special box
  21. Look forward to having Grandkids someday
  22. Foster a child or become a big sister to a child in need
  23. Set a routine for updates and check-ins, weekly phone calls
  24. Focus on the positives
  25. Make a list of things you’d like to do after they leave
  26. Clean your empty nest; new hobbies
  27. Today God told me to, “Look for ways to love them from far away, ways to bless others too; be outward focused instead of being loss and pain focused.”


Remember…YOU are LOVED, empty nest and all!

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The River

Author The River

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • I know exactly how you feel! It’s not that we don’t want them to fulfil Gods calling on their life.
    I always have a little battle with my emotions when Andrea is telling me that she is going away in a long mission trip.
    But after talking and listening to God I also always feel peace.
    It’s beautiful that they step out on their calling but it’s hard as a mother to let them go.
    Will be praying for you guys! Hugs❤

  • Very true. I have done this, repented for my attitude to God for taking my only daughter at 20 years old to epilepsy. Then He spoke to me as a loving father quoting the scripture in my ear with the Word in front of me…."My ways are not yours, My thoughts are not your thoughts". I knew immediately He was teaching me I was chosen for this road. However, I had dreams, visions and gut feeling before things happened. He lovingly prepared me the best this human heart could be prepared…..

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