Empty Nest Refilled

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“I was widowed almost six years ago after a wonderful 39 year marriage.

While life was tough at first, I have flourished in my own way… downsized to a smaller home, settled in to be retired and alone. But there is still loneliness at times.

This past winter, my son moved in to shelter while navigating an ugly divorce. He is still here.
My daughter and her nine year old son are moving in for a couple of months until she joins her significant other in a new home.
My cute little cottage is feeling too full. The solitude I have come to cherish is fading fast.

I would never turn my children away, but I am feeling stressed and am afraid to enjoy the company in my home for fear of the loneliness that will come back in full force when they leave. How do I navigate this time?” -Anonymous

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14 thoughts on “Empty Nest Refilled”

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  3. My son moved in for “while” 2 1`/2 years ago. Yes he needed some help, but life is not pleasant with him.
    He VERY seldom speaks to me, only a bit more to his Dad.
    Have been some arguments.
    I have cried many tears over this-but I am DONE with that. Something happened mentally/emotionally that has changed me. Yes, for the better.
    I will add that I think we have been too good at times, so we are always here. But I have stood back -time to not always fix someone else’s.
    problem.
    Fells goods to get this off my chest!!

  4. I have been widowed 15 years. I rattled around in a large home, however during that time I had my niece, stepson, granddaughter and both sons and partners stay at various times when they needed accommodation due to life situations. I loved having them there and also loved having my house back when they left. I now live in a smaller home with limited space for long term family visits. I still enjoy one or other grandchild staying over, but most of the time I am here alone. I make sure I have outside interests and occupy my time doing things I enjoy. Make the most of the days you have. They are numbered.

  5. Once they have gone, if you feel lonely (and not relief at having your home back) then why not consider a permanent lodger? You can vet people and stipulate exactly the person you might like. Or perhaps Airbnb? We did that for a while (we have a lodger now) and it was the most fun and interesting thing to do; we had people from all over the world come stay just for short periods – usually two to seven days max. With Airbnb you open your calendar at times which suit you, when your calendar is close no one is able to ‘see’ you.

  6. Enjoy them while you can. Enjoy the moments, don’t think about the future. For one thing, we never know from one moment to the next whats going to happen. Both of my children have moved far away (as in 12 and 1/2 hours drive and the other in another country. It is very hard, they were my life but I have to enjoy the little times I do get to see them and keep praying for the best. I’m still trying to learn to live in the moment. For now, enjoy your kids. That’s it, you will miss them whether you enjoy now or not, soooooooooo may as well ENJOY now while you have them and deal with the other when they leave again. One day at a time.

  7. My situation is very similar. Widowed 7 years ago. Youngest son moved back home 2 years ago after a nasty breakup. I have enjoyed his presence while mourning the lost use of parts of my house, a bit of privacy, etc. But for me, the joy of this time with him and pride in being able to help him when he needs it far outweigh the inconvenience. I don’t know how long I’ll be on this Earth, or how long my kids will need me. I do know I love him and will cherish this time until he’s back on his feet. So many parents never see their kids. Also, I know the day is coming that I’ll be the one in need of care. I hope I’m showing him how to do that with Grace.

  8. For a long time I was a black and white thinker. Either/Or. now, I am definitely gray. Your children need to move back in for awhile and you don’t want to grieve them again. You don’t have to. Hopefully, the dynamics have changed and you can visit them, they can visit you, you can plan trips together, vacation visits, etc. after they move out.

  9. My story is just the same, my daughter has come back for a short while as she is sorting out her finances, I was getting quite used to my own company after loosing my husband and I have now had to tell her to move in with a friend as if she stays for much longer I know I will miss her when she does go and I just can’t deal with that again, it is a difficult situation and she just does not understand why I have asked her to move on but I know we will sort it out, hope you can find an answer

    1. Indeed, you took a very brave course (telling your daughter to move in with a friend). She will have learned a very valuable lesson about “finances”. Good for you.

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