I am alone at home for the first time in 21 years. My husband is away for work, my daughter is on a school trip to Europe, and my son is away at college. For two weeks, it is just me, the dog, the cat and the fish. It has given me some time to reflect on my life.
I realize that my time as a daughter is coming to an end. My sisters and I packed up my mom’s home in Barrie this week. She is no longer lucid enough to travel to Canada alone so we are selling her home and giving away all of the furniture, household items and clothes that were in it. This has me feeling sad; about the end of my mother’s independence; about the choices she made in her life; about the mother I will never be close to. Our mother never took much interest in our lives or in our children’s lives, but now, she can not carry on a conversation; she cannot remember our children’s names or ages; she is gone from us in everything but body.
I realize that my time as a mother in coming to an end. With this trip to Europe, my daughter is getting a taste of her independence. I know that she will be moving out within the year; off to school like her brother. My son has settled into his own life already. While it is wonderful to see them going out into the world; feeling excited about their lives and good about themselves; it is hard to watch them go. I feel a deep sense of grief about the stage in our lives that is ending; our time living together as a family; time when our home was a place full of people I love.
I have been feeling sad about the changes in my life for a few years now. These are natural changes that happen in everyone’s life. I have been feeling the loss and the grief, but I have not been able to feel excited about what might come next. In fact, I have been finding it hard to feel like anything good comes after this stage; like the joyful, connected time in my life is over. So these two weeks alone have felt like a test run; a taste of what is to come in my life; to know how quiet the house will be when I come home from work; to miss the kids breezing in and out of my life. But it has also given me a taste of something old; something forgotten; freedom.
Several times over the last two weeks, I have stayed down town to shop for clothes for me! I did this spontaneously without checking with anyone; without coordinating with anyone. I have come home to an empty house, but it is a tidy house, a quiet house, a peaceful house! I have eaten when I wanted to; cooked when I felt like it; and did not have to coordinate my schedule around anyone else’s. So, while the grief about what is passing is still there, I also feel a little glimmer of something else; a memory of life before kids; a light feeling about a time when I could come and go as I please; a twinge of excitement about what still could be.
- Grief and Alzheimer’s – Anguish Over Multiple Losses : Huffingtonpost.com (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)
- Coping With the Loss of a Pet (foxnews.com)