Empty nest syndrome can hit us in unexpected ways. As you’ll see from a post I wrote recently on my old and new blog, I didn’t expect to be affected. On reflection, I think the fact my youngest son was with me when we got the news about his father’s death may have played a part. Six years on he is 18, thriving and now at university. It felt like a full circle and an ending of more than his leaving home – the last of my four to go. It was also to signal the end of my popular blog, ‘HerMelness Speaks.’ I know from our timeline other veteran bloggers have also closed up shop on very successful blogs for varying reasons. It may be you’re at the point where you cannot imagine starting again (good Lord, no). That’s the bit where life catches us unawares and gives us other plans. For me it has been a liberation and a sense of freedom to write as me now that it is just me again. Not me as mother, wife, widow, daughter, sister. Just me – whoever that is on any particular day. How has empty nest syndrome affected you? Ed

Being of a certain age, I have read a few posts on empty nest syndrome. Typically this means you have raised children, not killed them in their teenage years, and seen them out of the house as semi or fully functioning adults. Hurrah for us. But given that my children have boarded since young, I knew I would be somewhat immune to the emotional carnage being experienced by my peers. That was until my last child left home for the bright lights of university.

Actually, his turning 18 and leaving home was against a backdrop of me, his mother, falling ill suddenly and being hospitalised (twice). Sure, I understood the momentum of his turning of age and leaving home but, truthfully, I was powerless to care about much outside of surviving two operations so I could continue to be a bother to my children. A job I love.

Anyway, the too-ing and fro-ing eventually comes to an end and I sit here writing this realising I have come full circle. Full circle back to me. Me post young girl, post girlfriend, post wife and post 24-hour hands-on mother.

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