Tag Archives: empty nest

✨{Celebration Moment} Unexpected hope on the street

 

How are you, my friend? It’s the end of the week and I am thinking of you.

I wanted to pop by really quickly to share a sweet moment that made me smile. I hope it does that for you, too.

(We need all the smiles we can get! Share ’em when you got ’em!)

***

Meet Nathan and Carol, two of my beautiful neighbors. Carol is Nathan’s mom and the love between them is palpable. 

I passed them two days ago on my morning walk. They were sitting in the sun together. When I waved, they both gifted me with their amazing big smiles.

I told them how lovely it was to see them sitting in the sun. Nathan said that the backyard is sloped, which makes it difficult for his mom to walk, so they decided to set up a place to sit in their driveway.

What I love so much about this, is that instead of focusing on the fact that they can’t sit out in the backyard, they just simply came up with another way to be out in the sun together.

I also love that they were so content, simply being together. 

I loved their quiet, easy joy. 

Nathan told me that his mom has Alzheimer’s, however there wasn’t any hint in his voice of exhaustion or effort. He really seemed truly happy.

***

One of the reasons I was so touched by them was because later that morning I was moving my son back to college. It was heartwarming to see an older son and his mom, still enjoying one another’s company. 

My son, Kayne, has been here all summer and every day he lights up my life.

I will miss him so much.

Yes, yes, of course I am happy that he is embarking on his own growth and another year of new experiences. I want him to keep having chances to see how strong, creative, and capable he is.

AND ALSO — my mama’s heart is really sad to lose the everyday connections and dinners and laughter and his French tutoring with me and all the fun new Hebrew music and the way he pretends the cats are talking and the crazy fascinating conversations he starts.

I will miss his unique light and energy.

There is a Kayne-sized hole when he leaves.

Thus, how beautiful to get a glimpse of the kind of connection that is possible between a mom and son, even as all the years go by. 

I’m grateful to my beautiful neighbors, who brought me so much joy and hope in their long-lasting love for one another.

May we all be so blessed.

***

These two beautiful neighbors don’t know the impact they had on me. And isn’t this often the case? We don’t know how our smile or energy or simple connection might ripple out for years to come.

Thanks for who you are and for your big heart. 

I bet there is someone out in the world writing about how YOU, their stranger, gave them a sense of love and possibility. 

Seek celebration — even in the dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S. Take a moment to pause and consider what celebration is in your life right now. Maybe hold hand-to-heart and feel the joy. Maybe share it with someone.

LoveGram: Permission to be sad

I hope you are doing well and finding plenty of ways to take care of yourself and the people you love.

This has been a doozy of a week for me because my son moved out to live in a house near his college campus. (That’s us in the photo. A blink of an eye from babyhood to manhood!)

Holy Toledo! There were so many logistics. So many things to buy. And so many tears.

I had no idea how hard it would hit me the first night he wasn’t here with us in the house.

Have you gone through this? Have you closed one parenthood chapter and started another? Or, maybe it isn’t exactly the same as Empty Nest Syndrome, but maybe you’ve left a job that you had for decades or moved from a neighborhood you loved or lost the physical ability to do something that brought you joy?

And of course, most of us have also had to navigate the huge ocean of grief that pulls us under when someone we love dies.

Loss comes in many shapes and sizes. 

If you are going through loss right now, of any kind — big or small — I send you love. I send you a warm blanket that makes you feel safe and cozy. I send you sweet, hot tea in your favorite flowered mug.

I also want to send you a few simple practices that helped me immensely over the past few days.

One of the ways I took care of myself was by posting on Facebook and asking for support and advice. It was the best thing I could have done!

Simply reaching out and asking for help made me feel less alone.

But then, in addition, people offered great advice, support, and love. They posted links to articles. They told me about rituals that helped. Best of all, they gave me permission to feel all the feelings.

If you are facing your own empty nest, I highly recommend that you scroll through these 100+ comments and I promise that you will feel uplifted. People are so loving!

(If you aren’t on Facebook, I’m sorry that you can’t see this post and all the comments right now. However, I am compiling the best advice and links so I can create an “Empty Nest First-Aid Kit.” Stay tuned.)

After a couple days of bawling my eyes out, I also went live on Facebook to share a few things that really helped me get through the sadness, emptiness, and grief.

That video is my LoveGram for today. (Usually I send an audio, but today it is a video LoveGram!)

If you’re going through some big emotions— not just Empty Nest, but any kind of loss and grief, this short video might really help. I hope so.

The three tips I share in the video are a little checklist we can use whenever we are feeling pulled down by the undertow.

I’m here with you in these still challenging and uncertain pandemic times. We are in this together. Sharing our experiences helps.

Reach out to people in your life and ask for or offer support, okay?

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

 

P.S. In case you are one of those people (like me!) who sometimes read the postscripts first, here’s the gist of it for today: If you need a little support for something big you are going through — something that brings with it loss, sadness, or grief —  today’s video LoveGram offers three simple things that can help. (They helped me big time this week when I was bawling my eyes out!)

P.P.S. I absolutely agree with all of the folks who have encouraged me to be grateful and to celebrate this moment in time for my son. I am! I promise. But let’s remember that it is also important to let ourselves move through our feelings so we get to the other side. We don’t have to immediately put on a happy face and pretend we aren’t feeling what we’re feeling. We can be real live human beings who experience many emotions at once!

Sunday LoveGram: Change

 

Hello and Happy Sunday …

Today I recorded my audio for you as I was out walking.

While recording, I couldn’t remember a specific quote, so I shared it on the audio as best I could. But I want to send you the actual quote by Kurt Vonnegut. This is it:  “And I urge you to please notice when you are happy  —  and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

May you anchor in the smallest of good feelings today by pausing to exclaim, murmur, or think how wonderful they are.

May you also allow yourself any heartache, disappointment, anger, or fear. Let these feelings pass through you, swiftly or slowly, like waves in the ocean when you stand steady as possible, swaying and slipping, but not drowned by the undertow.

Today, my LoveGram is about the change. It is about being on the cusp of a new chapter and allowing ourselves all the feelings. It is supporting ourselves in moving through the old and into the new with an intention of who we want to be and how we want to navigate this change.

(My son is moving out this week and my mama heart is going through every emotion on the books!)

Listen to today’s Audio LoveGram now!

After you click over to that page, just scroll down until you see the audio player. Click play.  Voila!

As I was preparing today’s LoveGram, I happened to glance at a headline on the New York Times: “Idaho Town is Upended in Search for Missing Boy.”

There is a five-year-old who went missing last week and the town is frantic in their search for him. When I first read this and glanced at the story, I heard a scolding in my head. “There is so much heartache and grief in the world. How can you send out your LoveGram about being sad, simply because your son is moving out?”

And then, thankfully, I remembered a podcast I’d heard by Brené Brown in which she was talking about “comparative suffering.” I will have to listen again, but I recall a part of it being that we need to allow ourselves to feel our own pain and not cut it off because someone else is going through something way bigger, harder, or worse. By allowing ourselves to have our feelings, we are strengthening our empathy muscles and it allows us to open our hearts even wider to others.

I believe this is true.

Just as it is also true that when we open our hearts to what others are going through, it can put things into perspective for us. Not in a scolding or punishing way, but in a soft, gentle, reminding way.

That happened for me just now. It is the gift of letting the Sunday LoveGrams unfold as I go.

After you listen to today’s LoveGram, think about a change that is happening or about to happen in your own life. Can you allow yourself to get present, feel your feelings, consider how best to support yourself, and ask for help?

Can you navigate change in a way that allows you to be intentional and choose who you want to be?

I’ve been creating these Sunday LoveGrams since March of 2020. Having you here with me throughout this pandemic has been so important.

Being together in our experiences is truly a gift. It is one of the ways we support ourselves in navigating change.

Thank you!

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S. Could you take a moment and send some loving energy to Brandi and Tyler , the parents of the missing five-year-old I referred to up above? Can you send huge truckloads of love to little Michael, wherever he is? I believe our energy carries in some form. I like to think that Michael might be able to feel a big dose of love coming from caring strangers whose hearts are with him.  I like to think that our love travels. That it matters.