Sort of empty nest!

Hi all.

I don't know where to start. My oldest has left home to do some travelling. She is 23.
I waved her off at the airport yesterday and my heart broke.
I have spoken to her on what's app and know she is ok.
However the depth of sadness is overwhelming me at the moment. I can't sleep and haven't eaten in 24 hrs.
Am I overeacting , my friends seem to think so.
I'm happy she is experiencing all these wonderful things but I miss her being here so very much.
My biggest fear is that she won't return, after all if you've lived in Australia and Bali why would you want to come back to a council flat in south London 😞
Hoping each day will get a little easier, for now I'm just trying to breathe in and out.

Anyone had any experience of this and can offer any tips.
SIMPLY BE-££577.11:eek:
Very BNPL - £353.00:o


  • indsty
    indsty Posts: 372 Forumite
    Of course it's hard - but you know she is ready and able to spread her wings. Enjoy the new experiences she is having, and congratulate yourself for nurturing a young lady who is confident and curious about the world.

    The world is a much smaller place these days - be grateful for Whatsapp and email - not so many years ago they went off on their travels and we didn't hear from them until the air mail letters arrived six weeks later !

    I'm sure she will come home - but even if she didn't and chose to settle far away then be happy for her and enjoy the free holidays !
  • Andypandyboy
    Andypandyboy Posts: 2,472 Forumite
    I can understand this and as a family we have experienced it, but they all came back!

    I don't know if this will put things into perspective (probably not, but it is what we have been using to shake ourselves with recently when we start to dwell on things we can't change) We have two friends with terminal illnesses, who now have to look at their kids doing xyz and wonder how long they will be here to see it. It is heartbreaking to listen to it, and see the look in their eyes.

    Your girl will come back, you will see the milestones in her life, she will benefit and grow from the experiences she is having. Get on skype, start a What's App family group, Facebook, etc and share in her adventures!!

    Re reading that it sounds dismissive of your woes, it genuinely isn't meant to come across that way as I know how you are feeling.
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,015
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    What's your own circs? At 23, your girl could have long gone. She might have gone to Uni at 18 and never returned or be married and a Mum herself by now. It sounds like you've had a life that very much revolves round you and her together. Take up a hobby, meet new people, go the the gym, change your job/routine to fill in the time.
  • bagpuss38
    bagpuss38 Posts: 704
    First Anniversary First Post
    Thank for the responses folks.

    Indsty yes I am very grateful for social media. It has been a godsend.
    I'm proud of her and can't wait to hear all about it. Oh free hols :)

    Andypandyboy thanks you for that it has been comforting. So very sorry to hear about your friends. In the same way my friend has just lost her dad, that's as bad as it can get. My baby is a few thousand miles away but I can still talk to her everyday and I am grateful for that.

    Here's to the longest year of my life lol.

    Ps I should mention she in bed at 9pm. That won't last lol xxx
    SIMPLY BE-££577.11:eek:
    Very BNPL - £353.00:o
  • bagpuss38
    bagpuss38 Posts: 704
    First Anniversary First Post
    Hi spend less.

    She was in a relationship from the age of 13 till she left uni so she chose to stay close to home. When the relationship ended she was sorry for all the time she missed. Hence the travel now.
    If I'm honest. I see very little of her even though we live in the same house, I have a 20 yerar old son still here and two little ones. Work full time and am studying for a degree!

    I think the issue is that I had her when I was 18 and am now 42. She's been there more than half my life and shall miss her presence.
    SIMPLY BE-££577.11:eek:
    Very BNPL - £353.00:o
  • pandora205
    pandora205 Posts: 2,934
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Hi Bagpuss. I have two daughters (27 and 22) who have moved overseas and a son who may never leave! My elder daughter is in New Zealand and the younger in Greece. They live amazing interesting lives ....

    My eldest moved to NZ at 19 with her kiwi bf, having declined her uni place. I was full of trepidation but knew it would be a great experience. They bounced back to UK/Europe for a couple of ski seasons (as they work in the mountains) but she settled in NZ. I have been over twice so far and have another trip planned next year. I am so proud of her achievements and maturity and she lives a very interesting life. She has lots of friends and several of her UK friends have been out there too.

    Daughter no 2 met her Greek bf when she went on holiday with a Greek friend (from UK) when she was 17. A year later he moved to the UK but found it difficult to find permanent work, so they eventually moved out there. She is now bilingual and working in a design studio (she's a photographer). They live in the same apartment building as bf's parents so there is lots of support there. Again, I've been out for holidays and have to agree, apart from the economic situation, living on the coast just outside Athens beats our home town hands down.

    It is easy to stay in touch with both of them, though time differences means it has to be planned. I ended up having a skype chat to NZ last night at 11.30 pm as my daughter had just got up! And of course, seeing their photos and videos on facebook also keeps me in touch.

    Both daughters have international friends, have visited other countries to stay with them, and have had so many experiences they could never have had at home. They've both reflected that most of their friends who stayed close to home after uni have ended up with quite mundane jobs and dull lives, and several of their friends agree.

    I think it's healthy for children to become independent, but perhaps having had a houseful of teens for several years might have influenced my thinking! So I didn't exactly go through the sadness stage but I have been quite anxious at various points along the way (such as when DD1 split from her bf), and relieved as things settled - but I think that would have happened if they were close to home.

    Bagpuss, your daughter will have an amazing time, be full of stories, new friends and experiences and grow up in a way that she wouldn't be able to if she didn't go. It'll look good on a future cv, give her a different perspective on life and maybe help her make decisions about the next steps. Keep busy, take some time to think about your life and the things you'd like to do, and become as proficient as your daughter in using social media.
    somewhere between Heaven and Woolworth's
  • bagpuss38
    bagpuss38 Posts: 704
    First Anniversary First Post
    Thank you Pandora for your wonderful positive post. Wow both of your girls are far away. How lovely to be able to visit them.
    We've never been apart for more than 2 weeks in 23 years so it will take some getting used to.
    For some reason I'm assuming she won't come home, this might not be the case.
    My emotions are all over the place at the moment.
    I can't understand this unbearable sadness engulfing me and really want the hurt to stop.
    Throwing all my energy into painting the bedroom vacated, ready for middle daughter to move into.
    Really need to pull myself together as the not eating and tiredness is taking its toll.
    SIMPLY BE-££577.11:eek:
    Very BNPL - £353.00:o
  • lisa110rry
    lisa110rry Posts: 1,794
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Mortgage-free Glee!
    Bagpuss, I'm the Mum of an only son. At 15 he begged me to let him go to boarding school, two hours northeast. He got himself a scholarship and bursary and off he went at 16. I was very sad, but could go and watch him play rugby or cricket each Saturday. From Boarding School he went to Uni, two hours southeast. In his year in industry, he worked just over an hour east then in the US. Two days after his "final final", he was posted to a place east of Siberia and north of Japan!, then it was Northern Ireland, then Skipton (but by then he had bought himself a house of his own), then Jamaica, then Dubai (then marriage to the loveliest girl!!!!!), then Melbourne, now back in Dubai. He is 34.

    In his wedding speech, he turned to us and, looking us straight in the eye, he thanked us for allowing him to "look outside the village". He will never know how I used to cry when I left him at school each week all those years ago, but he was always going to spread his wings, as indeed his Mum (moving to UK at 21) and Dad (serving in the RAF in Singapore) did when they were young.

    Every week it gets a little easier in my experience
    “And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceeding well.”
    ― Julian of Norwich
    In other words, Don't Panic!
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