Posted by: Lucia | 2004/01/20

Desperately need a coping mechanism

Dear Doc and all the old timers - I need a shoulder to cry on. I am so upset and it is almost impossible to cope with this enormous feeling of loss.

My 18 year old son will be leaving for the UK this coming Saturday. He will be away for 2 yrs (working and not a holiday) and somehow to me it feels as though it will be forever. I am so grateful for this opportunity that has come his way but no matter how great and wonderful the experience is going to be (for him), it still does not make me feel one bit better about the whole situation.

I know that we have to let our children go at some stage in our lives, I just wasn't expecting it to hurt so much once that moment arrives. I am being extremely brave in front of him and the family, but I cry myself to a standstill whenever I am alone. I am not afraid for his well being because he is extremely wise and independant for his age - it is just the thought that he won't be around (for a long time) when I get that great urge to give him a hug or share a joke or just to lounge around and talk nonsense for a few hours.

It feels like yesterday when I reprimanded him for writing with his crayons on the passage wall, when did he get so big ? To every parent who reads this - go home tonight and hug your kids, tell them you love them as you say good night. I have done this for 18 years and it's these moments I will remember and hang on to.

As my child enters this big world on his own - I feel as though I am mourning and not celebrating - letting go of my child must be one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

I love him so much.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dear Lucia,
Gee, and on a day when I was feeling a bit LESS like an "oldtimer" ! Congratulations, first, on having raised such a capable and enterprizing son --- it soudns like you've done a really good job there ! The good news, is that though you feel awfully bereft right now, this pain WILL ease, though it never feels as if it is possible that it could, before it does.
And you have so many more ways of keeping in contact than we had available even a few years ago, with email. Maybe, if your ISP provides space for an internet site ( which most subscribers don't use ) you can set up a family site where you can post news and pictures for him to visit, and he could do likewise. And as lady nina points out, you can even consider a pair of webcams for contact.
And, after all the fine gifts you have given him so far, it's time to give one of the biggest gifts --- freedom and independence. And this gift will mean that you'll never lose him, wherever he is.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Jill | 2004/01/21

Hi there,

I just want you to know that you are not alone. At the age of 19 my daughter went overseas to work for 3 months. Coming back from the airport, after saying good bye to her, I cried and cried.... My husband said to me: "Don't worry she will be fine."
My thought at the time was: yes I know that, but will I be fine?

We kept in touch by phone and sms. It is very difficult to let them be independant, but it is an important part of their development and it will serve them well in the future.

I know that it will be a very long two years for you. But be proud of your son and be proud of yourself for letting him go...

Good Luck.

Reply to Jill
Posted by: Captured Angel | 2004/01/21

Hey there.. I said do something FUN!!!!! house cleaning and work don't sound like any fun to me!! Find something to do that will help fulfill you, and help you grow as a person.. not something you have always been doing!
Take this as a springboard to a whole new era :-)
Maybe you could learn to do magic hey? and that way next time you will be able to fit in that suitcase? (just kidding), but seriously, you should do something really fun!!!

Best wishes

Reply to Captured Angel
Posted by: Lucia | 2004/01/21

Thank you guys for the kind words.

I will stick my smile back on, swallow the tears, take on extra work at the office and start "spring cleaning" my house all over again.

I just wish I could fit in a suitcase.............

Reply to Lucia
Posted by: lady nina | 2004/01/20

hi there

i'm sure i'll one day experience all you are going through!

you have done a great job raising your boy and equipt him wih the skills needed "out there" ...
now it's time to sit back and see if it's paid off

get a computer with a webcam so you can chat to him online - keep a jounal of all your feeling and emotions and one day you can give it to him... it will be a treasured possession believe me!

why not get a new hobby to keep your mind busy and fill the extra time you'll have on your hands?

take care


Reply to lady nina
Posted by: Captured Angel | 2004/01/20

Hi Lucia

The pain you feel is testimony to your love, and the time you have devoted to making sure this young man grows into an independent adult capable of looking after himself. It seems you have prepared him very well! So, with all this pain you feel, take time out to say to yourself "Well done!"

I think it is quite natural to be filled with sadness. My daughter went to London for a couple of weeks, and I was almost besides myself, so I can imagine just how hard this must be for you. 18 is still very young to have to say goodbye for such a long time.

But always remember that distance is only in the mind. It's how close you are in someone's memory and in their heart that really counts. I'm sure your son will take you with him (in spirit) where ever he goes. And you can do the same.

Fortunately in this modern day we have email, and internet, and cell phones which helps us keep in touch, and gives us almost instant access. Also there are phone cards available which enable cheaper phone calls.

With time you will find that you will adapt to the different ways of communicating.

Try to keep yourself busy doing the things you really enjoy doing. Don't let yourself get stuck in a rut because you miss your son. It won't be fair on you or him.

Mothers are always good at making the best out of a bad situation-- so don't worry, you are going to be just fine and so is your son.

Best wishes!

Reply to Captured Angel

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