My weekend in a nutshell: a wonderful first visit with my wonderful daughter at her new place a week after she moved out for the first time, then tears the whole bus ride home from said visit now that the reality has set in that a 2 decade chapter is officially over, then prepping for a party that started minutes after I walked through the door (thankfully, Melanie was the first to show up so I was able to cry my tears and pour my heart out and get myself together before the other guests arrived), then a love-filled party with so many giggles and special moments (especially this one), followed by a solid sleep and a day of more tears over the ending of this chapter.
Luckily, 4 of today's hours were spent talking/crying to Melanie which as always, helped in every way as I moved through my sadness. I also did some cyber reading on empty-nesting and found this quote:
"Often times, the relationship a single parent has with their child is closer and more friend-like than normal. For this specific reason, empty nest syndrome with single parents is experienced much differently than it is for married couples or couples with a partner. Your child can become your partner in crime, your ear to bend or your shoulder to cry on as the two of you forge a place in the world together. When your child leaves for school or wherever he or she is headed, it can be as if your other half is gone. With no other half to lean on, you immediately experience a sense of loss that can be similar to a death."
Yesterday was the first time I felt the immensity of my little girl / best friend / annoying sister / live-in Buddha being gone, since I had spent most of the week celebrating the newness and reclaiming my physical space. I did not feel sad, nor was I repressing anything. I was quite in the flow and loving every moment of my new-found freedom.
Therefore, I was not expecting the sadness I felt yesterday and today mainly because I have been waiting for years to have a home to myself. Also, I never made motherhood the most important aspect of my life and did not set my dreams and needs aside just because I had a child, so it's not like I feel I have nothing left.
But, even though I truly love living on my own and don't want to return to what was, I am mourning all that once was just the same.
My entire adult life up until now was spent with Paige. It really was just her and I against the world since I gave up my family of origin to raise her right. She is my first real family. The one person I feel closest to in all the world.
And although I don't miss the domestic aspect of living with another, it still hurts to know that our whole first chapter is now over. And seeing her in her new space, her post-mom space, made that fact all the more real.
My little girl is not so little anymore.
I loved that from the moment she met me at the bus stop she basically talked non-stop (you know an introvert trusts you when that happens), updating me on every little thing that happened during the week. My heart was just so happy to hear all about it. I appreciated her wanting me to be a part of her world, especially given the fact I wanted nothing to do with my family at that age.
We ran errands together, we ate, we were just us and it was lovely.
When it was time to go, we parted ways at Victoria Park where she was scheduled to do a photo shoot, and after I hugged and left her to go catch my bus, I looked back and watched her walking so comfortably in a city that is not ours but is now hers, and the tears started to fall.
I was leaving her new world to return to our old one. The one she is no longer a part of. Deep breath.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I know we will became closer than ever simply because we won't have the stress of living with one another anymore, but for today at least, I cried every time I passed her old room.
We can never go back to what we were but we can deepen what we are.
It's bittersweet. It's hard to handle. It's real. And I needed to share it.
I know the sadness will pass. It always does. The key is to feel it. To honour it. To make room for it. To just let it dance through me as it cleanses my heart and makes way for even more depth and beauty.
All my love and a few sniffles,
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