How do I get over the grief of my baby girl graduating from High School?

Jaye - posted on 05/08/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )

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In two weeks my youngest child will graduate from high school. She has taken us places and made memories that we will always treasure. She is a four year varsity softball player, winning many state awards. But this year, her senior year has been a real disappointment. It is like she just shut down, cant hit or catch. The younger girls are running circles around her. I can't get over the disappointment that this brings and don't want to show her my feelings. I am sure that the grief of the end of her softball career is a majority of the problem too. It is a passion that both of us shared and did together. This is the end of 15 yrs of school ball and 10 years of travel ball. I never would have thought that I would be this emotional over her graduation, the end of one phase of life, the beginning of a new one. If I don't get some kind of control over my emotions, I'm going to cry and blubber throughout her whole graduation and celebrations. This is the youngest of four. I am kinda afraid of the empty nest. I am an extremely busy person with two part time jobs and own a business. So how do I shape up and get on with life?

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Sandy - posted on 08/14/2012

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Jaye,
What you are experiencing is something many many women experience when one of their children leaves the nest, especially if you have known so much joy in sharing her softball experiences with her. I too have had to go through this since my only daughter who I have always been very close to has moved to Colorado. She graduated from high school and moved to Colorado two years ago and at that time I never thought I would get over it. It felt as though someone ripped a limb off of my body and I that life had cheated me somehow. I spent many days depressed with a crushing sense of loneliness inside. It was unusual at that time to not have a week pass where I did not find myself in a puddle of tears and the first two weeks were the worst. I promise you though that in time the pain and sense of loss will lessen. Women go through a period of grief when their children leave the nest, (the empty nest syndrome) and this is completely normal. Each of us grieves differently and so I can not tell you how long you may feel as you do, but I can promise you that in time the feelings will be less painful and you will reach a point when you will adjust to her growing up and even celebrate it. Though I still have my moments I take great comfort in the fact that my daughter and I have become even closer that we were. I think that this might have something to do with my daughter sucessfully going through the process of healthy seperation that all young women must go through in order to become fully mature and independent adults. She has passed the teenage girl phase of eye rolling and needing to distance herself from me in order to become self sufficient and independent. Every women who has been the mother of a teenage girl knows what I am talking about and knows the hurt that we sometimes have felt during those years when our daughters begin to pull away. I have found that the beauty of my daughter's maturity and new found sense of being her own person is that she can allow herself to be very close to me without that teenage girl need to push me away. She no longer feels the need to argue with me or challenge me about even the smallest of things. Though we argued very little when she was a teenager, like all teenage girls who are normal, she did like to test me on occassion. There will come a time when you will become the best of friends. Your relationship with your daughter will become even more precious as time passes as the two or you begin to enjoy your new journey of friendship. There has been something very liberating about this experience for me because although I will always be and relate to her as her mom, I can now also experience the sense of ease and comfort of also being her friend. Although I never thought it would happen. I have finally arrived at a place where I can look back with feelings of happiness at all of the good memories of her growing up years when she was my little girl without a crushing sense of loss. You will find the same happiness someday with these memories and along with this you will also know the joy of the new friendship you share with your daughter. There will be many years of shared experience between you and your daughter and if she is like mine she will share much with you about her life and experiences with college, friends,boys etc.etc. and one day you will watch her walk down the isle and hold her first baby in your arms. There is so much of life ahead of you and so many experiences yet to share with your daughter. This is not the end sweetheart, it is the beginning.

Dianna - posted on 07/03/2012

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Although I won't suffer empty nest for another eighteen years, my eldest child is nineteen. Amelia is in her second year, so I have gotten used to her being gone. YOU WILL ALWAYS MISS YOUR CHILD. I just think to myself "She is where she wants to be, and she is doing the best she can to succeed in life." Always gets me through now that I will have a second college kid next year.

User - posted on 07/02/2012

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My daughter, the youngest daughter but not the youngest child, graduated this year. I was very emotional and you know what...it is OK. You have to give yourself that. Even though I don't have an empty nest, I do have that grief that I have to let them grow up and they have to figure it out. I am here for moral support and advice when needed, but not more than that. My daughter has decided to do college from home, but even in that, I have to let her be independent. So do what you have been doing, but now you have more freedom to do it. Be there when she needs you, but don't crowd her. Now it's time for you to fly...and trust me you will soar and she will be alright.

Francine - posted on 06/21/2012

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This is part of life. Your going to cry over everything. I know I did when my baby graduated last year. You will eventually get over it. Your daughter needs her independence just as mine does. Be more of a listener to her now and let her make mistakes. You will love listening to all the lessons she learns on her own. Time to do for you now. Get a hobby and go after your dreams. Pray for her always.

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