Yeah, so one more thing that grief has made harder: empty nesting.
While my nest is not technically empty, I have long since finished raising and schooling my children. I had the great privilege of staying home with my kids and teaching them all the way through high school. And even in college and graduate school, mom was still editor-in-chief and head of the crisis management center of our home.
I spent a lifetime pouring myself into my family and now they are grown. Sure, they need me now and then, but they are well-established, functioning adults and quite capable without my help.
This is good–I always intended to work myself out of a job.
But losing Dominic, and the burden of grief I carry as a result, has made this transition from “hands-on” to “standing by” that much more difficult.
We all have pictures in our mind of where life is headed–where we imagine ourselves in five years, ten years or even further. In part, those visions are what make hard days bearable, what keep us going when obstacles seem insurmountable, and what beckon us down the road when we can’t see exactly where it is leading.
I had those.
Now I can’t manage a plan or vision for a single day, much less a year or the rest of my life. I feel as if I am cast adrift in a sea of possiblities but none look inviting. It’s like I have one oar in the water and all I can do is paddle in a circle.
I’m not idle-I keep moving. I have things to do, but I’m not sure they are things that make a difference.
And I have to admit, it’s a little frightening to think about the future given my recent past experience.
So I’m trying to learn to rest in the arms of the Father.
Trying to tune my heart to His.
Trying to be patient with myself and with my own impatience.
For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you an end and patience.
Jeremiah 29:11 DRA
4 thoughts on “Identity Crisis”
Having retired just before Christmas….I am totally discombobulated! I needed to retire as it was exhausting keeping up “appearances” for the outside world. I don’t miss work one bit but I do miss the routine. I am “trying to be patient with myself with my own impatience” it has made me very anxious with physical symptoms I really don’t like. Yet again, I don’t seem to be able to recognise myself.
I know I am not alone and that does help me to get things into perspective but I guess it will take time for yet another adjustment on this journey. 🙁
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It’s amazing how just the simple translation of “thoughts” rather than “plans” in that often memorialized Bible verse (Jeremiah 29:11) speaks to my soul. That one verse taken out of context by me was what made me so angry at God…. I prayed that verse over my children and treated it like a promise that only good things (MY wants…. MY plans) would happen to them. So when Jacob was killed in a car accident… that verse would make me feel so defeated. What a healing occurred for me when the reality of it’s true meaning finally permeated my brain
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Yes, the empty nest is plenty challenging on its own! Praying for you!
Thank you, Cyndi.