Empty nest depression, something it may be easy to relate to if you have ever stood at the window and watched as your child has driven out of the driveway. Itís natural to be sad when your only child or last child leaves home. Itís the ending of a chapter in your book of life and the beginning of a chapter for your child and for you and your spouse.
I know when my only son moved across state, I agonized over his departure. When he moved back home, we had a hard time adjusting to him being back. Then he moved across country and was gone for well over a year. With him being so far from home, it was a very difficult time for me. Not so much for my husband. Men must handle things differently, or perhaps it was because it was a son leaving, not a daughter.
Avoiding empty nest depression will take some work on your part and a whole lot of faith in God. God has promised to be with us and with our believing children. He is faithful and He will do it. That is not to say that there will not be challenges for both sides.
Here are some things I did to aid in my struggle when my boy moved across the country. The first day he was gone, I had a long talk and cry with God. I took the heartache and burden I was feeling and I asked God to carry it. I then thanked Him for relieving me of the worry I had. God is in control Ė He can be with my son and at the distance, I canít.
I began each morning with a time of prayer. If I felt the sadness creeping in, I asked God to carry it for me again. He knows we are human. He knows we will slip back. The thing we need to do is consistently be in communication with our Father.
Take some time at the end of each day and journal the best things of your day. Record things that brought you joy. This will cause you to look at things differently throughout your day. I have found since I began this process that I see things I have never really seen before. The squeal of delight as a child picks a dandelion. Small things I had missed before because I was too busy to stop and enjoy all of Godís creation unfolding around me every day.
Each moment we have a choice. We can choose to be sad or we can choose to be happy. No one can make that choice for us. No one can make us happy; we have to make that commitment alone. We need to look for the hidden joy in every moment.