Bereft

My husband always describes himself as a bit bereft after our young-adult son has left the house to return to his home elsewhere following a visit.

Now I understand.

The two of them have just driven away, headed for the train station, our two-week holiday visit at an end. Bereft I am.

Perhaps the difference is that I’m not working today and so was at home to watch my boy walk out the door. Also, because my husband drove off with him, I don’t have the husband to distract me. That’s my husband’s workday situation, since he works from home, so my experience is probably closer to his this time around.

Does this feeling ever go away for parents? I welcome it as a part of the love I share with my son, but I truly wonder if the feeling changes over time — and, if so, how long that takes. We’ve had several years to get used to this, and still it makes me sad.

My husband and I have no parents left in this world, so I don’t have them to ask.

I’m reminded of all the other things I didn’t think to ask our parents while I still could, or didn’t think to write down when I did ask.

Today is a day to cherish loved ones, both present and not. I’m thinking of my mother, gone more than 10 years, and my father, who died when I was a child. I’m thinking of my in-laws, whom I also continue to miss terribly. I’m thinking of my son, thankful to still have him in my life and proud of the young man he has become.

And I’m thinking of my husband, waiting for him to walk back in the door, where he will distract me from my feeling of loss, and I will distract him from his. We will spend the day together; that will be both enough and more than enough.

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