Surviving letting go brings so many different emotions to the surface of our hearts, guts and brains. There are all kinds of reasons all of us have let go. We let go of so many things. The wrong person, best friendships that dissolve, the bad habit, the people we love who cross over, pets, our favorite sweater, jobs, and a lot more.
Most of us can’t begin to even keep track of all the things we have let go of, except for the letting go that hurts our hearts and turns our guts inside out, even though our brains know it is the right thing to do. I am writing about letting go of your child as they move on in life, often thousands of miles away, to become what we always wanted them to be-superstars.
We carry our babies under our hearts for 9 months and then we carry them through life. We know that as they grow we have to give them more freedom, we have to wave goodbye to them as they get in the car for the first time. We hug them as we take them to college and they scold us for having tears in our eyes. We are thrilled for them as they begin their adult lives. We let go more when they fall in love and we remember how we felt when we were their age.
I am not sure we ever really consider that they may move on and out and head thousands of miles away though. If someone brings it up we push that thought into the recesses of our minds until one day we hear them say “We have big exciting news to share and we want you to be happy for us.” At that moment our hearts skip a beat, our guts start to grab at us, while our brains tell us to relax and try to look normal.
We say all the right things (that’s our brains kicking in again) but our insides hurt, and we are happy for them yet sad for us.
I watched that moving van pull out of my yard a long time ago and I thought my insides would just shut down. It’s hard. It’s really hard. I remember running down the road to catch a last glimpse of that moving van. Yes, letting go hurts.
However, we do begin to know and understand that change happens, growth happens, and we know our children grow up. We also know amazing opportunities do not happen to everyone. We were blessed, so blessed to have so much time together. We know we can board airplanes. We know our children do come home for the holidays, and other family events. We have smart phones, we know we can text, email, Instagram, and more.
Our brains are rational about letting go, our hearts and guts are not.
I wrote this for someone I have known for a long time – I have always been “ahead” of you with experiences in life, and yes, I know, as you always pointed out, that I will always be older than you. That always made me smile. I smile for you today, and yes I have tears too.