Monday, March 7, 2011

From a Full Nest to an Empty Nest

Anyone who has lost a child can relate to how I feel.  I sometimes wonder what to do with myself most days.  I feel like I went from a full nest to an empty one in just a matter of hours.  Amber's passing was just so sudden and I still can't believe sometimes she is gone to Heaven. 

Jennifer had gone away to college when she was 17 and had been on her own for years.  It was a huge adjustment at the time but I knew she was an hour away and I could talk to her everyday or go help her study if she wanted me to.

To be honest is lonely around my house!
 Everyone says it will get better with time ... but I wonder sometimes if it ever will get better.  I miss having giggles around my house!

For instance,  my husband and I made a trip to Nashville this weekend to the Grand Ole Opry.  We have been many times in the past but this time it was different.
We went for the first time without Amber.  It was so strange for me and my husband without her.  We were so accustomed to sitting in handicapped accessible seats for her wheelchair.  I looked around while we were waiting for the show to begin and looked at people sitting where we once sat so many times in the past.  Amber was a huge fan of country music.  We enjoyed the show and it was another step in adjusting to our changed lives. 

My only New Year's resolution was to get organized.  I have been trying to organize and clean our basement.  Everything downstairs reminds me of Amber.  I came across one of her many drawings yesterday that was from 1992 and she had written Happy Easter!  I thought to myself how timely with Easter a month or so away and I find this adorable drawing of an Easter bunny :)  Of course I have it safely put away now.  It brought a smile to my face!

And talk about organization ... Amber was so organized!  I found four brown envelopes of her school papers from high school or college.  She had saved her work and had it organized by subject!  She got her organizational skills from her Daddy  ... not me!

So tomorrow I go down to the basement and sort through Amber's things and Jennifer's.  I wonder what treasures I will find tomorrow in my empty nest...

  Just give your loved ones another hug and tell them "I love you" every time you can :)



Betty Lou said...

Donna, I feel the pain in your words even though I can't imagine how difficult it must be to lose a child. Just know that you have loving supportive friends in blogland and that it may help to write, just as you did today and let some of the pain out. I don't know the words to say to make you feel better but know that I care and will listen to whatever you have to say. God Bless you.

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

Donna, Thank you for sharing your momma's heart with us :) :) I can't even imagine what it's like...but I do know that our God if faithful. That much I am sure of :) :) I'll make sure and follow your request and give my daddy a huge, and tell him that I love him :) :) Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather ;)

from my front porch... said...

Oh, heart is so heavy for you.

I do believe sorting and organizing is good for the mind! In many different ways. It is a Physical, emotional, and visual exercise.

Have you ever thought of sorting through Amber's drawings and making a calendar? A different drawing for each month! And you can pick out beautiful backgrounds and layouts at Walmart in the photo dept.!

These kinds of projects are good for the soul! :)
Email anytime. I am only a click away!
xo, misha

from my front porch... said...

p.s. and who cares if the calendar begins in April. LOL!

Linda said...

Bless your heart Donna! Your post was beautiful. Really tugged at my heart a bit! As soon as I read this, I went into the girls' rooms and kissed them. I can't imagine what you are feeling. I know some day our house will feel empty when the girls leave home at the same time for college. Scott and I have discussed that it will be very hard for us for sure. But its nothing like your situation. I love that you found Amber's bunny and it brought a smile to your face. We took the the girls last summer to Nashville. I love country music! We didn't get to go The Opry due to the reconstruction from the flood damage. The girls like country too, but they loved Gatlinburg a whole lot more than Nashville. Maybe when they're a little older... Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories with us! Big Hugs!!

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Donna -- I can't even imagine what it must be like. Please know that you're treasured dearly by your blogging friends. We're here for you when the days are particularly dark and we'll shed a tear or two....and a smile for sweet memories and found treasures. God bless you!

donna said...

Donna I am so sorry for your loss. I can not imagine what you are going through. I think of you often as you tell me how much Amber loved purple. Just know that you have friends out here that love you.

Susan said...

Donna, I would not begin to say I can understand what it feels like to lose a daughter!! Hugs
I can relate to the empty nest feeling. I cried for weeks after my daughter left the nest. She was the last of three. While this in no way compares to the loss of your daughter in death, I am still grieving for my role as a mother. I am still a mother but, just not in the same way. It will get better, but it will never be the same.

erin said...

hi donna, sorry i missed you when you were in town...also, sorry about the rain, sheesh!!

i have never lost a child like you have , but i can only imagine how horribly difficult it would be. her sudden death, i am sure, makes it even harder. i think your organizing is probably a really good exercise in healing. soon it will be warmer outside and the grass will be greener and the birds will be chirping and you will feel more refreshed. there is no set time frame for mourning and is different for everyone. your sweet angel is with you always. please know, that i care about you and think of you often. you are not alone....
bless you,

ABamaMom said...

There are no words I can say to mend your heart or make your sorrows go away. I'll keep you in my thoughts tonight and wish you peace of mind.


Tales From My Empty Nest said...

Donna, although I have not lost my own child, it will be 6 years on March 23rd, that my friend's son (and daughter's boyfriend) was killed in a car accident. We all miss him so much! My heart aches for you and what you must be feeling in losing your darling Amber. Although we rejoice in knowing that they are celebrating with Jesus in heaven, our earthly bodies long for them so much to be here with us. I am proud of you, Donna, for trying to move on with your life and for cherishing those precious memories of your sweet daughter, Amber. I love the idea of the calendar made out of Amber's artwork. Or better yet, how about framing some of her art to put out in your house for all to enjoy. I was just thinking of you today and wondering where we can meet. Any suggestions? Sending a big hug your way. You are so blessed to have such thoughtful and caring blog friends, who love you very much! I have never been to Nashville, but I know you enjoyed your time at the Grand Ole Opry. Would love to go sometime. Love & blessings from NC!

♥ Sonny ♥ said...

Donna, I want to thank you for your bravery and your ability to speak your feelings. You shared more than you will ever know with me in this post and helped me to remember whats most important in this life. I wish I had a gift to give you in return, the ability to ease your sorrow, but I dont.. I will think of you often and wish you peace in your heart and spirit.


Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

Donna, did you think of framing Amber's drawing? It may not match the style you decorate with, but it would be a wonderful memory out where you could see it.

My heart aches for you; I wish you happiness as you continue to adjust.

Lisa said...

Sending "hugs" your way.

My Vintage Studio said...

Hi Donna.
I know your pain too well.
Thank you for sharing your post with us today.

Good luck on organizing the basement. I have it on my list to do...but still haven't accomplished too much. Lupus kicks my butt most days.

Sending you a hug!

Jen in NY said...

Donna, I wished we lived closer. I'd love to sit with you and hear all about sounds like she was a beautiful person. I can't imagine how much you miss her. What an adjustment a quiet house must be. Thinking of you and sending you a big hug. xo Jen

Kerrie said...

Your loss was so great...My heart goes out to you. I am proud of you for going through things of Amber's and organizing as she did. What a joy it will be to join her in heaven one day....Luvu, K said...

Dear Donna, I'm sorry sorry for your loss. I hope your posts and all of our comments give you some comfort. I know that we enjoy your posts, especially as you weave memories of Amber into them:)

Mama Pea said...

Donna, I am so very sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how difficult this is for you. Big hugs to you. My heart reaches out to you. I hope your happy memories will help you through it all.

Marilyn said...

I would be lost without Sarah. I got to snuggle in bed with her last weekend when she was home and we both fell asleep. When I woke up later, she had gone back to her bed, turned off her light, went back to sleep.

Be as brave as you can, and perhaps through your tears you will find a new direction. Maybe volunteer work at school-being a teacher I know how important volunteers are!

Hugs and love to you! ♥♫

Tracey said...

My heart goes out to you. I cannot even imagine how you feel. You should frame her drawing so you could enjoy it and it would be protected too.
Sending prayers and hugs to you,

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Just thinking of you this morning, so I stopped in to see how you're doing. Looks like you could use a cyberhug. ((((((you)))))

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

Oh Donna, I wish I could come over and play with you. This hits close to home today. A dear friend of mine just lost her 22 year old daughter. The daughter was also a former student of mine and taught my daughter swim lessons. She was very special to me and I will miss her terribly, but I can't even begin to imagine how her mother (who I teach with) will get through this. You are such an inspiration Donna. You help us see Amber in her loving mother's eyes and so we can't help but love her either. Thank you for sharing Amber's story and for sharing YOUR story with us too.

Bernie said...

Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry I am late getting here, what happened to you on Monday is what I call a "wave". My son passed away in 1995 and I still get hit by these waves and when I do I feel like I am drowning, I miss him so much. It doesn't get easier but the waves aren't as close together as they once were. Sending much love and big hugs....:-)

John'aLee said...

Oh my dear I wish I was there to give you a big hug!!
I know what you mean about the empty nest syndrome. Although I can't begin to compare with your sorrow over Amber.
I think the only thing one can to give their time to others and somehow this helps heal the sorrow.

A big hug...