The Empty Nest A Mother’s Hidden Grief. The memoir is the story of my life as a mother, with an emphasis on the unspoken grief, which accompanies the process of letting go of one’s children as they grow up. As much as a mother loves her children, she must endure, at many stages of their growth, the pain of losing them. The inevitable “cutting of the ties” culminates when the day arrives for her children to leave home. For many women, this time coincides with profound personal changes of menopause and fiftieth birthdays. My own recent experience of this process prompted me to revisit my life as a mother, and to delve into the journals which I had kept since I was pregnant with my two daughters, some twenty years ago. The journals reveal the learning curves of motherhood and I was able to use this material to form both the chronological backbone of the memoir, and to expose the “heart” of the story in the touching and personal moments that I had recorded.
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“Below please view the Prologue”
The Empty Nest – a Mother’s Hidden Grief
I began writing this story some five years ago when I was 49 years old. At the time I was working in a nine-to-five job for a small book distribution company. Now I work in a nine-to-five job in an administrative role for a lighting manufacturer. I was born and raised in Australia, and I am respectably average in most ways—height, looks, disposition, income, taste in furnishings, personal achievements and emotional baggage. I am an “everywoman”, if one exists. Or rather, an “everymother”, for what really defines me and obsesses me is the story I have to tell about my children.
When I started writing, I was facing the daunting prospect of turning 50 and the more upsetting event of both my daughters leaving home. With these two facts looming before me, I discovered within me a voice that was clamoring to be heard. Would I be like the mother in the movies with a drawstring apron, waving to my children at the picket fence with tears rolling down my cheeks? What happens to that mother? The movie never tells you because the story follows the children—their adventures, their romances, their heartaches—and only once in while do they come back to visit mum. She reminds them to eat their veggies and then the children are gone again. In the final shot she peers through the curtained window, a grey shape behind glass. The curtain shuts. End of mother.
What happens to her, I wanted to know. I needed to know. I am that mother.
This is a story of an ordinary Australian mum who is coming to terms with the fact that her life is changing forever. The characters that I share my feelings about are real people and each of them plays a very important role in my life; as a woman, a partner, a mother and a friend. This is my voyage, that which has emerged from my very heart and soul, beginning many years ago when I first became a mother to the time when my children decided to leave home—or as some people call it, ‘abandon the nest’.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Empty Nest, September 20, 2012
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This review is from: The Empty Nest: A Mother’s Hidden Grief (Kindle Edition)
From the cradle to the empty nest. I passed through that journey myself so I understand the emotional roller coaster ride that this author takes you through. I think all daughters and daughters-in-law should read it – O, yes the boys too. I am the mother of two boys! There are tears and laughter, joys and sorrows in this very honest tale and it helps us to understand how we can support each other as mothers as we go through life together.
Thank you Shirley 🙂
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