A few weeks ago I had one of those “moments”. A frozen-in-time event that would be
forever stamped in my mind and heart. I stood in the driveway, waving good-bye to my
youngest son, Joe, as he left home for a new life in California. Walking into my house,
now an empty nest for the first time in 26 years, everything looked and felt different. I
felt a flood of intense emotions flow within me that day and for days afterward.

Like those movie scenes of people moving in slow motion, these bittersweet moments
tend to grab time and slow it down into an altered state of strong and sometimes
confusing emotions.

Many people I know are going through big transitions in life, saying good-bye to
situations or people or facing life challenges that have arrived uninvited. As humans, we
tend to want control, which brings us to fear the “unknown”. In actuality, I think what we
really fear is that we won’t be able to handle what shows up, whether it is comes in the
form of kids growing up, illness, death of loved ones, loss of income or any significant
change to lifestyle.

If you’re going through a life transition that brings you sadness or fear, I extend to you
sincere compassion. I would also like to share the steps I use to facilitate my own

  1. Embrace and fully feel the emotions in the moment. Be proud of the courage to
    grieve, to cry. Tears are symbols of strength. You are more courageous than you
    know. You are braver than you imagine.
  2. Reach out to people in your life who you trust will respond with sensitivity and love. If
    you don’t feel like talking, text or email your thoughts. I texted special people in my
    life on Joe’s departure day whom I knew would support me.
  3. Journal your journey. Writing can be very healing. Don’t judge or analyze what you’re
    expressing. All feelings are valid.
  4. Reflect on times in your past where you faced challenges. How did these challenges
    ultimately strengthen you and bring you to new and better beginnings? By opening
    your heart to future happiness that is awaiting your arrival, you are saying “yes” to this
    new chapter in your life.

In the words from the author, Anais Nin: “LIfe shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s

I wish you courage and strength, today and always.