Lament of the Empty Nest COVID-19

Today, hunkering down in my apartment in my paradise of Veracruz, Mexico during my 90-day retreat that– due to the coronavirus– has turned into a 5-month retreat; I’m not sure why, but I’m feeling unusually sad. Maybe because it’s Sunday and church of course is still canceled. No church, no family all under one roof to draw close and be one during these uncertain, scary days.

The kids are grown with their own homes; they are one with their own families. I’m on the outside looking in and it’s not anything like the same. It used to be them, one by one, gradually growing up and separating themselves from the family unit. Now it’s me separating myself, trying to decide where to live independently and be happy.

As much as I love my children and grandchildren and wish them well and pray over them and rejoice in their successes and happiness and growth as individuals and families, I can’t keep on living in their homes. I think it’s time to get out on my own.

But I have enjoyed staying with Nathan’s family, who made such a loving and welcoming place for me.

This morning I kind of wish I were back with them.

But what I really wish for I can’t have– that would be going back in time, to when everything was beautiful and perfect for a moment.


Christmas in Illinois, 1989: Left to right Donny, Joseph, Liesel, Alice Jane, Billy, Jay, Baby Nathan. Mom and Dad in the center.


6 thoughts on “Lament of the Empty Nest COVID-19

  1. mirkabreen

    The loss of communal worship is not trivial for so many. For you, there’s the added loss of Bruce. Maybe re-read the Diamond books to re-live those full-house (and blessed hectic chaos of) family days.
    Nothing is forever. 😦 But neither will COVID -19 be.

  2. Arlee Bird

    Hope your spirits have picked up some since this was posted. I can understand your feelings about this. The last of my kids left home over 10 years ago (hard to believe!) and now they are all 2000 miles away from me raising families on their own. At the present time I’m not even sure that my wife and I will be able to make our annual summer trek back east which in the longer range becomes a concern as old age approaches.

    Family is so important. At least we can communicate with computers and it’s far more cost efficient to call long distance on the phone than it used to be.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  3. Dee Ready

    Dear Karen, thank you for being so honest with yourself. With that honest appraisal of your needs and wants can come, I believe, a decision that will lead to a new life. It will be a life without Bruce and the immediate presence of your grown children, but it will be, I trust, a life that will enrich all those your meet. You’ve always done that. You will again. You do. Peace.


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