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Dilemma: I'm lonely now that my son has moved out

Jo Brand / 29 December 2017

A reader is feeling sad and lonely now that her son has moved out, leaving the nest empty.

Empty nest
A reader is feeling lonely now that the nest is empty

Dilemma: I'm extremely lonely without my son at home

My son finally managed to buy his own home in his thirties and has now moved out, which is what he wanted and I helped him out. But I am now on my own – I’m divorced – and so miserable it hurts.

Even schoolwear in the shops reminds me of beautiful times with my only child that have gone.

I won’t tell him but I can’t shake off these feelings of endings and hopelessness, and I feel very close to tears.

Jo Brand's advice

I think you need to tackle this in stages. First, the sadness. Have a chat with your GP, who can assess the depth of your problem and offer some treatment. I would think counselling might well be the way forward.

Second, once things start to improve you need to swing into action – perhaps you have the strength to do that now. These changes in our lives are inevitable and, as we can’t stop them, we need to deal with them.

There are people in our society crying out for help from those who have time on their hands and that’s the route I think you should go down. How about volunteering at your local hospital, food bank or library, for example?

What are you good at? Art? Decorating? Cooking? All these skills can be used in order to help others. Or even master a new skill yourself and contribute to society that way.

There are hundreds of opportunities that, sadly, many people don’t take up because they are too inward-looking. Don’t be one of them.

You mustn’t allow yourself to sit in a bitter pool of self-pity like Miss Havisham, pining for times past. Your son will feel so much better if he thinks you are living a full life, not wilting at home. And believe me, he will know, even though you think you’ve covered it up.

I wish you all the best.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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