Empty Nest


No one could have prepared me for the Carlisle ‘Empty Nest’ of 2023!

These words empty nest had bothered me greatly over the last year. Jake and I have been consciously preparing for this event for no less than 20 Years!

Everyone kept asking me over and over this year, “if I was getting excited for empty nesting?” (like it was a joyful vacation with my husband;) 

To that I would answer, “It’s not here yet.” I am a VERY in the moment person and the actual act of the nest being empty did not happen until last night. I cried the whole day yesterday off and on as we continued shopping and helping Jalena and Jamie nest (ie: Costco and Target runs) I believe the act of ‘doing’ and shopping is what keeps the actual emotions at bay, and for me not being very able to ‘do’ much, I’m just left with all the feels!  I got out of the chaos of Costco and it hit hard!!! I was in and out of huge emotion the whole way home and Jake was the innocent receiver of blame to alleviate the discomfort. He couldn’t say anything “right” to help. Sorry Boo.

The thing about grief for me, is that it is a cluster F*#@ of emotions and nothing will soothe me other than someone witnessing me or holding me.

No relating. No looking at the bright side and NO comparing.

Definitely don’t start a sentence with “at least…”

Grieving is an umbrella of an overwhelm of emotion. That’s why it’s not safe to reflect back to me what you think I’m feeling. If you say I am sad because I was crying, I might also be feeling joy, elation or heartbreak. That’s why it’s best to say what you see…”I see you’re having big emotion.” Period. Sometimes when one of my fam members hugs me in one of those big releases, I feel seen, heard and supported (no words necessary).

All I’m saying is nothing could have prepared me personally for the shock of an era ending. I knew every aspect of it was coming, but that wasn’t enough to alleviate the shock. Who knows how each human experiences anything. We are all so different and complex. I know that the feelings don’t stay for long and I am no stranger to grief. I know this is rich soil for growth and I welcome it. I will forever be the mother to three exceptional beings but my job as a caregiver to kids is now over and I get to be in the village with 3 badass adults! I get to continue diving into  the depth of mine and Jake’s love that made this ultimate creation of a family. I think it will be our greatest co-creation, but I’m open to more awesomeness!

Pictures above: 

1. Jake and I being the continued focus in our room. 

2. The most magical gift of a moment we had in August as we celebrated our 25TH in an intimate gathering. Looking back, the timing could not have been better to celebrate our love as we moved into this next chapter of independence.

Update 09-24-23

A couple weeks out and I have new insight now that I further out of the initial heartbreak…My heart got broken wide open, and it has begun to heal and close up a bit, but the thing about me is that my heart is always open. Life has not brought me anything that has taught me to close it completely (I realize this is a rare privilege). 

My dear friend sent me something recently  that someone once said that changed every bit of this empty nest language for me…They said something to the effect, ”I’m not an empty nester, I’m a bird launcher…” YES!!!! Jake and I launched the heck out of our birds and our nest isn’t empty. We are still here, very much in an active nest:) When nests are empty and no longer in use they fall out of trees and are useless. Even the actual empty nests in my house are full of gems and goodies;) Here’s to a nest with no kids in it, but still very much full of life.

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