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When You Can’t be with Your Child. Two Ways to (more than) Cope with the Pain.

Four years ago, I held this little guy in my arms and have held him few times since then. Today, I’m especially missing my children and grandchildren.  I’m a mother of three and I have three adorable grandchildren. All live far from home. Konner, pictured here and his brother and sister live 1,548 miles from this gramma. In this article, I’m giving you two effective tools that can help you today and can continue to be a blessing in your life whenever you need it.

Separation from children can be extra tough especially during holidays and special events. If you’re missing a son or a daughter, or perhaps both, or if missing a grandchild causes feelings of sadness, it’s okay.

Emotional lows can be a healthy way of your heart reminding you of the love that you have for your child. But being there too long is like parking in the depression zone. Stay there very long, and you can feel like there’s absolutely nothing else going on in your life of any good.

Your feelings are indicators that you are a real human being with a heart of love, but don’t stay depressed.

When you’re hurting because of the absence of someone you love, perspective isn’t the clearest. In the depression zone, you can actually begin believing that you’ll never be happy again. But there’s another zone called the life zone. Here is where you decide that you will discover and enjoy the opportunities to live fully in the life that you have in this moment of time.

As soon as you can, get on with living! Adopt an optimistic outlook. Decide to believe that you will experience joy again!

For three years, I didn’t follow the advice that I share in this article because I hadn’t learned these powerful truths yet. So, I did like many an empty nester does, I cried through lots of tissue each time one of my grown children returned to college after their visits home. In three years, there were lots of opportunities for mascara trails to run down my face.

For instance, I rejoiced, whooped it up, at the healthy births of my grandchildren, and then I cried when I realized that I wouldn’t be holding them until they were ready to crawl. To me, at the time, it seemed like that would be F.O.R.E.V.E.R! And forever is a long time to not hold your grand-babies.

Tears were common. Sound familiar?

This lasted until I learned to move into the life zone. What do I mean by this? Instead of staying sad, I thought about the positive things happening in the lives of my children and in my life. This is a great first step. But even with a perspective shift, my emotions still felt raw. To move from there into a more positive emotion, I gave myself a mini-coaching session. You can do the same. Coaching sessions involve questions to help you discover solutions and answers. I asked myself two questions. You can also ask yourself the same two questions. Doing so can help you move out of sadness or sorrow.

The questions to ask begin with Why and Can

  1. The questions: Why am I feeling this way? My answer came easily. Yours might not. You might need to pray for guidance or write it out and process your emotions more than I needed to. The answer to my why is this. I love my family and I felt that I had missed something that couldn’t ever be retrieved again. Knowing what’s behind your sadness empowers you to move forward. The next thing to do is to ask a second question. Can I change the situation? If not, release it to the Lord. If so, then decide how to change it.

Discovering the root of my tears through self coaching had immediate results. I no longer went through heaps of tissue when missing my children’s special days and events. And now, disappointment may be present, but I quickly resolve it. Self-coaching really works.

Recently, a young man began weeping in front of me and then apologized. No apologies are ever needed for tears. Our feelings and emotions were created by God, and it’s totally okay to experience some tears when we’re missing the people we especially hold dear.

But we don’t want our lives to be controlled or diminished by emotions. The reality is, we are not alone. In the depression zone, it can feel like God’s further from us than planet Pluto, but this is not correct. And it can seem like nothing will ever get better. Right?

But God knows how to help grieving hearts and He has something really good that He wants to give to all who “mourn.”

The Bible portrays the Lord as being so near as to know our thoughts and Paul said that through Him, “We live and breath and have our being.”

Do you believe that the Lord is near you? How near do you think He is? We could say that He’s as close to you as your breath. He understands the ache in your heart. You are so precious to Him that He captures your tears in a bottle. He loves you so much that His will is for you to experience something other than chronic sadness or sorrow.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

If you’re missing someone you love, the Lord is near to release you from the deep ache of separation. He wants to comfort your heart. It may seem like He’s distant, but in reality His thoughts of you are not far from Him…You are on His mind.

God wants you to have peace. In fact, He wants to make an exchange with you.

To appoint to them that mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified–Isaiah 61:3

What a wonderful trade. His beauty for your ashes. His oil of joy for your mourning. His garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

The Lord God is as close to you as your breath and right now, He offers you peace, beauty, joy, and garments of praise! These are gifts that He gives because His heart of love overflows with compassion…for you.

He understands what you’re going through and I believe He truly wants you to find joy in this gorgeous day, and to celebrate in Him for the gift of parenthood.

Get free of chronic sadness and sorrow. Do some self coaching. See my personal story earlier in this article. And put the following action step into practice. It really works. Then write to me and let me know how you’re doing.

  1. The action step: After asking yourself the two questions that I described earlier in this article, put this 3 minute, faith based, practice to use. It works with all sorts of emotions and situations, not just when grieving the absence of a child.

ACTION STEPS: Here is what I invite you to do. For a couple of minutes, focus your heart on the Lord. Ask Him for the wonderful exchange that He wants to make with you. Then be still, turn your attention fully on the Lord, and breath in deeply. Let His love minister to you. Breath in again and receive His peace. Decide to place sadness into His hands and thank Him for removing it and for giving you His joy. It’s yours because He loves you.

I celebrate you mothers and I celebrate you fathers. I praise the Lord for your lives.

It’s my sincerest prayer that you enjoy this glorious day. You are amazing and you are loved.

Drop me a note in the comment box. I would love to hear from you.

Much love,


I wrote this article primarily to readers with empty nests and who are separated from their living children for other reasons. I realize that some of my readers have children who have gone onto Heaven. I’m sorry for your loss. Please know that I’m in no way diminishing your experience or journey through grieving. Your sorrow is deep and may be raw. Please reach out to me if you need prayer or just need to talk. I’m here for you, Pamela

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