My kids have moved away and I’m extremely depressed

DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 22 years. Our son is leaving for Marine boot camp the day after his 18th birthday. He will be a third generation Marine, and we are extremely proud of him. He will be stationed in California, several states away from US. Our soon to be 21 year old daughter is a college graduate and we are very proud of her as well. She lives an hour and a half away.

My problem is that although we see our daughter often, every time she comes home I am overwhelmed with grief and crumble. The thought of our son leaving also saddens me. I can’t even watch it without breaking down and crying. I cry every day, sometimes for hours.

I am severely depressed to the point that sometimes I can’t work. I also cracked up at work. I’m heartbroken to become an empty nest. I’m crying just writing this. I haven’t been this sad since my dear mom passed away a few years ago.

I know I have to pull myself together and that’s not healthy. I also know how lucky I am to have kids who are ambitious and healthy enough to fly on their own. Before, I paid attention to my appearance and I didn’t care anymore. Is this normal? — TEARS IN MICHIGAN

DEAR TEAR: While it is normal to feel sadness when children leave the nest, the symptoms you described are those of severe depression. I’m glad you wrote, as it gives me the opportunity to advise you to talk to your doctor about what’s going on. You may be grieving not only the departure of your children, but also the loss of your former life as a young wife and mother. There is medical and psychological help for the pain you are feeling. A licensed therapist will help you regain your emotional balance. Please do not wait to contact us.

DEAR ABBY: I rent a room to an elderly gentleman. His daughter also lives with him. I paid to have the general area of ​​the house cleaned for him due to his age. Her daughter doesn’t bring anything and leaves the kitchen a mess with the rest of the house. He never tells her anything about it. She is basically lazy and sloppy and takes advantage of her father. Should I stop paying the cleaning service because of their actions? — LIVE A HAND IN FLORIDA

DEAR LOAN: What is happening does not seem right. Talk to your landlord and ask if the money you pay for rent could be reduced by the amount you paid the cleaner. And if he refuses, consider finding alternative accommodation.

DEAR ABBY: My friend wears a restraint and removes it at the table, even at the restaurant. How can I tell her that it’s getting a lot of attention and it’s disgusting to witness? — IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE IT IN NEW YORK

DEAR CAN’T IGNORE: Say it in simple English. Suggest that she go to the women’s bathroom to remove her retainer and carry her container in her purse, because when you see her doing this, it takes your appetite away.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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