Amidst my elation about getting to the point of accepting my difficult child's life and letting go, my therapist told me to expect more grief. Good grief, more grief? Well, yesterday after speaking to my difficult child on the phone and both of us realizing that until she puts effort into her life and begins therapy, gets a job, starts the healing process, our connection needs to take a hiatus. It was poignant, but a necessary step in both of our healing. She now has all the tools to go forward and I need a break from all the drama of her life. This morning I awaken to a deep sadness. It feels as if this relentless preoccupation with my difficult child's life is over. I can't explain it other then that. In it's place is this emptiness, a very real feeling of something being over and a lot of space which used to be occupied with all the stuff of a difficult child life, and now there is nothing. In addition to that, my granddaughter left yesterday to go camping for a week. My schedule is absolutely free weeks in advance except for my own appointments. I took a nap yesterday afternoon (unheard of around here!) and read a great novel and went out to dinner with SO. Quiet, uneventful, calm and peaceful. And empty. I've gone through the empty nest stuff when my difficult child left home when she was 19, it's not that. After so much of my life being eaten up with the care of my mentally ill family, letting my difficult child go into her own life without me, feels like the final person to care for has finally left my care. There are those of you out there who have lived for awhile without any difficult child activity in your direct sphere.........I'm wondering if you might elaborate on what it was like for you when your life once again became your own. What were those stages of detachment, AFTER you were detached? We all know the ones before, I would like to know how it was for you when you finally did let go. How did your life change? What did you do with your time and energy? How did it impact your joy level and peace of mind? Did you go through a stage of sadness? If you would like to share them, I'd like to know your stories. Thank you.