Countdown to the New Year

As the year comes to a close, let’s have fun! The last week of the year can feel so long. Let’s countdown to the New Year. For a bit of inspiration, come back daily between 12/24 and 12/31 as each date “unlocks” to a new blog post. You’ll have to click on the dates BELOW the picture … I hope you’ll enjoy! – HUGS from Sheri McGregor

Sheri McGregor

Countdown to the New Year!

December 24

December 25

December 26

December 27

December 28

December 29

December 30

December 31

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68 thoughts on “Countdown to the New Year

  1. Daphne M.

    Thank you for all of this. This week becomes more okay than dreaded with mindful distractions and gratitude for my son’s journey which is his, not mine. Is anyone out there estranged from an adopted child (not found nor looking for bio family)? I can’t help wonder how/if this factors in estrangement. His brother also adopted remains close to our family.
    Any references would be appreciated.
    Wishing all of us grace and comfort in the New Year.

  2. Eliza

    I can’t open the Dec. 31 countdown narrative…is there some other way to access it? I hate to miss the last one 🙁

  3. Mera

    I always thought was alone cut of by my adult children. And so I also felt shame Always hiding from others. Because I didn’t know how to answer their why my daughters cut me off?. Because people can be so cruel and judgmental. And these people saw that I was a young single mom who devoted herself to her kids. Raised them without any help or support. But now when my kids are all grown ups, they say what did I do? It was my job and duty ? And cut me off like I don’t even exist? How do you get over when your 27+ years of work erased like it never happened? The shame? Feeling of unwanted? Used? Judged by others ? Thank you everyone for sharing . It helps to know you are not alone. A Very Happy New Year to everyone. .And lots of health and Happiness to you all in the coming year.

    1. Marion

      I can relate to your feelings of isolation. My 2 adult boys estranged 3 years ago and I was totally bewildered. I live in a small country town and also find it difficult to answer questions about how my boys are doing. Sheri’s book done with the crying saved me and empowered me to hold my head up high. I have received her second book today and am looking forward to help in the next steps of my healing journey. I am always looking for an insight into how this next generation ticks… we are definitely not alone. It is more common than any of us think. Happy new year and thankyou Sheri!

    2. Toni

      If people ask about your kids, tell them you don’t know and that you don’t see or hear from them much. Anyone with manners will let it go there and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I told all my friends. Strangers and acquaintances will ask and just answer briefly .
      Meanwhile, YOUR life is winding out. Don’t waste it on things you cannot change. Pray for your children, forgive them, but live your life….. we don’t get another life to live. It is hard but you must.

    1. rparents Post author

      Dear Carrie,
      I see one from you on the post about how to accept estrangement (I think that was 12/27). If there is another, it’s possible I missed it, or there is some other reason. As I’ve often said, comments with links sometimes don’t get posted at all or take a long time because I’m leery of links and need to take time to look at them (and I don’t always have time). Also, if someone’s comment is really long, it will sometimes get pushed back behind others before I read through and approve. Other reasons might include someone’s name or something offensive, or some such….. Sometimes posts go to Spam as well, and while I try to look through those periodically, the site gets A LOT of spam (and much of it unsavory things I would rather not see). The spam folder also clears itself ….

      I’m sorry if your comment was missed, but as stated, I do see one approved on that post, so perhaps you missed it after publication.

      Sheri McGregor

  4. Liz H.

    Hi Sheri
    I cannot thank you enough for your kindness in launching “Countdown to the New Year” at such a difficult time for estranged parents worldwide. I’m in the UK, by the way.
    My daughter has been estranged for over 3 years….along with all the usual nastiness that went on before the estrangement.
    Her husband made it clear that *any* contact from me brought on her horrible symptoms of anxiety and depression (crying and screaming)
    She didn’t contact me over my 70th birthday last November. Somehow this made me realise the finality of the rejection, and brought a kind of “closure”
    My 2nd husband (not her father), has been an absolute rock, appointed himself my “carer” for my various health problems, and given me love, stability, and companionship
    Other friends, groups, etc, have been supportive too
    However, one “friend” in particular has been anything but.
    Some members of my close family don’t really “want to know”, where the situation with my daughter is concerned, as they want to maintain their relationship with my daughter (Who behaves completely differently towards them, of course)
    Lessons from the year……..I feel I owe it to myself to myself and my 2nd husband to step back from all the dramas. In the unlikely event that my daughter did contact me, to treat it with extreme caution
    To firmly step back from “friends” who don’t support me, even when they’re part of a group
    To establish “boundaries”
    To spend time going through “Beyond Done with the Crying”, which I’m sure will be as hugely helpful as the previous book and workbook
    To continue with a lovely group that I have joined. It deals with “Ongoing Health Challenges”…..and I have to say that estrangement is on of those!!!;

    Much Love to everyone else in this horrible situation, and, of course, to you Sheri for your immense support and kindness
    Here’s to Strength and Renewal in the New Year!!

  5. Valerie M.

    PS: Forgot to mention that my husband and I are working our way through your new book “Beyond Done with the Crying” Sheri. So much good stuff for us and we want to share it with our 2 youngest daughter’s after!

  6. Pam W.

    Hello everyone. I have not seen my sons in ten years. I have three grandsons that I have never met. Ten years is a long time but it is also time that I used to heal and learn to live a new life. I make every effort to be kind to myself and to enjoy my life. If my sons reconnect, it would be great but also at the same time very awkward because to much has been lost because of their behavior. I want those of you who are in the early stages of this journey to know that joy and happiness can still be found and your life has tremendous meaning.

    1. John G.


      I am so sorry.
      It has been almost 3 for me and I hope I have the great attitude you have if it goes to 10.
      May you have a happy and safe new year.


    2. Cheryl M.

      I too have a grandson who is 2 that doesn’t know I exist. I have been estranged from my daughter for about a year and a half. I’ve been told that I was horrible to her growing up and fell into her “trap” for a long while. Then I found “Done With The Crying ” and it has changed my life.
      As I have reflected during the holidays about how ” horrible ” I was and how many “mistakes ” I made, that she brought to my attention, and that she will NEVER do to her son what I did to her, it occurred to me that she is starting his innocent little life without a grandma that loves him. I was definitely not perfect, but I was a good mom and she’s using my grandson to get back at me. Neither he or I deserve this.
      I’m working my way through the holidays and these newsletters and blogs have helped immensely. Happy New to All, especially Sheri for her guidance!!

    3. Bonnie

      Wow so sorry to hear that. Sounds like you are healing but still not seeing your son or daughter or grandchildren is very hard.I was through that for almost two years but if does not care how long it is. You miss your kids, son or daughter. And grandchildren. My mom passed away eight months ago she died without knowing and ever seeing her great granddaughters and that was horrible but my son made peace with her before she passed away and now we are at a good place and I can see my three granddaughters and sad to say but it took my moms passing my sons grandmother for us to wake up life is way to short not to have family together. I may not be as long as you were but still it is devastating and heartbreaking. I wish you happiness and making peace with your sons. I know how hard it is.

    4. Den

      Hi Pam
      Your words are very empowering. To move on without your children is a difficult thing to do. It brings a lot of shame and guilt and loneliness. My son passed away 5 years ago. I have a daughter who is 40, not married and moved in with me after his death. She has caused me nothing but pain and has always been a problem throughout life. She is mentally, verbally and sometimes physically abusive and it is time for me to move on. I thought she would change after the tragedy we went through but but she only became worse using her power as the only child now. I asked her to move out and I hope that happens soon. If not, I’ll sell my house and move just to escape her abuse. So for 2022, I am going to try and follow your lead and live life in peace and maybe find some happiness along the way. Happy New Year!

    5. Kathy H.

      Thankyou for your comments Pam! My husband and I lost our daughter when she met an abuser online and married him within months. We suddenly became know as unstable, selfish, toxic, people of her origin (her words). She is or has had our grandchild which we will most likely never know. That was three years ago and our lives were shattered in pain and anxiety. In July another adult daughter cut all contact with us because she is believing the lies from her sister (we are guessing). We have two more adult daughters who are still a part of our lives but the thought of the loss of another daugther, should they choose to do the same as their sisters, frankly, has been crippling. We live in a small town and have little support. Some family members have speculated about what we did to cause this. Some family, friends, and acquaintances do not know how to respond and avoid contact with us. Shame on you is pretty common and not said in words but awkward stares. I am finally ready to move on from this incredible pain cycle of doubt, shame, anger, anxiety, and constant inner turmoil. The stress has had a terrible effect on our physical health and we realize that it could kill us if we let it. We are committed to living healthy loving lives with or without our adult children and grandchildren. We know our value as parents and grandparents cannot be determined by those who reject and mistreat us. It was determined by God long ago before we even became parents or grandparents. I appreciate your comments and agree with them wholeheartedly. We can still know joy, happiness, and wholeness without the loving relationships of adult children who have made a choice to turn aside from us. We are not alone.

  7. Gwen

    I so appreciate this forum. This has been one of my hardest Christmases ever. Three of our six adult children decided to Cancel us a year and a half ago because of our political views, and I still wake up sad everyday. I have repeatedly tried to contact them to talk, or even set up a session with a family counselor, but to no avail. They do not thank me for birthday cards and gifts. I try to call or text but they don’t answer. My youngest brother died in a terrible accident two months ago and we tried to call them. They never responded to our messages. I received no phone call or card about the death of their uncle. They have even cut off their grandmother, my mom, who is 91. They did not acknowledge our 40th wedding anniversary this past spring, or my 70th birthday, or Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, even though we send cards to them on all these occasions. I don’t even know them anymore. My oldest daughter had a baby girl 4 weeks ago, but they never called us, even to tell us she was pregnant. I know that many of you have gone through some of the same stuff, and worse. I wonder if any of your estrangements were a result of political differences. I still find it so hard to believe, because it seems like such a petty reason to cut off the people who love you the most. We never even talked politics when we were together. It all happened after one discussion when we expressed our views which did not agree with theirs. I feel like they have bought into an ideology that promotes the breaking up of families and the cutting off of friends and loved ones who don’t agree with you. I do pray for them everyday, and I am so grateful for our three adult children who DO want to be in our lives and want us to be Grandma and Grandpa to their kids. Please share if you have any insights on how to deal with this type of estrangement.

    1. April C.

      Happy New Year. I am heartbroken for you. Your post really hit home with me. We are going through the same thing. Our youngest daughter has cancelled us. It’s been a year now. I have written countless letters, sent gifts, etc. No response. Offered to go to counseling, meet in a neutral place, etc. Again no response. The pain never ends. I miss my daughter and never thought this would happen. Like you said….in today’s world you can’t have a difference of opinion with anyone because they will just shut you out.
      Please hang on there. I am praying for you and your family.

    2. Grace G.

      We’ve been estranged from three of our adult children for several year. My mother was instrumental in our estrangement, and she died last month at the age of 90. Ours was not a political situation, but I feel moved to respond to you, Gwen, because I know how divided our country is and how powerful so-called cancel culture is. It doesn’t matter where one falls along the political spectrum, we are all human and need the love and acceptance of others.

      My husband and I have spent the holiday season with our daughter where she lives overseas, and it’s been a difficult time. My only insight is that we have to hold onto what is best about us and find ways to share that with others, even when they don’t seem interested. We need to honor the humanity in ourselves and others and realize that what is similar about us is more than what divides us.

      We may or may not agree politically or ideologically, Gwen, but I send you warm wishes and friendship for the new year.

      I can never figure out how to visit this wonderful forum except when Sheri shares her posts. I should make a greater effort because the connections I feel to all of you and the gratitude I feel for Sheri’s work are so strong.

    3. Jules

      Yes political opinions can be really strong & definitely can cause some division. But also sometimes people use these sort of things as a reason to distance themselves from people don’t they? I think money is used the same sometimes. I can relate to your post because I have beautiful grandchildren, who we were close to until my daughter decided to remove us from all of their lives. It was very hard on us and them I think, and not theirs or our choice at all, it was very sad.
      It wasn’t political reasons but I do feel that we as a family are very different to my daughter sort of naturally, she had nothing in common with any of us I don’t think – we loved her anyway, but if I am honest I suspect that she felt out of sink with the rest of us, but I doubt that she would ever acknowledge this aspect of things, preferring to blame and point fingers rather than just understand what might be underneath the estrangement.
      So I can relate to you in the way that we feel very discarded by our daughter. And I also totally relate to your thoughts that the people who do want to be in our lives, we must enjoy – we have two other adult children who want to be around us and enjoy the holidays with us, we must make the most of being there for the people who we can be there for

    4. Janniqua

      Hello, Gwen, I was “cancelled” by my son and his wife on January 7th of 2021 because of my political views. The cliff notes version is that they could no longer tolerate my politial views because they made me TOXIC and unfit to be around them or any future children they may have! I did everything in the world (way too much!) for them. I look back and see how wrong I was to enable them like I did and it makes me feel sick! I never tried to force my political beliefs on them or anyone for that matter, and I told them that we should just not discuss politics and agree to disagree. That was not good enough, so in a text almost a year ago, my heart was broken in a zillion pieces by my sons many vicious words and attitude. BUT, I was determined not to let this destroy me and I’ve spent the past year working on myself, who is the only person I can control. I KNOW how good I was to them even if I should not have been, and that I do not deserve what they dished out to me. I still love them and I have let the anger go, but unless they really change and see what a mistake they made treating me the way they did, I don’t see any future for us. I will no longer be anyone’s cash cow or allow myself to be manipulated or bullied into changing my beliefs to suit them. . I have not reached out the them because I feel like it would just validate their superority. Since they are the ones who chose this, it should be up to them to try to change it. I do not send cards or gifts because I would only be rewarding bad behaviour by doing so. They have bought into the cancel culture, hook, line, & sinker. Aren’t they the ones who preach tolerance? How does any of this make any sense! I am going to do everything I can to enjoy my life with or without them. I am chosing to live a life with gratitude for what I still have, and I am finally learning to actually love and appreciate myself. I am a kind, loving and generous person who would have been a wonderful Grandmother if ever given the chance

    5. Karen

      Hi Gwen. My adult daughter has also become estranged from me. My ED chose Facebook as her place to tell me that she no longer wanted anything to do with me. It has been two years now. Her reasons were politically and racially biased. I did not raise her this way. Sheri’s book and these comment have helped me realize that I am not alone. I do not have any contact with my ED. But I do pray for her. Life goes on. God’s love is my constant comfort and source of joy.

  8. Minnie

    It’s very sad these adult children and parent Estrangements are more common than they ever were before.lam going through with it myself.Its sad to say and alot of folks may not Like this but the Bible says to Honor your father and your mother that your days will be long upon the Land and it don’t say what kind of father or Mother it Just says to Honor.Thats why we hear of so many great numbers of young adults Dying and being killed it’s unfortunate but my older daughter Died a few years ago from a very Rare sinus cancer she treated a dog better than she did me she was highly educated but that means nothing to God She was warned by a 97 year old aunt that her Life would be short if she didn’t stop mistreating me and insulting me just to be mean.She Laughed when the elderly aunt warned her she died 6 months Later it’s very dangerous to continue to dishonor your parents Thank God she had no children.l known hv 2 other estranged adult children I HV done the very best that l could for all of them they are just plain Hateful and mean.God Don’t Liked Ugly.Happy new year to everyone and may God Bless you All.Just keep looking up and most of all keep on praying God will take care of you all He promised never to Leave us Alone we are Never Alone.Amen!

    1. Jules

      I don’t know if it is more common, I really don’t. When I have thought about it, my own grandmother had no relationship with her parents – they actually disowned her, and never rekindled the relationship. There are a lot of relationship breakdowns that happen in families that are never talked about and these were often brushed under the rug, what is different is that now, we can bring it out into the open, yes, there’s shame, yes there’s sadness, but there are online groups and this has changed the conversation

  9. Teri A.


    Thank you so very much for all your effort and knowledge to help us all, from your website (as that is countless hours and your wonderful books, btw: I read the first one (amazing how it helped me 5 years ago) and now started with your new book which is perfect timing for the New Year, amazing also).
    When we read everyone’s replies and stories, WE are all is same boat but all wearing little different colors! Let’s all stay afloat and enjoy, while being on any kind of boat, enjoying what nature has to offer. One of my favorite places to be, on a boat enjoying every single surrounding as I float!!!
    May you and all your followers have a Happy, Healthy, and Safe New Year!

    Teri A

    1. Laurie M.

      There are so many stories to this phenomenon. Let me say this, I have one other child and loving but it’s tough when your child has IN LAWS from Hell, who try to own you, her husband, and the kids ….that’s what happened on Holidays… It got SO bad our grandson ignored US on the holidays instead of them after they took over……finally on Easter, after the grandson didn’t want to eat, and my daughter said at the table that EVERY TIME they come he doesn’t eat, my daughter’s Mother in Law went the living room where the grandson was on a TIME OUT to PLAY with him.. a…no punishment there. So after my daughter saying something, I then did to that coddling doesn’t help. Well, after that holiday they then have us all NOT coming to their place – we get one day, they get the other……and last week the Father in Law acosted my daughter saying “I” was responsible – and ALSo responsible for our former SON Estranging as well. OMG. When the grandson was born, this guy sat their holding the baby saying “Uncle Andy is here but Uncle Chris isn’t….” like a singsongy thing. OMG, I was incensed, my daughter didn’t support us and said it didn’t bother her ?? Now 4 yrs. later it’s come home to roost…The in laws had Friday and we had Saturday and doesn’t the mother in Law TEXT our son in law a PHOTO of their DOG to interrupt everything. I can’t seem to win..I didn’t need blame from people who DO NOT know what it’s like and YET knew the story of our son to boot. It’s affecting my health, now with my dautghter’s IN LAWS and our son was bad enough, posting stuff online and we sent them gifts, NOT acknowledged and for their son just born in April we have NEVER met…. I’m beginning now to SO dislike the holidays…. I don’t know what to do to be happy anymore… I do nothing and get in trouble. The in laws have another son and he is visitng his parents and brought the girlfriend. ALL they want to do is see my grandchildren and have been to their house once last week and then my daughter and family wen to the in laws on Friday. Then yesterday he called wanting them to come back over. Geez, when were the kids, age 4 and 16 months to get time to play with anything. I was so ill yesterday with chest pain and fatigue, as I have breathing problems and an MRI last week found things wrong in my lungs. It is bad enough with ONE estranged child, THEN the in laws of the one you get along with ? OMG. HELP !!!

  10. Lizzie K

    These posts were so helpful to me, knowing I was not alone and that other caring mothers had suddenly found themselves bewildered and distraught. After five awful years my daughter has made contact again, and last week we met in a restaurant (neutral territory is very important). This is just to say that sometimes the unexpected does happen, don’t beat yourself up for something that may have been caused by the influence of someone you don’t even know and don’t stifle that little kernel of hope you carry deep inside you. Thank you all for your honesty, and sharing your pain.

    1. Gwen

      I’m very happy for you. And no, I am not giving up hope, but working at not allowing that hope to dominate my thinking.

  11. Liz B.

    Just finished Done With Crying. Thank you for your wise, compassionate and loving thoughts written so beautifully. Your gift to us all is like a hug from above. I am sorry it was inspired by your pain, but grateful it gave birth to your loving book.

  12. Sher

    My situation is very different from all of the posts I’ve read and decided to finally comment on your site. I financially supported my first husband and put up with his lying and emotional abuse for approximately four years. When I divorced him, he made it pretty clear to me that he married me because he needed someone to support him until his father died and that he wanted a son. I gave him the son and did the support for those four years. He got to spend more time with our son after the divorce because he worked very little. My ex was more popular to our son anyway because he let him play computer games for hours and hours. His dad made it very clear to me that I would be punished for divorcing him and basically turned my son against me. He did a good job of that between the ages of 4 and 18 when they both moved out of state. My son was not the nicest of people, and I heard more and more about his behavior and treatment of others from family members, coworkers, etc. Frankly I think he was born without an empathy gene and did not treat people very well, including myself. He never once bought me a Christmas gift, birthday or Mother’s Day card or gift his entire life. It’s been approximately 15 years since I last spoke with him. However, I don’t have to go through the wringer most of the parents I read about in these columns here have to say because there’s no false hopes or anticipated events where I’m going to have to worry about being hurt or being used again. Sometimes it feels as though my giving birth was just a long ago dream of something that is not real anymore. However, knowing the way my son is, at least I tell myself that I have probably saved hundreds of thousands of dollars and have not had to go through any more insults or experiences of him trying to hurt me anymore, and that in itself gives me some peace with the situation. I don’t have to go through that continual roller coaster experience many estranged parents have which I believe is more psychologically damaging to the soul. Sure there have been times in these past 15 years where I have asked myself what could I have done differently, but it’s pretty apparent that he hates my guts and wants nothing to do with me. I believe that is truly his loss and that of any offspring should there ever be any and, of course, he has no siblings. It’s funny only in that I remember doing some pretty nice things for him and spending money and still sensing the same animosity towards me, so ——-

    1. Chloe

      My situation is similar but the same as my late husband was more popular since I was sick and my daughter also hates me ever since we told her that she was adopted (3rd grade). We had a fabulously relationship up until that point. What she had done to me after she found out and after husband passed, no human being should go through. She has mental health problems, lying, stealing suicidal ideation, overdosed, cutting , assaulting me amongst other things and I was the one who was in trouble with authorities for getting her help. Our system is broken!!!

    2. JanPhyllis

      I understand you and your pain. I can feel it as I read your situation!
      I am estranged from my second son. Three days after my oldest son reuniting with me after 21 years, he decided no more Mom????
      Funny isn’t it that my now estranged son talks up a storm with his father while ignoring me?
      I don’t understand what I did? But he treats his father soooooo kindly! Does anything for him! Me, being handicapped can fall down in front of him and he’d walk on me to get over me!
      We were before this enjoying a wonderful mother son relationship?????? I guess my love and kindness and generosity were not enough for him to sustain our relationship?
      I am 73 and now have no family left, he is my health care agent. He told me if I get covid I’ll die!! Is it a wish or what?
      I need to take action to keep myself healthy and get my head straight and most definitely move forward and make decisions I must make!!!!!
      I hope you can make yourself be as healthy and somewhat happy knowing you are never alone in your situation. I have spent the holiday reading “Done with crying” if you haven’t had the opportunity to do so please do!!!
      Good feelings to you today and each day as we both move forward!

    3. Terrie K.

      I won’t go into my details with an estranged narcissist son who is 57 who I just kept giving to and never received much of anything back. I spent a fortune on taking a grandson out of the gutter and getting him help for his drug addiction. We are all still estranged and I do not see this ever turning around. I know one thing, none of this was my fault but it is the fault of a spoiled child I raised and his son lied to me and once you lie to me I no longer trust you. It cost me both in dollars and in a part of my life I will never get back.

      Here is what I learned from the therapist I sought out when this began. I wanted answers of how something like this could happen and I actually invited both my son and my grandson to join me in therapy so we could find a common ground. Since they both refused my request I continued to go and exactly 3 years ago on New Years Eve day I left her office and her last words to me were “They are adults and they will make their own decisions”! I have used the same sentence to all those who come to me to tell their story because it seems “estrangement” has become an epidemic today and families are more split then ever. The split over political views has never been as prevalent as it is today and even in my circle of friends I hear this constantly.

      Here is a thought that has saved me from always looking in the rear view mirror in hopes that I could reconnect and find the reason this has happened. When I look at these two people I ask myself would I have them in my life as my friend. My friends, that chosen family we give to ourselves as a gift is made up of those I care about and those I know are there if needed, same as I am if they ever need me. The old saying of “you can’t chose your relative but you can chose your friends” has never been as important as it is today for those who have lost those who only share DNA and not a basis of commonality. So, I ask you this: would you choose these people if you had not given birth to them? Are they those you could count on if needing something? Would they actually drop what they were doing to be there for you?

      One of the things I told a friend yesterday was the fact that since I stopped crying and started sleeping once again realizing this is not my fault I am still amazed my son or grandson has never once contacted me to see how I am in the midst of being older, 77, and living through a pandemic. Not once have I heard from either of them so that lack of action tells me more than anything, they are not someone who would be there in my time of need.

      Here is what I did and maybe think about the reality for this coming new year! This has been a miserable time in our lives, we have love loved one’s and friends and we have been fearful of stepping out of our front door if not needed and those who have been there for us through thick and thin has been those 4 legs and a tail companions.

      I have changed my will and all my money is now scheduled to be given to animal shelters and those who have stuck with me through this misery. Am I a hard hearted person? No, but why in the world would I leave my estate to those who could not care less and have treated me with such little caring. Think about it and actually be grateful those in our lives are those we surround ourselves with because we know they care. Happy New Year this has been a round two years!

  13. Patricia L.

    It helps to know we are not alone. Our estranged son had a third child, a little girl, in August. We found out from family who saw it online. We didn’t think they could have any more children as they had to do treatments to have their twin boys almost 5 years ago. It hurt badly as my husband and I would love to have a granddaughter. Our daughter, it seems, can’t have children. A younger son isn’t married yet. Apparently our son told a cousin he is doing it to get back at us for the treatment options we used when he was drugging in high school. We did everything we could to save him, counseling, rehab, special school, wilderness program, etc. Yes, we saved him but he hates us. I am more at peace but it still hurts of course. Our other 2 children and their respective others couldn’t be kinder to us. Our son has nothing to do with them either. Well, peace to all during this special holy season. Thank you Sheri for connecting us all.

  14. Doris

    Those who are new to estrangement will not be happy to hear that my husband and I have completed 7 years of estrangement today. I remember becoming part of this group, reading an entry such as mine and thinking “Please God…say that won’t be me.” And I hope for all of you, that you won’t. Despite everything, I still believe in miracles. But, if the fates don’t permit a brief estrangement, I say this. Seek counseling. Seek support in this group. Be oh, so kind to each other. No one deserves the pain. At least, no one I know in this situation. And surprisingly, this is more common than I ever imagined. For me, this was the first Christmas in 7 years that I looked forward to. At the beginning of December, I had a bad day which I couldn’t understand. Then I remembered….it’s Christmas coming. The anniversary of our estrangement- 3 grandchildren we don’t know. And acknowledging it seemed to be all I needed this year. I don’t know if there will be other supremely painful moments, but I do know they are less than they used to be. I have another Son with a new wife and a new step granddaughter, and they are a blessing. My friends are beyond blessings. My Husband is my rock. Be gentle and kind to yourselves. You are beautiful. You are stronger than you imagine. That is their journey. This is yours. Embrace it. Even the pain. You are wise and good. You will survive.

    1. Mandy K.

      What a beautiful entry. I feel so much like everything you wrote. We are at 4 years, which is hard to believe. My husband and I are incredibly thankful for the love in our lives and celebrate the goodness. Yes we have sadness and grief, but this Christmas was joyful despite the pain. It was nice. I have put the puzzle pieces together numerous times, it helps me to understand why she and her husband behave this way. I think, however, what brings the most peace is knowing there is nothing I can do and it is best to continue forward with the blessings in my life. I still cry with grief, but I feel sure anyone who has lost someone dear and close feels this way for their whole life.

    2. Pamela

      Doris, thank you for sharing your insight. Our estranged son and daughter show up randomly, via a text, phone call or rarely a visit. This is always at their convenience, on their terms. We too have realized that as they “have a life”, we deserve one as well. We have a shelf life, an expiration date and we will no longer be emotional hostages to people who view us as toys to be taken out and played with and then shoved under the bed again. We WILL find JOY in our journey.

  15. Ann

    I am beyond grateful to have found this site. I feel SO supported!
    This is my 3rd Christmas being “shunned”. I am healing, I think, but
    holidays, birthdays and Mother’s Day seem to be the most difficult.

    I so appreciate your writings Sheri. They are insightful and really right on point, and
    have helped and continue to help me realize to accept / acknowledge reality.

    And thank you to all for sharing your stories… again, I feel so supported here and am deeply
    grateful AND hopeful that I can and will move forward with my life.
    Health and Happiness for the New Year.

    1. Marilyn

      Yes this site is very helpful.My daughter and I can not sit in the same room more then 5 mins, before she starts with dirty looks.I did my best raising her and it was not good enough for her

  16. Victoria B

    My husband and I are ready to rip the bandaid off with my 24-year-old married son. We’ve only had 3 1/2 years of a tortured heart with his BS and narcissist wife. She has been gaslighting him since they met in believing he had a horrible childhood and we (my hubby and I) placed his brother on a pedestal and treated him like the “Golden child”. This year for Christmas is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I formally invited them down for an early Christmas dinner because I know they go to her family’s home for Christmas weekend. I even said if that didn’t work, we could meet for dinner in the city. Granted, they only live 50 min. away. I didn’t get a response from either one of them. So on Thursday, my son calls my husband out of the blue just to talk (small talk) and it was super weird. My husband asked why he is mad at me, and why didn’t he respond to my invite, he said he is figuring out stuff with himself. I am tired of tormenting my soul with what I did or didn’t do. He sent a message on messenger on Wed. but removed it (weird that it notifies me of that). So I have no idea what he typed and then decided to remove it last minute. So, it must have not been good. He is very close with his mother n’ law and I have concluded that he has found a new family, mom, dad, and life he wants more than us. I deleted FB and Instagram so I don’t feel the need to torture my heart anymore! It’s affecting my marriage, relationship with my 23-year son, and work relationships/friends. We continue living in a state that we hate in hopes to be part of my estranged son’s life. I didn’t send him a card, or a gift this year. The only gift I have ever asked him for was the gift of time (family, dinner, etc.). I will listen to “Done with the Crying” on Audible and strengthen my emotions. We are done waiting and this year: 2022 is the year of a new beginning!

    1. marilyn r.

      Thats how i feel Vicoria. “Im Done,with,crying~” This how ever came after i read the book. Ive been in pain for years, but thankfully, im done try to explain something i did way back years ago. Not really knowing exactly what was said or done. no matter. I did my best, (which is not a excuse) but i took advice from many sources before i made my dission. (on what ever the matter was) My guilt over something i cant even remeber what it was, has disinpated finally. These last 2 years has been a blessing. i have made friends with so many people and given to so many people.(which makes me happy) Im finally in a very good place, (85 years old) and wish i had the info years ago. Bless you and you family thats left. hugs marilyn

  17. Looby

    Maybe this is a helpful way to think of peace.

    Peace comes from within, not from “out there”.
    Embrace it!
    Accept that you did your best.
    Congratulate yourself for this.
    Enjoy knowing this.

    P..E..A..C..E. to the world and especially to yours!

  18. Diane M.

    Merry Christmas to all of you and a big THANK YOU to Sheri for her wonderful Countdown to the New Year, a gift for all of us. I came upon something I wrote down a while back and will use this more in 2022. It reads, “The mind is everything; what you think, you become.” I will try to watch my thoughts more and change any negative ones into more positive ones. I kind of went back to old feelings of hurt regarding my estrangement from my daughter and her family. I must watch my thoughts. I just got a Christmas phone call from my son, who I am not estranged from, but have limited contact. I am most grateful for that. I appreciate hearing from all of you. You do help me to get my mind in a better place. Enjoy the rest of your Christmas Day, in your OWN WAY!

  19. Anni

    Thank you for writing this column. It’s the first time I’ve felt like I’m not alone or a bad mother. My daughter stopped talking to me 10 yrs ago after her father left me. I maintained a relationship best as I could with my 3 grandchildren through my son in law but now that they are teenagers she has managed to interfere and her lies have turned them against me as well. My heart is broken but I have serious health challenges and my wonderful new husband of the past 5 years has convinced me to let go of her abuse and put the energy into healing my mind and body. I am blessed to have a wonderful son and daughter in law nearby and I am focused on embracing the loving relationship I have with them.

  20. Amelia

    Being estranged from my children has been very painful. It can on suddenly with no warning. I have yet to find out what the cause was.I’m a disabled widow, live alone in senior housing. I need something to do to distract me. My parents were abusive starting with the kind gift of an open box of straight edge razors at 1 1/2 in my crib. She was going out with an older sister who decided to check on me. I giggled and opened my hands to show her the blood everywhere. I also had a gash on my cheek where I tried to shave. I didn’t trust my mother as time went on and the abuse was worse. When she was in her lat sixties she warned my daughter to wise up or she would call the police.. I said goodbye and left. She died of a stroke 5 years later. I was with her when she was dying, went to graveside services and never shed a tear. I think I hung in there because of expectations. I believe there is a marked difference in my generation and my childrens. If I only knew what they think I did wrong I may be able to heal, but maybe not.
    I credit you all with the strength you have because I feel the horrible pain as well. I apologize for venting about my mother but it feels safe.
    Happy birthday Rebecca, God bless you all(especially Sheri). May the new year offer less heartache to you all.

  21. Anne m.

    What a fun way to wake up to the festive season . I agree the week after Christmas can drag so I decided to take myself to a different place from home and the memories. I am in Tasmania hiking in the wilderness and mountains and having a brilliant time. Going away will be my new fun activity during this potentially difficult week. I bought your new book Sheri and it was such a healing read. Thank you so much!!!!

    1. Ann

      Bravo to you Anne for taking a marvelous trip to Tasmania hiking!
      You have inspired me to create adventure!
      Enjoy your time hiking… I’m here in Northern California and just finished hiking
      in the pouring rain… it was fantastic!
      Blessing and Hugs to All!

  22. Mary Beth

    Thankyou Sheri,
    My sisters and I have been going through the stages of taking care of our elderly mother, and after a steady decline, she passed away yesterday. I have thought endless hours about whether or not I would let my daughter know when this time came. I decided that since my daughter chose to shut her gramma out of her life for the last 6 years, what would be the point letting her know when her gramma is dying? She has caused as much pain to my mother as she has to me. Some members of my family took it upon themselves to contact her so that she could come and see her before she died. . Unbeknownst to me. All of a sudden, there she is. I looked at her and my heart melted. I embraced her and her arms stayed still at her sides. She looked me in the eye and said “ I am only here for gramma.’ Her eyes looked hateful. I said out loud, “what does that mean?” She pulled away, went to my mother, sat by her for about 30 seconds, got up, and started walking out of her room. I asked her if we could just talk, and she looked at me again and said “I’m not here for you. I’m here for gramma.’ And she left. At that moment, I felt like a healing wound had been scratched away to a gaping bloody mess. I felt like any progress and healing was wiped out in less than a minute. I had talked at length to my counselor about this very scenario, and I felt if she didn’t care enough to see her gramma when she was alive and vital, why come when she is near death and incoherent? I made up my mind years ago not to let her know. So she made her obligatory visit, spewed her venom, and left. Her narcissistic, controlling, cowardly husband stood down the hall and waited. After that, my mother’s breathing changed, she started moaning, and 30 minutes later, she was gone. I am not saying that caused her death, but I know that hearing is the last sense to go, and I know my mother heard my grief. I am angry that the decision was made to call my daughter without asking me how I felt about it. I will not let this come between us, but I feel so betrayed. Why do people think they can be a “savior” or a hero at a time like this? Today, I’m letting her go. I will start healing again, but this time without the hope of some kind of imagined reconciliation down the road. I always had faith in that. But no more. I didn’t like the girl I saw yesterday, and if she is capable of such cruelty, we wouldn’t have a very good relationship anyway.
    Thank you for the motivation to start living again, Sheri. I hope you realize the positive impact you have on parents in this horrific situation. And I am sorry that you are in it, too.
    Prayers and love to every person reading this. I hope you all find peace this Christmas.

    1. Christine

      I am so sorry to hear this… my own mother has this savior complex. She tells me that my daughter hopes to one day reconcile… yet my mother doesn’t believe me that I have tried but my daughter refuses all contact. In fact, she sold her house and moved out of state without even saying goodbye to my mother. My mother thinks she is on an extended work vacation. For some reason, my mother wants to maintain a false relationship with my manipulative and abusive daughter, regardless of the pain her lies cause me. It is heartbreaking.
      I agree that I do not like the person my daughter has become as an adult. But looking back, she has caused strife by lying and manipulating people since she was a young teenager. The people in my life, who are close to me, (besides my own mother), recognize this and remind me of this. I know it is not my fault, and I am actually close to my other children, siblings, nieces, and nephews. They are my motivation for moving forward!

    2. Barbara G.

      I am praying that your heart will heal !!!
      You deserve to live a peaceful life !!!
      Much love and merry Christmas ❤️

    3. Workingonme

      We are in our 1st year of estrangement. It started in Jan 2021. Things were improving with my ES and I but he had declared just after Mother’s Day when he asked to meet me, that he didn’t want my husband, his father in his life. He had a son in October, my husband and I were invited to a baby shower (In sept), I spoke to both ES and DIL and was friendly, no words spoken to my husband. They came to Thanksgiving at my moms, friendly to all but tension between my husband and son. My 90 year old mother and I honored his request to go to dinner for his bday in sept. She did not want to go, nor did I but went for my daughter who persuaded me (dinner was day after baby shower and I was very disappointed in their exclusion of my husband. Both my daughters are out of town but coming for Christmas, older one wants nothing to do with her brother, younger one was trying to arrange a time to see him and his new baby….she was told that wasn’t going to happen…And he told me I wasn’t to babysit on 12/22 even though he accepted my offer over a month ago….Didn’t sleep last night as my youngest is looking at pics of her new nephew in the arms of DILs siblings and wondering if she will ever meet this baby…meanwhile Today ES arranges to pick up my 90 year old mother for Christmas Eve breakfast and although she won’t leave her house for anything at 9am, she obliged him. Guess I’m not a very good person cause I explained to my sister that I’m not happy about this and I’d prefer the same level of support from my mother that I gave to her when she dealt with estrangement from another sister, mental illlness/suicide from another sister, and drama related to alcoholism from my brother. Since I was 12 years old And my parents divorced, I’ve been her main source of support. My sister suggested she (my mother) probably didn’t want to be in the middle, which is exactly where she put herself….I’ve stated repeatedly, my son has the option of ending this nightmare whenever he chooses, I do not…..I also made it clear to my sister that unless things improve, and in the event of my mothers passing, if my siblings agree to any role of honor for my son in the services, I will not attend….unfortunately there is no middle of the road as far as I’m concerned….And he would be quick to step forward. This summer she had a stroke and was allowed 2 visitors per day….he and his wife ran straight up and my 2 brothers and a sister in law had to tap dance around the hospital staff to get in her room to assist with her care and logistics. Lord help me be better.

    4. Anne m.

      Mary Beth,
      Thank you for your honest response. I had a similar experience. My mother died two years ago and my two daughters came to the funeral and said not one word to me except my eldest daughter later texted with “ I hope you are ok with nana passing” . They really have no idea of life as it is all about them. That comment and their behaviour gave me closure and I moved on to a much happier life.

    5. Looby

      To Mary Beth

      When I debated over whether to still send my ED a Christmas gift knowing I would not hear from her as usual, my therapist said, “Each time you do this, you do hear from her. You hear rejection”. After the despicable way you were treated, I hope you will think of this when your heart wishes to hear anything from yours and that it eases from melting into strengthening. Bless you and love to you.


    6. Paula

      Dear Mary Beth

      My heart is so sad hearing of your painful experience not just about losing your dear Mom but losing your daughter all over again. Her behaviour is a reflection of her not you. It’s cruel and so punishing. I’m so very sorry. I fully understand your grief. Haven’t seen or heard from my Daughter in 11 years. My Son 5 years. Both married to controlling spouses and my children themselves who willingly put a wedge between us. My third adult child also has been rejected and has been so devoted and loyal towards me while I live with unstable heart failure diagnosed just before my daughter stopped communicating to us all. I’ve lost hope for any reconciliation with my eldest two children. I just pray for them every day that they are safe and well. Fractured families are so painful. Self care is the only anecdote I found. God bless you and I pray you detach with love.

    7. Amrik s.

      I feel your emotions and reaction. I told my wife that when I die I do not want you tell her. If she does not care when we are alive then why to bother her when we are gone.

    8. Kitsie

      Oh, this is so very real to me. Venom, yes. It confirms that I will not contact my daughter when her grandparents pass away. Prayers to you that you can recover and begin the healing all over again.

  23. Bernadette R

    I thought that I was over the crying after the 20 years plus of torment from my oldest son, but last night I didn’t sleep. I’ve read and reread your book and others and it has helped. I have sought help from clergy, therapist and support groups to get thru birthday, holidays, funerals, weddings, any and all events, and it helps. I have tried to reach out with his kids thru the years, but until they are over 18, (which 2 are) I am not allowed to be around except to give money, gifts, you know the routine. Now it has gone to another generation, the great grandchildren. I haven’t even held my great grandson and he will be 3 this February. I made arrangements to drop off his gift and his sister’s gift. My grandson, their fathers, turned 31 yesterday too, so I had my hopes up too much. I should have know better, but love still calls for hope. I turn 70 tomorrow, and I’m feeling sorry for myself today. Next year I think I’ll buy gifts for people who need them, instead of trying to create relationships that just don’t want to be. When, you write another book, make it about generational issues, and how your child truly wants to hurt you over and over again. I know I’m not alone, I know that I’ll get thru this today, and I know I am the person in his life, that cared then and now. Thank you for letting me vent, my husband (not the father of my sons) just can’t truly understand, because his daughters are very kind to us, thank God for that.

  24. Diane

    So thoughtful and kind, thank you, Sherri! It keeps my focus on all the positives at a time part of me would like to shut myself away and howl.
    Chins up everyone, not everyone judges you as harshly as your child/children. I bet you are all as kind, considerate and caring as the next person, maybe even more so as you nurse fractured hearts. There is beauty in the scar according to Japanese art. Breaks are mended with gold. Remember this.

  25. Paula B.

    Thank you Sheri,
    This is a wonderful gift to all of us going through this.
    May you have a blessed Christmas…so grateful to have discovered you. Looking forward to each day to read another of your insightful wisdom ❤️

  26. Soulshine&Daisies

    What a wonderful idea, Sheri! Reading this post put a huge smile on my face! I will be coming back to click on the dates and read the posts. What a relaxing scene you have created…this will be fun. Thank you!

    1. rparents Post author

      Oh, I’m so glad this made you smile! I’ve been feeling like Secret Santa dreaming this up. Now, if the individual postings won’t disappoint….

      And regarding my little scene–I created it using that wonderful program, Canva. Amazing what you can do with that.

      THANK YOU for your comment. It makes me all the more excited to thrust open the doors and windows!

      Sheri McGregor


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