Estrangement in the New Year: The Blanket of snow

by Sheri McGregor


Photo source: Pikwizard

Don’t let the pain of estrangement ruin your New Year.

On this beautiful morning, no matter where you live or what the weather is like, imagine the world before you as if a soft blanket of snow has gently fallen in the night.

Gone are the muddy footprints and trails to nowhere. Erased are the well-worn ruts to unhelpful thinking, worries, whys? and what ifs?

On this blank slate of the New Year, take a little time to imagine the trails forward you will make. While it’s true that any of us can start fresh anytime, today it’s official.

Are you excited? I am.

Even in estrangement, make this a terrific year.

It’s time to start.

Think of the changes you will make. Maybe it’s to alter how often you reach out, or to let go of expectation or a desired outcome. Perhaps it’s to leave the strife behind entirely, and embrace your own happiness—and if so, what does that mean? Your goals are your own. Make them now and begin to work toward them. Yes, work may be involved. But it doesn’t have to be grueling. Even tiny steps inch you forward.

Take a few minutes to really consider what you’d like to leave behind. Get a pen and paper and jot down your thoughts.

Estrangement: Time and energy wasted

For many parents of estranged adult children, so much time and energy has been consumed by the emotional pain that they’ve missed the good that’s beside or in front of them. Others have striven for a goal that is beyond their control. Don’t let next year dawn with regret. Consider how 2019 will be different.

Turn back to the goals section in Done With The Crying, and consider what improvements you can make. One mother wrote to say that she had read the book but would start the exercises today. Her responses will be her own unique road map to make 2019 about moving forward with purpose.

Just want peace and happiness?

Some who have suffered the raw emotions and hurt of estrangement say all they want is peace and happiness in the coming year. Even this takes a plan. Without preparation, the same old issues, hurtful thinking, and habits will return. Consider:

  • What will you do when your mind wanders to the same old pointless questions?
  • How will you handle an uninformed question?

Consider whatever it is that robs you of peace and happiness. And then you can make a plan. Without forethought, even the most useful resolutions can go awry. In Done With The Crying, there is an exercise to get you thinking about each area of your life and how you can make it better. Try it. Work on just a few areas at a time. Make a plan to move forward, and also how not to slide back.

I would love to hear about your plans for the New Year, and what you share by leaving a comment will help other parents, too. You’ll also find a few links below, to articles here at the site that can be of use as you move forward.

estrangement New YearEven if estrangement has muddied things up for you this past year, imagine that beautiful blanket of snow for the New Year. What helpful trails will you make in it? Where will your tracks lead?

HUGS to all. ~~ Sheri McGregor


Related Reading:

Estrangement: Shape your new normal

Give yourself a break

How to cope when your adult child cuts you out of their life

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10 thoughts on “Estrangement in the New Year: The Blanket of snow

  1. Carrie-Ann

    Dearest Candleinthewind:
    So happy to see your reply…So sorry that you’re having a hard time of it…Remember your Light & Life are stronger than a “candle blowing in the wind”…I am with you in Spirit…We’re all in this together, no matter the distance…I will continue sending you Love & Friendship across the miles…
    Stay in the Now Moment…with Each Breath…It is in the past and future that the “story” grabs hold of us…triggers us…with fear, doubt, regret, longing, loneliness, anger, hopelessness, etc…In the Now Moment there is no “story”…only Peace & Freedom…In Awareness we can experience and truly see that All Is Well In This Moment…In This Breath…(Although consciously being aware, I am sometimes caught in sleep as I have been having nightmares, waking up in the past/future…After having these nightmares and waking up in the middle of the night, I sometimes visit this website and it provides comfort…So I just meet whatever comes up and release it in breath…It’s just the mind still trying to make sense of it all…I don’t fight the mind, I thank it and just let it be…In this Awareness I come back to myself, here and now…and choose not to suffer…).
    May you, Dearest “candleinthewind,” Beautiful Sheri, and Each One In This On-Line Community Be Blessed In Body, Mind, & Spirit…Hope you are all enjoying this Sweet Sunday!!!
    In Friendship & Gratitude,

  2. Carrie-Ann

    Reply to Candleinthewind: I have been looking out for you on the replies on the recent posts, as I really Appreciate your thoughts and slant on things…I have wondered how you are doing. You are continually in my thoughts and prayers…Thank You for posting today…I hope to see your replies more often in the future…(I truly Appreciate Beautiful Sheri, and her keeping the older posts/replies, as well as recent ones, available on this they provide Comfort and Insight.)
    In Friendship & Gratitude,

    1. candleinthewind

      Thank you Carrie-Ann for your kind words. I’m finding the going tough, as you can probably gather.

  3. Strong

    Oops. I forgot to address the issue you raised of naming an executor. It is very easy to name someone or an entity who is not a family member. An estate attorney can assist you with this.

  4. Sally D.

    I read your post, Bernadette and although my estrangement with my son is new compared to yours, I can offer what I have done. Since my own story began last May with me finding out that he had taken a very large sum of money over a number of years from me that was in an account he had access to for emergencies (I am a widow living alone), one of my first actions was to go to an estate attorney to protect my assets and write a will. Long story short, his advice was to bypass the portion of my estate that would go to him and have it go immediately to my grandchildren by him. This can and may be changed easily in the future depending on our situation. He has one new daughter that I have never met. Anyway, a good estate attorney can help and offer lots of good advice. Good luck with all of this. I know, the heartbreak is immense.

  5. Bernadette

    It’s a new year but the painful lessons I have learned are still around. Since I have just turned 69 years of age and have now retired from working full time, my thoughts sometime go to these painful lessons. I have read Sheri’s book and recommend it to my fellow heart broken travelers. I won’t tell my sad story, of 20 plus years of hurt, nor will I deny my part in it. I have 2 adult sons, one that is married, with 3 children, now 29, 21, and 18. The other is not married and does not have any children. I became a single mother when they were 8 and 7 yrs. old, for 16 years we survived by me working 2 sometimes 3 jobs. I remarried and during that same time, both of my sons married. I thought this was my happily ever after story, but my sons married girls that had a bad history with each other. I won’t choose sides and well, here I am. I was not allowed to be but a small part of my grandkids lives. Now that the 29 year old grandson has 2 children of his own, I am allowed to see them a few times, when I drive to his house. His other siblings, never call, never come by, so now I lost them too, this for 3 years. To get to the part I need help with. I am planning on making up my Will, and need some advise. My husband of 25 years, has 2 grown girls with kids, that are so good to me, and I have a real relationship with those grandkids. You know the kind that has home made cards, phone calls, silly faces in the text. I am so blessed to have them in my life. My single son calls them sisters and that makes my heart soar. Now the question: When making up my Last Will and testament, do I reward him and his family for their bad behavior, or just leave them out of it. If anyone is going thru this same turmoil please help me find the right answer, that I can live with.

    1. candleinthewind

      I like the sentence ‘the right answer’ and the additional phrase ‘that I can live with’. I don’t have an answer, only I think there’s a difference between being right and living with that. I tried recently to change my will, booked an appointment with a solicitor, changed my executors from my children to my sister and her husband, to disinherit my children, and found the stress of it too much, the trouble it might cause my sister and just not being ready to do it. I was so clear earlier on. Others here have done the deed and disinherited their children. I don’t know why I faltered. Many a brave plan has gone to the wind recently, or feels very uncomfortable having initiated it. It’s being alone with it all that makes it more difficult, I think. However, here in Blighty (UK) we say you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs. Perhaps draw up a draft will and leave it on the shelf somewhere in your home before finalising it. The fact that our children seem not to care, doesn’t mean that parents have the same privilege.

    2. Strong

      You alone know what is right for you and that can change over time as circumstances change. I changed my will to exclude my estranged adult child. The estate attorney completely supported the change and informed me that many of her clients were in similar situations and choosing to do the same. I can very easily change it back if our circumstances change, however I will not make such a change hastily. I know better now. I also removed my estranged child as power of attorney on everything. For me it was a matter of they have taken more than enough of me – my heart, my soul and my life. And, I certainly would not want this person making health care decisions for me or taking control of my finances, etc. I also do not want money to be the basis of any relationship or the reason anyone spends time with me.

      If my grandchildren seek me out and establish a positive relationship with me, I can then add the grandchildren back. If the grandchildren do not, then I will know that they have taken on the negative beliefs and personalities of their parents and leave them out.

      If you are concerned about any potential fall-out from changing your beneficiaries, consider a non-profit that you support.

      I sincerely wish you well, Bernadette. This is not the life any of us thought we would live yet here we are. Thank you to Sheri and everyone else for your support and sharing! Hugs to all of you!

    3. Toni C.

      You have to do what your heart tells you. There is no right answer but I wonder why you would want to enrich children and grandchildren who have endlessly hurt and/ignored you while you are alive. Do you think they will love you again if you leave them money? Even if they do (and I doubt it), you won’t be there to see it. There are many charities who can use your help and the children of husband may be in your heart now. You and your husband should talk it over and decide. You can always change it, should things change.

    4. Mimi

      Hi Bernadette,
      My 33 year old daughter told me years ago that I am not her mother and that she is not my daughter.

      She is written out of my will.

      I hope you find your peace.


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