Kneaded: Resilience illustrated for parents of estranged adult children

by Sheri McGregor, M.A.

adult child won't talk to me

Photo by Life Of Pix from Pexels

During the first year, I took up making bread from scratch.  I bought glossy, coffee table recipe books with beautiful photos of freeform artisan breads, out-of-print books with healthy recipes requiring obscure ingredients, and fat paperbacks chock full of variety that became well-worn. I bought a pizza stone, a pizza peel, loaf pans in an array of sizes, serrated knifes and a countertop slicing guide. I experimented with flatbreads, made dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls and bagels. I made bread every day. It kept me occupied. And in looking back, I can see that it was also about my family, about breaking bread together and all that means.

I tried a bread machine with a kneading function, but it wasn’t the same. There was something therapeutic in the hands-on approach. As I kneaded, working up a sweat and toning my arms in the process, the dough became stretchy and strong.  I could feel the gluten strands doing their magic in the way the dough held together, smooth and soft, tough yet pliant. I could see that too, in the little “windows” that revealed themselves in stretched-thin dough that didn’t break.

I learned about the need for moisture in the oven and what a difference a few degrees of heat can make. I learned how yeast functions, too.  Even with the scientific knowledge, leaving a small, smooth ball in an oiled bowl, and returning later to find a puffy pillow, doubled or tripled in size was nothing short of a miracle to me. And each time I punched it down, it would rise again, resilient.

The toughest lesson was the need to wait. While the air swirled with the scent of fresh baked yeast bread, patience was essential. Hot loaves crush rather than properly slice.

My favorite recipe was one that made my family happy. It added bits of cold butter and powdered milk to the dough. The bread required longer kneading, and a third rising period that brought it spilling over the bowl. All that beating and punching down, yet it rose ever higher—the finished loaf as light and fluffy as a cloud, yet also strong.

As I would knead that dough, I sometimes imagined it a bit like me. My son’s estrangement had me emotionally rolled, twisted, and flattened. Punched down and left on a shelf. And like the gluten in that dough, I imagined the strands of my soul growing stronger, more flexible, and holding together. I could take an emotional kneading, a punching down, and be resilient like that bread dough rising yet another time. As the years have passed, I have found this to be true.

In my daily life, I am tough like that dough. Pliant and flexible and holding together.  On some days, I’m even as light and airy as the finished product.

You can be resilient too

Thousands of parents have read Done With The Crying and found it informative and empowering. I think you will, too. It’s chock full of ingredients to help.

Related Reading

Adult child won’t talk to me: Is it time to go with the flow?

Adult child won’t talk to me: When the world is scary, bend and twist

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27 thoughts on “Kneaded: Resilience illustrated for parents of estranged adult children

  1. Leanne N.

    I’ve just discovered this group and feel such a relief knowing I am not alone. I have been experiencing a sparotic relationship with my son over the last 5 years. We have been limping along trying to stay connected but hitting many misunderstanding, miscommunication, and awkwardness along the way. My DIL hardly speaks to me and I feel misjudges my every word or action. It has become easier to just stay away than face the tension. Occasional get-to-gethers initiated by me usually result in last minute cancellations and me in tears, especially as I haven’t seen them since before Xmas. I hope to find the strength to not dwell on the rejection from others here and work on controlling what I can regarding my own happiness and fulfilment. Letting go of traditional family behaviour expectations seems to be necessary in this day and age. I am still grateful that my parents instilled respect for others and them in me and I have shown them I love them in ways that they understand. I do see a societal shift in these expectations and I don’t always think change benefits everyone.

  2. beverly

    It has been almost 3 years since my daughter has spoken to me. For the past 20 years she has gone up and down in our relationship and I never knew when she would cut me off completely. Now she has.
    I finally have come to a place where I really do not want to see or hear from her again. I am “done with the crying” thanks to Sheri’s book. I am just worn out from worrying about her and from the abuse she has given me over these last 20 years. I am finally at peace.

  3. Mari F.

    I just cringe when I hear or read that it’s the best time of the year..because it’s definitely not for me and for my husband. We’re entering the third year of Xmas without family. The last time we saw our granddaughter was during the wake of my mother in law exactly a year ago! The years before that we would see her in snippets. Ever no time for cuddles and kisses and playing. For her birthday this year we had to mail her doll house as our present to her as when we brought it over to their place dil wouldn’t open the open the door for us with our son away from work calling us over the phone and instructing us to leave their premises.
    In a blink of an eye he’s become a stranger. Although I don’t make him define my life, I still can’t help but cry in the most inappropriate places.
    Like you, I’ve poured all the love and time that I could share to three little angels for about 8 years now, although it’s not the same as they’re not your own, I m learning to love the people that love me.
    Thanks for reading.

    1. Shawna W.

      Hugs from a stranger Mari,

      I just pulled my self off the couch crying and blubbering even though what we have been going through for years is painful its not nearly as bad as yours. I will be thankful. I will be praying for you.

  4. Christine

    Great article. Uplifting. And then I read some of the replies. Makes me so sad. My son, DIL and two now three grandchildren were estranged for a year. My husband and I were finally allowed a visit after the third grandchild was born. It was a bit awkward but we really enjoyed seeing the girls and the new baby. I doubt I will be invited to the baby shower. I heard about this third grandchild from someone at the grocery store. That hurt. But I do want to offer encouragement. I had a really rough childhood and without going into all the details, my mom had no idea what I was going thru and although not her fault, the experience caused our relationship a lot of stress to the point that I left at the age of 16. I moved 3000 miles away to get away from my pain. Decades later, I am working on my relationship with my mom. I’m sorry for all the pain my leaving caused her. My pain is still their and family dynamics are awful at times, relationships messed up, but I persevere. My mom may never know the reasons for me leaving as I’m afraid that might cause even more pain. But I can do the right thing now and be a daughter.

    1. rparents Post author

      I’m so glad you wrote this and shared. You are so right. Sometimes things happen to people (as children or as adults) or they are exposed to things that they feel they cannot share. Instead, they leave … and leave people wondering and hurting. It’s sad on all counts and for all involved.

      I hope your healing and the healing of your relationship with your mom continue (and I’m really sorry you suffered something so devastating at such a tender age as 16).

      HUGS to you.
      Sheri McGregor

    2. Mirna

      In some way reading so many articles about parents going through the same pain I’m living with makes me feel relieved. It’s so hard to find the help we need because society thinks that it’s our responsibility as parents to keep trying with our strange adult children, specially when there’s grandkids. As like you my relationship with my mother wasn’t very good when she married her now exhusband he sexualy molested me until I turned 11 years old. Never told my mom and as a teenager I kept running away every chance I had. So our relationship was not very good or maybe said not very honest. I was finally able to tell her about it after she got divorced and I was in my 40s I felt the need to tell her because those memories started coming back and I started suffering with depression and anxiety. Our relationship is not the best but I’m trying because she’s old and her health is not in very good shape and besides that I’m the only one that helps her, my 2 brothers have left all the responsibility to me. Now that my 2 adult children don’t speak to me I have cried so much and the question of what happened? Sometimes the guilt of telling myself that I’m a worthless mother and that maybe I deserve it. My mother has a relationship with both my children and there’s times that I feel the need to talk about my children and tell her how I feel, but it’s useless, she has been brainwashed by both of them. I feel so alone.

  5. Jodi

    Carol Z – I can totally relate, and we are on the same timeline. My son and his wife and my precious 7 yo granddaughter came to stay with us at the beginning of covid and just before her 8th birthday left in a jiffy decision to “go no-contact” as they say. I have started a blog of my journey to healing. I came across Shari’s book and website two weeks ago. I bought the book and have started reading it along with some others. My blog site is Twilight Zone: Heartbroken Nana.
    Maybe we can heal together.

  6. Tanisha W.

    Another holiday I think about my grandaughter all the time
    and pray for my daughter to have a new spirit. I havent seen or talked to her and gd since August she was 4 months pregnant then and now due to give birth in 2 weeks. Jan.5th to my 2nd grandaughter. She knows I want to be apart of the birth. I wanted to give her a baby shower but she has blocked me once again 1st time it was 2 years now 4 months. This will be my 3rd christmas without my grandaughter. It hurts so bad. I have no joy in my heart. I always think how could my own child continue to do this to me. I cant sleep its so much i always look sad. I fear the new baby wont even know grandma double hurt. As i read the ladies other stories im going thru alot of the same and its so sad. Im glad im not alone. Whenever i tell someone they all say the same to me “Thats so sad” It truly is.

    1. rparents Post author

      I’m sorry, Tanisha. It is most definitely sad. The on and off rollercoaster is not a ride anyone would climb aboard willingly. I know you love your daughter and gc. I hope you will work at making your OWN days as smooth as possible for your own well-being.

      Sheri McGregor

  7. Rebecca R.

    Living as an estranged parent has damaged me more than I will ever know. It’s a pain I believe close to grief, only the person you are grieving is part of you and still here among us. I ask myself on a regular basis, what could I have done differently, what did I do that was so wrong? Was I the best mother I could be, at the time I hope so but looking back the self doubt creeps in. I miss her horribly even thought she is but an hour away. I pray she will come back to me and we will have a chance to be part of each other lives again but it’s been 4 years and she is steadfast in her desire for me to stay away. I have given up contacting her and am trying to focus on my daughter that does want me but there is an empty spot in my heart. I am also angry that she could treat me this way since I know I never taught her it is ok to to be hurtful. Part of me is angry with her and part of me longs for her. The holidays are hard and it’s especially hard when those around you ask about your estranged child. I pray for peace and acceptance and hope all of you reading this find it for yourself.

    1. Heather

      My daughter left me after a silly row 14 years ago .my other daughter has had to put up with losing her sister as backing me but also having a sad sack mum fir lots of time I now realise that I should have focussed a lot more on her as she really suffered but thankfully we are both stronger and better now and I’m able to be a strong mum to her as she deserves it Good Luck to you and seasons greetings

    2. Carol Z

      Rebecca, your comment made me cry. I can relate to every word you’ve said. I have been estranged from my son, his wife, and grandson since May now. Covid did us in. He wasn’t happy that I longed to see my 2 year old grandson once everything opened up. He felt I should be more patient. Since it wasn’t even impacting toddlers, I felt he should understand my need for family. Also, there were only 4 cases and no deaths in the town I live in, so very very little exposure risks. I stayed home except to get groceries and eat out since I live alone and don’t cook much.
      I have 2 sons and the other one doesn’t want much to do with me either. However, he has been like that his entire life. He has Aspergers. So, I’m doubly hurt. I’m divorced so I’m very alone. My dad died 5 years ago. My live in at the time cheated on me right after dad died. Great timing. Mom is in lockdown in a nursing home. I can’t believe I haven’t gone crazy yet.
      Depression is overriding everything, and I’m working very hard to meditate and keep up my spirits. I do cry almost daily, with some days it ruining the entire day. The only thing that saves my sanity is one of my friends has been my friend since Kindergarten. The other for 30 years. They still love me. They don’t understand it. So, I can at least look myself in the mirror and know it can’t totally be me.
      I ask myself the same questions as you. My son has texted me twice since I’ve seen them in May. Each time, he is angry, blaming me, and just wants me to apologize. For what? I don’t even know. For saying how I feel… that I feel shut out, don’t get much time with them, that I just want to see my grandson. Without going into details, they have been shutting me out more and more. I do not even see them at Hollidays now last year, and this year will be the same.
      I will pray for you! Thank you for your comment. It’s nice to know we aren’t alone.

    3. Terilyn S.

      I am completing my second year of torture with my estranged daughter. Thru this entire Covid she never once called to see if I was alright. No replies to my texts stating that I hope she was well and safe. No answers to my phone calls or replies to cards I would send to her on holidays or her birthday. 2021 I will stop all texts, call, and cards. She is treating me like I am dead so I will have to accept her wishes. I live alone and can’t help but wonder if she ever wonders about me or misses me. I worry that something could happen to me and I will have never heared from her again and would she even care.

    4. Anne M.

      Rebecca, thankyou. You put into words exactly how I feel about the living grief. I alternate between great sadness and great anger and often feel physical pain and headaches. I did the best I could for my sons aged 37, 39. The younger met a manipulative girl who asked him out the night before he was going off to uni for 4 yrs. She stuck to him like glue demanding a house a wedding etc. He told me once, years ago,she was very possessive and never forgave people who do things ‘wrong’. I asked what happens if YOU do something wrong – he said he never does anything wrong. That sent a chill through me. They married without me invited (my mum and brother and his family went which hurt me so much). 3 yrs later they are divorcing.
      The older son has just cut me off in November. He was asked out by a Cuban girl who was here illegally. She asked if he was single ‘yes’, any baggage? ‘No’. Then she kissed him. 3 weeks later she moved in, 3mths later she was pregnant. Then he spent £1000s making her legal and marrying. They have 3 children. She has turned him against me over the years, he even told me she was trying to stop him seeing me. He said that wouldn’t happen but now it has. I have worked so hard to keep things calm and do the right things. They moved abroad because she didn’t like this country! Now he’s having therapy because he can’t face up to things. He hasn’t the maturity to keep both relationships going, so naturally mum gets dumped. I’ m happily married with lots of interests including volunteering to help young mums/ families who are struggling, but this time of year really hits me hard.
      Thank goodness Sheri started this site. Her book is my go to whenever I need refocusing and resetting. Deep breaths, keep calm and carry on. My love and best wishes to all who are struggling with these situations. Have a peaceful Christmas

    5. Kelli

      I totally understand your angst and emotional pain. I have a son who decided to reject me long ago…5 years or so. We were very close when he was growing up. I adored being a mom. The culprit was his very toxic father who’s behavioral patterns influenced him badly, and our divorce gave it all more of a chance to take hold. I’ve tried for 7 years to reach him emotionally but have not been able to get through. I finally let go of trying due to the fact that it was so painful to encounter his anger and harshness…..he was very disrespectful. I too have inroads to putting it aside and choosing happiness over pain, but I would be lying if I told you that broken heartedness wasn’t still there. I think the trick is to acknowledge the pain but then choose to place a strong boundary around how much sadness you will allow your heart to dwell on. The sudden death of my only other child 10 years ago has made this situation even harder to tolerate….but there is no other choice than to do so….and hopefully practice makes perfect. I will always love that little boy that also loved me once so dearly, and my door is open should he change his mind, but I am committed to loving and caring for myself as well, so I will also work on resilience.

  8. Jane S.

    Kim, That is what I have done. I have “adopted” the daughter of a dear friend of mine . My friend died a year ago and I promised her I would look over her daughter and it does help me and her. I think if you can find others to help, you help yourself. So if you can reach out to help others, you improve your own life. Of course there is still pain, but loving others brings love to yourself.

  9. C.A.

    Dear candleinthewind, stoneangel3, Kate, and others,
    Relative to candleinthewind sharing, ” My trouble is that my ‘need’ for affection, company, reassurance (and the list goes on), not least the ‘need’ to come to terms with what seems a nearly intolerable level of loneliness…,”and stoneangel3 sharing, “can’t expect your children/grandchildren to fully extinguish loneliness and lack of connection.”:
    The very difficult part of experiencing “estrangement” is that it is so-much-more than just expecting children/grandchildren to meet all needs. It is far more than adult children being independent and living out their lives. It is about something almost akin to a death experience. Death is traumatic enough, but to have those lost from our lives and still living with no contact is unbearable…
    Even though knowing on some level that they are independent and free to make their own choices in living out their lives, I felt confusion. As a parent I was and am truly happy that they are independent and living their lives. For ever-so-long, the guilt I felt for missing my son and daughter, and seemingly not able to move on, I was consumed with worry and concern for them. My mind tried to understand but couldn’t, and still can’t. I was not able to even taste the food I ate, found it so difficult to take care of basic needs and responsibilities. Things in Life, like influences and manipulations of others, are sometimes beyond our control. I did the very best I could. It takes time to gradually move in this deep grief. Estrangement is not understood by others that have not experienced it…so it can be isolating, making the lonliness even harder.
    In Kate’s Kind reply she shares with candleinthewind, she says, “My family & close friends have all passed away. I live on a farm & I do take care of the animals but there’s so many things here at the house that I’ve just let go. Years of total estrangement from my daughter & now this covid problem–it’s been hard to take, all alone, especially.”
    I truly Appreciate stoneangel3’s suggestions…due to Covid, some of us are on lockdown…so cannot volunteer, go to lunch, clubs, attend religious services, etc…I do so look forward to the Covid Vaccine…and getting back to some semblance of former life…
    In the meantime, I check in with you guys here on Sheri’s website…Thank You All for your sharing and suggestions…It truly is comforting and adds to my Life…We are truly not alone…As the old song goes, “I Got You Babe!!”…In Gratitude, C.A.

    1. Carol Z

      Dear C.A.
      I can understand exactly what you mean. In my situation, which may also be yours, the problem is much deeper than loneliness. Perhaps you can relate to this. In my situation, I had lost so many people I loved. Death, breakup with a longterm BF who cheated on me, etc. When I love, I love deeply. It was hard for me to get over these losses, but over time, I did. I did not just lean on my kids to attempt to replace these people in my life.
      A grandchild was born, and I loved him SO MUCH. It was a deep love like I had for my sons. When he was first born, I got to see him a lot… several times a week. They invited me to see him, and needed my help, asking for it. I welcomed this. I didn’t interfere, allowing them to set all the rules, determine which days I would watch him, and I would leave their house whenever they wanted so as not to be overbearing or interfere with their time as a couple. I drove 45 minutes to do this for them, and I wanted to.
      After the first year of his life, I had bonded so much with him. The bond was obvious with him loving me and wanting me around as much as I wanted to be. I feel this is why my DIL started pushing me away, hiring a sitter, and cutting back my time dramatically. I can understand this, but it went from several times a week to once or twice a month pretty rapidly. Then, covid came along and I couldn’t see him for several months. It was the hardest thing ever. Instead of them understanding, they got really mad and ugly when I expressed my missing him.
      Here is the thing I think you might relate to…. over the year of babysitting, I was often criticized by them. It was subtle, but it was there. It started out subtle and got worse. They didn’t want any advice when my grandchild was sick. That’s fine, I quickly didn’t offer any more. But, my DIL would take advice from her mother and from her grandmother, and yet I was around a lot more. So, I was fine to babysit last minute when they needed me, but they honestly didn’t treat me like a grandmother.I had to ask everything to do with my grandson. I wasn’t allowed to make any decisions whatsoever, and I knew better than to try. I kept my mouth shut and just did as they wished. In the meantime, when the other grandmother came over, she made all kinds of decisions and was allowed. They ended up staying with the other grandparents at their house many nights, so they could help with the overnights, even though I had more free time. They were both working full time. I offered, but they wouldn’t take me up on it, so I quit offering so an not to be “a pest.” Instead, I was a babysitter, who would also be cut out when they no longer needed me. This meant, when they decided to replace me with a sitter.
      During this time, I was never, ever throughout the year treated special. Not on my birthday. Not on Mother’s Day. I didn’t get to see them Christmas. Not thanksgiving. Not Xmas Eve which we had spent together the prior 7 years. They went to the other side of families and cousins. I was never even taken out to eat for a year, which is my favorite thing to do. I’m not asking them to pay, just go with me.
      I was disrespected. I was not revered. I was not appreciated. I was taken for granted.The time I spent with my grandson was seen as a free sitter, not appreciated for grandma time. I was dismissed anytime I asked for time, them not getting back with me with a date and time. I was cut down.
      Everything I did well in my life… my talents… I was told they weren’t good, that I was wrong. My character was debased. I was the scape goat. Any problems, issues, anything at all was blamed on me.
      Not only did I not receive genuine love back from my son & DIL, but I was rejected, criticized and ostracized. I was good enough to ask to babysit a lot when they needed me, but then once he slept through the night and was more independent, then he went to daycare instead of allowing me to continue. I did NOTHING WRONG. They didn’t even complain about anything I did as far as babysitting. They complained about other things like my personality and such.
      This is WAY WORSE than just being lonely. It’s rejection right down to your core, in a way that says you aren’t good enough for them, not good enough for their lifestyle (I’m divorced. I am not well off like my DIL’s family). No matter how hard you try, no matter what you do. So you do more and more, and then it’s accepted less and less until there is literally nothing left for you to do, nothing at all you’re capable of that will please them. This is ABUSE. And, it’s all hidden since there are no bruises for the world to see. It creates CPTSD in it’s victims.
      So, it’s much worse than loneliness. It’s a whole different beast. Not even on the same playing field. I’ve had 2 best friends for 30 years and they say I’m the same person as always. They are shocked at this situation.
      I wish you well. I hope life gets better and better for you all the time. 🙂

  10. C.A.

    Dear Kate,
    Thank You for your Beautiful reply…You mentioned posting my reply on your wall, I have a 5″x7″ picture frame with one word “BREATHE”…I have it on the wall where it is visible from living room, kitchen, hallway, entrance…Also, for many years I have used this anonymous quote, “WHEN ONE PUTS THEIR ATTENTION ON WHAT ISN’T, ONE MISSES WHAT IS.” This has helped me focus on the Now Moment and what IS in front of me…For example, one night I awoke from an unsettling dream…fear and doubts started, then I remembered to Breathe, and immediately I heard and felt my cat Bennie’s purring and Presence…and it was so soothing and Peaceful that I went right back to sleep…I vowed I would not allow the selfishness of others, to miss Bennie’s purring and Presence and Preciousness of what is in my Life…Animals have such a short life span, and I do not want to miss a moment of loving and sharing my Life with them…They remind me how short and Precious Life really is…I guess that is what has made this estrangement from my son and daughter so sad, because I do realize deeply how time is passing and what we are missing…BUT I do realize it is their choice, and I do Honor their right to live as they see fit…I also have the right to live a Joyous Life…

    I finally decided it was a waste of time to dwell on the heartache for those that are out living their lives, with little, if any thought for me…I say this because my daughter has told me several times in past years, “Actually, really, we don’t really think of you at all.” That hit me deeply as I have tried to live without expectations, other than expecting basic human kindness, and have truly only wanted happiness for her. All the worry has cost me time and troubles…I recently came across another very to the point and helpful anonymous quote, “Accept that you are not important to some people, and move on.”

    So, Kate, I celebrate your Life also…It is amazing how just breathing and putting attention on tasks at hand allows one to clean our homes, take care of our bodies, and as Sheri shared, open up to activities that brings us happiness…It takes the “sting” away…sometimes tears may fall, tears of pain, loss, frustration, hopelessness…just let them fall. At some point, one realizes it’s like the old saying, “crying over spilt milk.” (There are so much more fun things to think and do!!)

    I am the Gate-Keeper of my Life…and my boundaries are being set to protect me from the narcissistic and negative…I choose to pop some popcorn and have a Netflix marathon every now and then…prepare delicious, healthy, yummie food…set goals like walking 10,000 steps (even inside on a treadmill or with a you-tube walking video that takes me on walks all over the world, beaches, mountains, cities, etc)…stretching and moving my body…etc…So, Kate, I’m with you in Spirit…May You Be Blessed In Mind, Body, & Spirit…Your Friend, C.A. p.s. ENJOY your Magnificent Self!!

    1. Kate

      Carrie-Ann, Once more I want to thank you for your KIND & VERY WISE words. They help me a lot & I’m sure they help others who read them. You are very gifted at writing & you are very wise because you are trying to keep living in the moment (& not in the past) & that’s exactly how I want to live from now on. I’ve already wasted enough years (& btw my daughter told me the exact same thing that yours told you) & as much as that hurts us, we have to believe them & go on. Anyway, I’m saving all of your posts because I’ll need inspiration from time to time. C.A., bless you & your sweet furbabies (& Sheri, thank you for this wonderful website).

    2. Kim

      Have thought about finding some young people who don’t have parents around. They would possibly want a time to share family and bring them joy.

  11. Carrie-Ann S.

    Dear Candleinthewind and Kate:
    Reading your replies touched my Heart…Just wanted to share a few thoughts…Although feelings of loss, isolation, fear, sadness, silent desperation, anger, etc., seemingly out of nowhere sweep over and through me at times…in the middle of the night, in the day, even during times that I find myself enjoying whatever is going on.
    It does get better…Inner Awareness guides me and I remember to Breathe Deeply…as I start to exhale the pain and feelings begin to dissipate…The duration of these “episodes” are happening less and less, in time and effect…I immediately remember to focus and stay in the Now Moment…These thoughts and feeling come and go, just as all things in Life come and go…I have no control over any of it…One of our greatest powers, if not the greatest, is our Attention…What we put our Attention on becomes our reality…I then shift into Gratitude, and immediately, as I breathe in this Beautiful Life, express Gratitude for the very Breath I have…for the Dear Precious Animal Family that share my Life on this earth…for my Precious Life, Body, Mind, and Spirit…for my home, food, all things…As I express this Gratitude, the thoughts and feelings have passed, and I realize I am smiling in Joy…
    Each morning I log onto Beautiful Sheri’s website and read her messages and the replies…It eases me into my day…Remember we are not ever truly alone…Just listen to your Heart and feel the Love and Peace…
    I loved Sheri sharing about making bread, recipes, etc…For the longest time I couldn’t focus on any of the activities that I had enjoyed in my life…Then gradually, as I shared before, with less frequency of the pain, I began to experience, beyond painful emptiness, an Emptiness of Beautiful Space, Peace, Love, & Joy…I slowly began watching you-tube channels with others sharing their gifts and talents…It feels so Empowering to learn how to fix and repair things in the home, crafts, sewing, etc…Especially cooking…One’s mental health can affect one’s physical health…You-tube has exercise, stretching, yoga, walking, etc…Music…Dancng…etc…Back to cooking, I learned how to make vegan tamales, how to freeze foods…Dr. Oz’s book, “Food Can Fix It”, and Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Nutritarian book, “Eat To Live”, are great resources…Although I have had a healthy lifestyle, I have, and am, learning to take better care of myself…Food can affect the mental and physical.
    It was on you-tube that I happened to see Sheri in an interview…Currently, I am working through Sheri’s book, “Done With Crying”, as well as reading Sheri’s, and those who reply. I am so thankful for this resource… I am also learning to let go more and more…realizing that each person is on their very own journey and have the right to live as they choose, whether or not I understand it…So I choose to Love and Let Go…moment to moment…
    Candleinthewind, Kate, and all in this Beautiful online community, and of course Beautiful Sheri, May You All Be Blessed In Mind, Body, & Spirit…C.A.

    1. Kate

      Carrie-Ann, thank you so much!!! I needed this & I am going to print out what you posted here & put it up on my wall so I can reread it occasionally to remind myself TO BE MORE GRATEFUL for what I still have in my life. (I’ve only been thinking about what I didn’t have). You’re absolutely right about everything you wrote. And I’m also gonna get up off my butt & start doing what needs to be done around here. Like you, I’m going to change what I’ve been focusing on. Bless you

  12. candleinthewind

    I wonder why there are no replies to this post; the advice in which sounds reasonable enough. My trouble is that my ‘need’ for affection, company, reassurance (and the list goes on), not least the ‘need’ to come to terms with what seems a nearly intolerable level of loneliness, seem to prevent me from doing anything as constructive as making bread, making clothes, doing the gardening, even if I’m capable and think it’s a good idea.

    1. Kate

      Candleinthewind, I know exactly how you feel. And I do agree that Sheri’s post is very good but like you, I am so down and so lonely (even more so than usual, this year). My family & close friends have all passed away. I live on a little farm & I do take care of the animals but there’s so many things here at the house that I’ve just let go. Years of total estrangement from my daughter & now this covid problem–it’s been hard to take, all alone, especially. But I do hope & pray for better & happier days ahead for us all. Please do take care of yourself.

    2. stoneangel3

      I hear you CANDLEINTHEWIND. At times, I’ve felt this myself but I think we need to keep busy and hold steadfast our friends, get out there and volunteer, help others, join a club. It seems that you can’t expect your children/grandchildren to fully extinguish loneliness and lack of connection. I always feel better after having lunch with a friend, doing a good job at work, making someone else’s life a bit brighter. Believe me, this has been difficult for me- my son continues with episodic estrangement-but I can’t count on him and his family to build me up, so I need to turn elsewhere for that. I’m considering sponsoring a child this Christmas instead of gifts and looking forward to meeting her and becoming familiar with her culture. Do things that build YOU up! You’re worth it!


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