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Naming and Feeling Our Feelings

My youngest son graduated from high school yesterday and I thought I was going to feel just fine about it. He's my fourth child to graduate, so I thought I was an expert by now.

But something happened yesterday morning that I did NOT see coming.

My husband and I decided to run to the store and grab a few balloons to give him after the ceremony and as I was standing in line watching all the other parents buying their graduates balloons, I started to cry. Right there in the grocery store. And this was not a subtle teary-eyed gloss that could be excused as allergies. It was a full blown faucet situation.

I quickly buried my head in my husband's chest (because I'm not enlightened enough to just let people see me cry like a baby in a grocery store just yet) and threw on a pair of sunglasses to make it through the rest of our shopping.

When we got home, I had the initial thought to just let it go and move on with the day, but since I've been in therapy long enough to know that I need to name and truly feel my feelings, I decided to sit down and take a minute to process what just happened.

Turns out it's actually kind of a big deal to watch your youngest son graduate before he heads off to college and leaves you with a certain kind of hole in your heart that won't ever be replaced. Turns out it's kind of heartbreaking to realize you may never again get to hear him belting out Frank Sinatra from the other room as he codes his newest Minecraft plugin.

Turns out it's ok to allow myself to fully feel the sadness of it.

Turns out I won't die if I do.

I'm not really sure how or why it's helpful to do this, but it is.

Kirsten Lyons, LSW shares some helpful thoughts on this topic in this blogpost. I think it's well worth the read.

Here's to feeling our feelings!



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