§ We came to this world to LIVE OUT LOUD!

Saying Goodbye to a Piece of My Heart

Aug 4, 2020

I didn’t think my heart would break all over again. How can it be just as hard to say goodbye the second time around? Harder actually.

I walk into the four-bedroom Airbnb in Southwestern Florida where we have been staying for the past four month and I feel a pressure on my chest. It becomes a little hard to breathe. And this feeling, that I have come to recognize as grief, envelops me. I just want to crawl into bed and cry.

“Why are you so clingy?” the voice of my inner Soviet general says. “She’s eighteen years old and she’s lucky to be able to go back to school. You have to get over it. Your job has been to raise her and to let her go.”

I’m momentarily shamed.

Then, I get angry. “Shut up! I have every right to feel this way. Humans are designed to stick together, in communities, in clans. Especially with their loved ones. Especially with their babies. It’s a recent societal trend that kids go off and don’t stay close to home. In many societies today, families still live near each other. It’s the way it was meant to be.”

I know I’m right.

There’s little consolation in being right.

My first-born will be leaving us this week to take four flights from Florida to Armenia, where she will be completing her last year of high school at a United World Colleges school. It’s the continuation of an amazing opportunity. She is so lucky to be able to get together (after quarantining and being tested for COVID) with two hundred-plus kids from ninety-five countries. They will be locked down on a huge campus in the mountains near Dilijan, learning, hanging out, deepening friendships which will probably last a lifetime.

I’m so happy for her and I’m so sad at the same time.

I also worry. She is young, healthy, with no pre-existing conditions. Armenia’s COVID cases are going down and the transmission rate is low. Plus, they will be on a locked down campus in the middle of the country next to a huge national park. The only real risk is on the flights. The odds are strongly in her favor.

But I still worry.

About her being half-way around the world. About not being able to easily fly to her given the pandemic. About not being able to see her for potentially the entire school year.
I exhale. One day at a time.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past five months, it’s that I have no idea what the future will bring.

This is my opportunity to learn to trust the Universe at a deeper level. To be flexible and nimble. To see opportunities and possibilities in everything that happens around me. To flow with life.

I’ve been learning these lessons my entire life. Each time, it gets just a little bit easier.

I also realize that I have some control in all of it.

There was a period in my life, about five years ago, when I meditated two hours a day for about a year. The level of inner peace and acceptance I was able to cultivate astounds me even today. I remember feeling deeply connected to Spirit and trusting life completely. I was 100% sure back then that all was as it needed to be in any given moment.

I desperately want to feel that way again.

I’m challenging myself to increase my meditation time to one hour a day, starting today.

I feel an immediate sense of inner peace and a tiny bit of control return in an uncontrollable world.

I close my eyes and settle into the silence within.

All I have to do is focus on this breath and the next one and the next one.

As my teacher Thich Nhat Hahn says “I have arrived. I’m home.”

What about you? Have you had to say goodbye to your kids as they went off into the world? How was the experience for you? How did you cope?

You know I love hearing from you so feel free to leave a comment below or email me at natalie@nataliematushenko.com. I would love to know how your life is changing.

Happy Tuesday!




P.S. Check out my Wisdom Wednesday series!

These are FREE 5 – 10 minute short, actionable videos recorded with me FOR YOU by world-renowned experts to help you thrive in these challenging times.

This week, I’m interviewing TWO amazing women:

Mia Moran – Mia Moran is a mom of three, bestselling author, and speaker, who makes time for wellness—and shows time-strapped women how they can too. She is creating a movement of moms who bypass busy and embrace healthy through small, doable changes.

Elizabeth Robinson – Elizabeth is an international author, speaker and intuitive consultant. Advising thousands of people throughout the world for the last thirty years, Elizabeth’s powerful intuitive and visionary skills offer transformative insights and great wisdom. Elizabeth is the author of There Are No Goodbyes, a remarkable true story launched internationally by Hay House Publishers.

Mia and Elizabeth will share with you how to thrive in these challenging times!

You can watch these short, actionable videos for FREE on my Extraordinary Life After 40 private Facebook group page or you can sign up here to watch it on my website.

Share the post