View Full Version : Empty-nest syndrome (sister)

2012-Oct-06, 08:39 PM
I have no children, and my sister is just now facing empty-nest syndrome. Her son will only be 8 miles away, but he has some special needs (others in apartment complex like him; there will be people checking in besides sister). Of course this will help my nephew develop some life skills.

She's called twice: Once sobbing, and now still emotional. She's basically raised him single-handedly. He's 30 now, and so it's all these years of close attachment.

I give the best emotional support I can, but we both know I'm obviously very limited.

Does anyone here -- with actual experience -- have any advice I can pass along to her?

Things I can/should say which might help?

2012-Oct-06, 09:00 PM
You did much just in listening. We should all serve in that capacity as needed. When it is time to talk, she will eventually realize that there are some situations where we must rely on a dedicated community of experienced professionals well versed in this and geared up for the demands and needs required. That sounds a bit clinical, but try as we might, there are often limitations to the job
and what we can do , as well as the the very real and serious impact on our own lives. The giver will burn out in time .............
and be no good to anyone, and there is still the loved one to care for. A shared approach must eventually be indicated which has a
better chance of wining life skills for the person in need. If you want the best for them, accept the existance of those dedicated to that mission.
Adjusting to that mission takes time and that ingredient others cannot dispense without the luxury of time.... Love. That's why she has you.

My son-in-law's Father has a child from another marriage who is autistic , and is a single parent. We've seen him do his level best and more over the years. At some point, he had to enlist more help. This was a lot for a man 62 years old.
We should all make room in our prayers for those who have a lot on their plate.
Best regards,

2012-Oct-07, 03:59 PM
My heart goes to your sister. I am 64 and my autistic son is 39 and each time he is late coming home from work an alarm goes off in my head that something could be wrong. A squad car might roll up one day with officers informing me of something terrible...or other fears of his meeting foul play. I fear the most my own death and having to say good bye to him, knowing that he will be crushed both emotionally and economically. I am the only friend he has ever really wanted or can live with.

If he moved out on his own I would be upset but I do think it would be neat to see him off on his own like your sister will experience. In that respect, I think she will make it but will have a rough road to go at first. That has to be very unsettling.

2012-Oct-08, 01:46 AM
Isn't these inevitable? That's why many people aren't that keen about families and children anymore; even healthy people may turn into people with special needs if something goes wrong; hence the fragility of the human body.
PS: I guess we may go to robotic companions at some points; human companions, no matter how kind and caring, may leave at some times.