Raising Grandkids: I’m an Empty Nester Again

Long before my grandkids moved in with us, I was aware of empty nest syndrome. I had experienced it with my daughters and remember how lonely I felt in a quiet house without my daughter’s chatter. Both of them are enrolled as entering college seniors, and living their own lives. And I am an empty nester again.

In the six years that have passed since my twin grandkids lost their parents in separate car crashes, I have become re-acquainted with teenagers, learned some new jargon, learned about new customs, and learned that I need my grandkids more than they need me.

Though they will be home off and on this summer, for the most part, they will be gone. My grandson lives in Minneapolis and my granddaughter has summer travel plans. Just like before, I miss the chatter and busy life of teenagers. Being an empty nester twice is not easy.

Still, I am excited when they walk in the door and say, “Hi Grandma!” I love hearing about their activites and plans. I am delighted they are on the Dean’s List and doing wll in college. We have become a grand-family and it is rewarding.

Harriet Hodgson

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Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 38 years, is the author of 36 books, and thousands of print/Internet articles. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists, Minnesota Coalition for Grief Education and Support, and Grief Coalition of Southeastern Minnesota. In 2007 four of her family members died—her daughter (mother of her twin grandchildren), father-in-law, brother (and only sibling), and the twins’ father. Multiple losses shifted the focus of Hodgson’s work from general health to grief resolution and recovery, and she is the author of eight grief resources. Hodgson has appeared on more than 185 radio talk shows, including CBS Radio, dozens of blog talk radio programs, and dozens of television stations, including CNN. In addition to writing for Open to Hope, Hodgson is a contributing writer for The Grief Toolbox website, and The Caregiver Space website. A popular speaker, she has given presentations at public health, Alzheimer’s, hospice, grief, and caregiving conferences. Hodgson’s work is cited in Who’s Who of American Women, World Who’s Who of Women, Contemporary Authors, and other directories. For more information about this busy wife, grandmother, author and family caregiver, please visit www.harriethodgson.com.

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