I'm Honey!

As a woman who has lived through many passages and learned through my larger than life experiences (positive and negative), I’ve discovered how to take a big empowering bite out of life.

Oh My, Ponder This:

Advice

Beauty

Entertainment

Home

Relationships

Style

Travel

Recent Articles

How to Say Goodbye to an Estranged Child

Honey Good writing her thoughts with a melancholy look, musing on why her daughters are estranged from her family estrangement

Estrangement does not just affect the estranged child and the parent they chose to leave behind.

As a good mother, you can never truly say goodbye to your estranged adult child, but you can shift your focus to yourself and your life’s passions in order to live your best life possible. That is what I have done, and though my heart aches, I no longer dwell on what I cannot change.

If you know someone who is experiencing estrangement from an adult child, please share this story with them. They are not alone.

The Pain of Estrangement: 8 Years and Counting

As I have written, I am a mother and grandmother who is estranged from her entire family. One daughter led the charge, and due to mother-child loyalty, the others followed. It is going on the 8th year, and like you, who are estranged from your family, I have suffered unimaginable grief.

I was a good mother. Do I have regrets? Sure. But they pale in comparison to the actions of my daughters that are being seen through the eyes of my grandchildren.

If this story resonates with you, I am sorry that you, too, are going through this pain. Please consider subscribing to my newsletter (click here) where I share more on this topic.

I Love My Children and I Know They Love Me

I know my daughters, to this day, respect me and, in their hearts, love me. To this day, I can’t imagine what led one daughter to act as she did. With no conversation about her displeasure with my actions, she wrote behind my back an email to many members of my family expressing her disapproval with my musings on Honey Good, putting my husband, my ultimate concierge first, my role as her mother, and my role as a grandmother. Obviously, I did not live up to her standards. I bothered her.

She loves to be in the kitchen. I did that as a mother raising my children. As an older woman and grandmother, I preferred taking my grandchildren out for lunch or dinner to interesting places. I don’t care to babysit at night.

I preferred taking them to an interesting movie and then out for pizza to discuss the movie. Or going to the freshwater fish store and buying them a tank and freshwater fish we would choose together and give them names. I am an Auntie Mame type of grandmother. Is that a crime? Obviously, in her mind, it is. Obviously, in my mind, it isn’t.

Motherhood, Remarriage, and the “Camel’s Back” Story

Honey Good answering questions from Ask Honey about feeling lonely and estrangement

Estrangement is an epidemic plaguing this generation and it is heartbreaking.

Unfortunately, their father passed away at 46 years old. I did not kill him. I remarried my ultimate concierge, and that did not suit my family. Was I not entitled to marry a man of my liking after their father passed away? Obviously, that did not suit their fancy. They preferred a man like their father. Is that a crime to stop talking to a mother? Obviously, in their mind, it is. Obviously, in my mind, it is not.

My daughter disliked my musings. The story that broke the camel’s back was titled “Women Should Empower Each Other.” I wrote about the importance of women complimenting each other. You can read it if you want to. Personally, I think it is a story that has merit. She felt it did not.

All in all, I know I bother her. She does not want me present in her family’s life. She wants me in the background. Out of sight. Out of mind. One day, this will come back to haunt her.

My other daughter is in and out of my life. She has been out of my life for two years. I know she is not happy with the situation.

What Led to Estrangement?

I am giving you my opinions of the whys. I am not certain if they are accurate or if there are more. It is my theory. It is not written in stone. When there is no communication between a good mother and her estranged child(ren) there is not a perfect assessment.

I look back on the years I have lost touch with my grandchildren. We know as good mothers and grandmothers that a good mother is a better grandmother because as we grow older, we grow wiser.

Every child needs their grandmother. I know. I adored my grandmothers and, to this day, carry their teachings in my head and heart. I cringe with sadness at what both daughters have created in their households. And for the longest time, I asked myself, why? How do these situations happen?

This is my answer.

“Without communication during times of conflict, there will never be reconciliation. This problem lays at the doorstep of the estranged adult children, not the good mother: Estranged children do not talk.”

Choosing Acceptance and Moving Forward

Therefore, dear good mothers and grandmothers, the path before us may seem desolate, a stark choice between sinking into despair or swimming towards acceptance. I confess, I sank for a while, navigating the churning waters of disbelief, anger, and grief before finally reaching the shores of acceptance. But remember, this journey is yours, and while mine may offer guidance, it’s not a map you must follow precisely.

Years melted away as I lived in the grip of sadness, tears my nightly companions. Yet, even in the labyrinth of grief, a path to acceptance revealed itself. One day, with renewed spirit and unwavering determination, I declared, “No one, not even my child, has the power to steal my happiness. I will swim like the dolphins, free and joyful!”

Riding the Waves of Acceptance

Before embracing the open seas of acceptance, remember that a personal mourning process is essential. Allow yourself to feel the waves of grief, anger, and disbelief wash over you. Acknowledge them, then let them go.

Once you’ve navigated the storm, commit, as I did, to crafting a life brimming with joy and purpose. Authenticity is your compass, guiding you towards choices that resonate with your true self. Ask yourself:

  • What ignites my spark of joy?
  • What casts shadows over my heart?
  • Who drains my energy, and who lifts me up?
  • What actions align with my deepest desires and values?

Let these answers be your north star, guiding you towards a life that truly nourishes your soul.

Embracing Transformation: From Darkness to Sunshine

Shifting Gears

My journey began in the depths of grief, years spent navigating the murky waters of mourning until acceptance finally embraced me. Then, one day, I donned my armor of self-love: vibrant red lipstick, a cloud of Baccarat 540, and a gentle hug for myself. Gazing into the mirror, I declared, “I did my best, and no one, not even my child, will dim my light or belittle me ever again!”

The door to reconciliation remains open, but the choice lies with them. Their loss, perhaps, outweighs mine. Remember, dear mothers, every child needs their mother’s love, a bond that enriches their lives.

Riding the Storm Towards Sunshine

Estrangement casts a dark shadow, but even the heaviest storm eventually surrenders to the sun. After weathering the tempest, what awaits but radiant sunshine, good mothers? Sunshine!

Remember, transformation is a dance, not a straight line. It takes time, energy, and even stumbles. Two steps forward, three steps back – that’s the natural rhythm. I call it “daydreaming into personal renewed growth.”

Embracing your reality will bring peace, a surge of “positive energy” washing over you. Your body will relax, your heart will beat to a different rhythm. You’ve faced the truth, good mother, and that empowers you to take the next step. You cannot change the past, but the future brims with fresh passions waiting to be explored.

Thriving Beyond Survival

Remember, this journey is uniquely yours. My transformation involved accepting reality, leaving the door open for reconciliation, and focusing on my own well-being. Take what resonates, leave what doesn’t, and chart your own course towards a fulfilling life.

The choice is yours, dear mothers and grandmothers. Will you be swept away by the current of sorrow, or will you emerge, like the dolphin, graceful and strong, ready to dance on the waves of your own happiness? The ocean awaits. May you find calm waters and boundless joy in your journey.

You will not just survive, you will thrive. Like the playful dolphin, I navigate life’s currents with my “baggage,” but it no longer weighs me down. No one, not even a child, can extinguish your inner light. Remember, you are a good mother, and so am I. Let us reclaim our lives, filled with joy, purpose, and the roar of a fulfilling future. Amen.

If you, too, have faced estrangement, please share with me in the comments below. It helps us to know we are not alone.

If you enjoyed this story, please subscribe to my email list. Every time I post a new story, you will receive it in your inbox first!

SUBSCRIBE HERE

 

Honey's Book, Stories for My Grandchild

** Please note that items purchased through links on this site may result in a commission for Honey Good.

February 4, 2024

Advice, Grandchildren, Grief & Widowhood, Relationships

+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment

  1. Sandra says:

    Yes Honey, I too share your story. It is hard but I always live by their Serenity Prayer. Life is Good if you let God have control of it. Life is hard but God is Good. Thank you for encouraging us good mothers♥️

  2. Leigh Bligh says:

    Hi Honey! I too am an estranged mother of almost 12 yrs. I feel your pain. It is true, the navigation through the grief, upset, and disbelief is certainly a journey. I leave my door open as well… knowing I have less time left then my daughter, it probably doesn’t seem as time sensitive to her. But without communication this is a stagnant situation. I want to greatly thank you for writing this post. As as mothers, ,we feel an embarrassment, or it being a fault of ours. I think it took courage for you to write this and you did it very eloquently. You described the entire process from every angle.. Not being alone going through life’s struggles gives us comfort.
    ❤️

    • Susan Good says:

      You are one of millions of mothers who are estranged from their adult children. Never be embarrassed any longer. Walk with your head held high. Please join my new private facebook group: Estranged mothers and grandmothers: Millions strong. Warmly, Honey

  3. Joyce Penny says:

    I have chosen to stop communicating with my son and his family. I got to the point where I refused to be disrespected one more time. I decided that I had shed enough tears and asked my self too many times where I had failed. I wasn’t the best mother but I did my best under difficult conditions and with a poor example from my own family. My son is a grown man and must remain loyal to his own family now which leaves no room for me. I accept this and now am making plans to expand my life with less work, more travel, more creative pursuits and just time to navel gaze if I want. Thanks you for your openness about this disturbing trend with what I see as entitled children.

    • Susan Good says:

      Thank you for your reply, Joyce. Though difficult it appears you have come to terms with your situation. So, have I but with a tear in my heart. I agree with you that entitlement plays a role but so does high expectations and lack of communication skills. If you have not joined my new private facebook group: Estranged mothers and grandmothers: Millions strong please do. Warmly, Honey

  4. Faye Reid says:

    So beautifully written and expressed. To this day I have not processed the loss of a grown daughter. She chose her path during the time I had been caring for her very ill Father. She was in her late 40’s, living in the the UK with her husband while we are living in Canada. I have reached out to her twice to no avail. The reality is I have lost both my husband and an only child and my feelings towards her have been (perhaps intentionally) paralyzed. At one time, we spoke every day and now my heart is empty. I keep hoping I will hear from her one day but it is a false hope. When her Father passed away just one year ago, I did not hear from her which only
    intensified the grief.

    • Susan Good says:

      I am so sorry for your grief. Maybe there will be an answer to reconcile one day. Please consider joining my private Facebook Group: Estranged Mothers and Grandmothers: Millions strong. There are over 90 new members in a week! The problem is epidemic. You are not alone. Warmly, Honey

  5. LuAnn Penland says:

    I am so glad that you and I have reached the point where we chose to be happy, where we don’t let others rule our happiness, which is exactly their intent. I believe the somehow they get good feelings from our hurt and heartbreak. I pray for all those who haven’t reached our point of letting ourselves be happy. Honey, you are helping so many women by letting them know they are not the only ones suffering this dreadful heart break. Thank you, my dear one.

  6. Deni Loritsch says:

    I appreciate your assessment that without conversation and honesty, one cannot really KNOW what is the cause of the estrangement with family members. I have learned never to assume ( too often wrong), and if others can’t rise to the level of authentic reveals concerning feelings, there is a roadblock. I hope time will heal these situations.

    • Susan Good says:

      Thank goodness for time. I do hope so. If you are a mom of estranged adult children please consider joining my private facebook group: Estranged Mothers and Grandmothers: Millions strong. Thank you for your words of wisdom back to me. Warmly, Honey

  7. Sharon Zinn says:

    Honey, this has broken my heart. I have read about trips with your Grans, so had no idea. Daughters and Mothers, especially a strong mother, are interesting dynamics, just as daughter in-laws, which I have and find EXTREMELY Challenging. You have an incredible spirit and point of view. Sad the daughter’s missing special years with you and the loss of time with Grans, unimaginable.. we must accept what we cannot change and move forward, it doesn’t lessen the pain, but helps us navigate life. Your life with “ ultimate concierge “ is a gift . Best wishes, thanks for sharing.
    Sharon Zinn

  8. Diana Purser says:

    Beautifully said, Honey! Thank you. I am starting to recover from the shock. It doesn’t show too much on the outside—most people don’t understand the grief that’s almost like someone died. It’s that devastating. But I am recovering and you and your new group are helping. Thank you!

    • Susan Good says:

      A loss is a loss. Children who estrange themselves from their mother is a terrible loss. It is like a death with hope. Hope you are feeling much better. Warmly, Honey

  9. carol douglas says:

    My brother was married 3 times, with 4 different children born,….I have always lived in another state.
    The ex wives blamed my mother for things, and now I represent my mother…..who has died. Anyway, none
    of the children have any contact with me. I look at facebook pages to see what people are doing. I put everyone in my prayers. My mother was widowed at age 40. She never remarried. My brother remarked some years before he passed that she should have remarried and we would have adjusted. Now that being said this is probably a larger problem among women and maybe a book about this you could write if you interview others. Although my mother and I did not get along on some things. I know she sacrificed for me and I miss her and my grandmother. But we have to go with the future and you gave wonderful advice.

    • Susan Good says:

      Please join my new private facebook group. Estranged Mothers and Grandmothers: Millions strong. Lots of healthy conversation and a safe haven. I would welcome you. You are right- we do have to go on with our future. Warmly, Honey

  10. Terre Shankle says:

    I have been estranged from one of my adult children for over 8 years. It hurts to completely drop one of your children from your very existence, but it was a toxic relationship and I felt it was necessary for my best emotional and physical wellbeing. I have accepted his absence…but you can never forget one of your babies. My recommendations to other women facing this situation is to be strong…but also protect yourself and your heart.

    • Susan Good says:

      Very good advice. Please consider joining my new private Facebook group. Estranged Mothers and Grandmothers:Millions strong. I would welcome you with open arms. Lost of good discussion and a sage haven. Warmly, Honey

  11. Nora Simon says:

    I’m so sorry…!…I just passed this on to several dear friends who are in the very same situation, and heartbroken over the estrangement. Like you, they did nothing to warrant this kind of cruelty, but…it happened. I have no kids, but I am also estranged from all of my siblings…I can only imagine how much more painful it is to have the flesh of your flesh, cut you off. Much love to you, and much appreciation for your lack of self-pity and your drive to be positive.

    • Susan Good says:

      Thank you for passing this on to your friends. Please pass on my new private facebook group on Estrangement: Estranged Mothers and Grandmothers: Millions strong. A few years ago the NYT did an article on Estrangement. 67 million parents were living with estrangment two years ago. Wonder about today. Warmly, Honey

  12. Tracy says:

    Thank you for telling your story. I’m also estranged from my daughter, it’s been 3 years. A lot of what you wrote really resonates with me. I never received an answer as to why, I love my daughter with all my heart but I’m moving on with my life and doing all the things I love to do. I enjoy reading your newsletter and I look forward to them. From one good mother to another💕

    • Susan Good says:

      Please consider joining my new private facebook group: Estranged Mothers and Grandmothers: millions strong. It is a place for discussion and exchanging thoughts and a refuge. I am sorry about your situation but I am glad you are doing what you love. Me, too!!!! Warmly, Honey

  13. Lynn Burns says:

    Hello Honey,
    My husband died and I had 2 daughters ages 12 and 15. I worked hard to navigate grief, my children’s grief, working and being a single parent. I was and am a good Mother. Over the years I have had a few dates. I’m lonely. My daughters were not supportive even after many years. I wanted to write and thank you, Honey, for one thing you said that truly changed my world! You said your children, no matter their age, will always see you as their mother. This made me realize that I was expecting them as adults to see me as a woman who needed companionship; however, this was something they would not be able to ever understand. This gave me so much freedom! Thank you, Honey!
    Lynn

    • Susan Good says:

      I am so happy I was able to help. I have a new private Facebook group now. I don’t know if you need it. It is called: Estranged Mothers and Grandmothers: Millions strong. Have a blessed day. Warmly, Honey

  14. Lettie says:

    I am unable to find joy when my children have rejected me and accuse me unfairly, of being abusive or just an unfit mother. I cant wrap my head around it, especially since my youngest daughter is a disabled adult, whom I’ve dedicated far too much, and sacrificed even more to help her be “normal”> Now she has estranged me, at age 31.

    • Susan Good says:

      Hi Lettie. I am so sorry. Please join my private facebook group: Estranged Mothers and Grandmothers: Millions strong.

  15. Derita says:

    Absolutely stimulating you are fierce 😊

    • Susan Good says:

      Thank you. I am a fierce woman for many positive reasons. Here are a few: I am fierce because I am grateful. I am fierce because I am woman. I am fierce because I am loyal. I am fierce because I am worldly. I LOVE that you used the word fierce. It is so powerful and not negative. I am smiling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

instagram

follow along on


@iamhoneygood