Daily Mirror - - DEARCOLEEN -

Dear Coleen

My only daugh­ter is about to go off to univer­sity and I’m heart­bro­ken.

I was told I’d never be able to have chil­dren but even­tu­ally I got preg­nant with her when I was 41.

I’ve doted on her ever since and we have a bril­liant re­la­tion­ship. She’s smart, beau­ti­ful, kind and funny and she’s like my best friend.

She’s got a place at univer­sity and is due to start next month and while I’m so proud of her, I al­ready have empty nest syn­drome. I can’t sleep and I keep hav­ing anx­i­ety at­tacks at the thought of her go­ing away.

She will be 200 miles away and I can’t bear the thought of not see­ing her ev­ery day. I know I should pull my­self to­gether but I can’t.

Coleen says

I feel your pain. It’s so hard. My daugh­ter is 15 and she’s go­ing into her last year of school in Septem­ber – so I know how you feel hav­ing empty nest syn­drome.

Once they’ve left, kids still come home when they need you but it’s not the same.

But you must re­mem­ber to pat your­self on the back. You’ve raised an in­de­pen­dent, smart young woman who you have a great re­la­tion­ship with and who has a great fu­ture ahead of her. That’s all down to you. And you’re lucky be­cause now there’s so­cial me­dia, mo­bile phones and Skype, you can stay in touch so eas­ily. It’s not like the old days where you’d have to wait for her let­ters or she’d have to queue up to use the pay phone.

Be hon­est with her – tell her how proud you are of her, but also ex­plain that you’re dread­ing her go­ing away be­cause you’ll miss her.

You must be feel­ing a bit re­dun­dant, but fo­cus on your life and what you’d like to do.

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