There's no room for brooding

There's no room for brooding


Empty Nest Syndrome or ENS may not feature in medical text books, but it encapsulates the feelings of sadness and loss that many people experience when their children no longer live with them.

Unlike grief experienced when a loved one dies, the grief of ENS often goes unrecognised, because an adult child moving out of home is seen as a normal, healthy event.

“Get back in the adventure of life because life doesn’t end with an empty nest. It’s another beginning. Join an art class, volunteer in your community and renew friendships. Engage in other roles and ways of living, and you'll discover the confidence and rich well-being that can blossom with this freedom,” say parents, who have successfully coped with the issue.

Intrepid traveller, lawyer, gourmet cook and avid reader and writer, Colleen Shenoy has no time to wallow in self-pity or bemoan the fact that her five children (four sons and one daughter) and 11 grandchildren are far away in America with successful lives and careers of their own. Her day is filled with activities she loves.

She remains closely connected to her children thanks to modern technology and visits them often but does not brood or mope uselessly choosing instead to fill her days very constructively.

“I studied along with my children getting my law degrees and diplomas while they were growing up in Mumbai. Reading and learning together became part of our family routine, marked by large high teas, when everyone came home in the evening. You should love your children but never cling to them,” she says.

“When I was a public prosecutor in Mumbai, I was extremely busy and work was my salvation to a great extent. I also found time to involve myself in social activities, which included organising seminars for the elderly on how to lead a rich and fulfiling life, planning trips and picnics and raising funds for worthwhile causes,” she smiles.

“Four of her five children are successful doctors and one is an environmental engineer. We go on holidays together often but I also travel with friends who are in my age group and who’s company I enjoy. I also like advising people on legal matters as I have pretty good experience and grasp of the law,” she adds.

Tharanath Rao, an engineer, lived in various countries around the world like Nigeria and England before relocating to Bangalore with his wife Geetha in1988.
But Tharanath lost his wife to cancer around nine years ago. His two daughters Protima and Jyoti are living in the US.

“For about six months, I was very depressed till I made a determined effort to pull myself out of it and get on with the business of living,” he says.
Cooking, reading, golf and plenty of socialising fill his days along with a spot of gardening.

For those who live in the City and feel that life is dull and depressing without
their children around, help is at hand.

A support group called NRIPA (Non-Resident Indian’s Parents Association) formed in 1988 is the place for people who have one or more children living overseas to network and find common ground.

President and Founder Member of NRIPA, Janardan B himself has two children who moved to America (although one has returned to practice medicine) describes his group as, “a non-profit, voluntary membership group, with a very cosmopolitan outlook. The only criterion for joining is that one must have at least one child living abroad.”

Janardan and his wife Sushila play an active role in the activities of NRIPA.

“I was a chief engineer with TCE and am now enjoying the joys of retirement. Our members can well be described as friendly, educated, professionally experienced and widely travelled. We meet without fail once a month and our meetings are generally followed by lunch and fellowship,” he adds.

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