Mourning is often about more than just death. You may experience a lingering feeling of sadness, even with the ‘successful’ completion of something. Or some pain that comes along with the anticipated and joyful changes in life. I think it’s bigger than the simple contraction bitter-sweet. We are often compelled in a fast paced world to move from one event, experience or relationship to the next and don’t allow ourselves the luxury of experiencing the nuances and the full range of our emotions. I am excited with one child out of college and gainfully employed, one nearly done with a wonderful first year of college, and a new found sense or freedom for myself and my husband. That excitement is not diminished by the sadness I feel sometimes. I mourn the end of a time in my life where being the primary care giver for my children, being mom and involved so heavily in their lives, was demanding as hell and 10 times as rewarding. It was exhausting and I loved it, it’s over and as I catch my breath I am pleased not to be as exhausted as I was, I’m also blue sometimes. I don’t intend to try and ‘fill up’ my time with purpose, my time is getting filled without trying. And in addition to being excited about the new, I’m allowing myself the space to mourn that part of of my life that is over. I won’t mourn forever, but acknowledging the sadness that comes from the end of that phase in my relationship with my children is also a way to celebrate how wonderful it was.