Title: Done With the Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children
Available in paperback, Kindle and Audiobook formats
Author: Sheri McGregor, M.A.
Reviewed for the NABBW by: Anne L. Holmes

 

In writing  Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children, Sheri McGregor, M.A., hopes to help parents whose adult children have chosen, for one reason or another, to leave the family unit. She writes not just from her professional expertise as a life coach, but also from her personal experience — one of her five adult children, a son, is estranged.

Armed with her personal experience, as well as research she did through interviews with 9,000 parents of estranged adult children, McGregor writes authoritatively of the horrible shock that wrings a parent dry, triggers denial, blame, anger, and shame.

Written with the empathy and understanding of someone who’s been there, the book offers tools, the latest research, as well as insight gathered from the research group, to help parents of estranged adults plan ahead, prepare for emotional triggers, and prevail over setbacks and pain.

In this encouraging and comprehensive book, McGregor fully covers the phenomenon of estranged adult children who grew up in caring, loving families where no one ever anticipated that a son or daughter might decide to cut ties and walk away.

Using a calm, authoritative voice, and exercises she’s used both personally and in her coaching work, McGregor assures readers they can be happy again.

Better yet: that they can come to terms with their estranged adult child’s choices, and regain their health and joie de vivre.

Readers will find nine in-depth chapters covering a variety of topics beginning with what she calls “the early daze,” and transitioning into the whys, the importance of getting support, managing adversity, dealing with your pain, distrust and emotional triggers, and finally, learning to move on.

There are also chapters on managing the effects on the rest of the family (both the other children and the aunts, uncles grandparents). And finally, help on how to deal with the potential for reconciliation, information on how to handle what she calls “phase-of-life” struggles, such as grandparents’ rights, end of life decisions and issues related to parental health and estate planning.

Throughout, McGregor peppers the book with dozens of inspiring examples culled form the her research with thousands of parents of estranged adult children. With this information at hand, the reader, as a parent of an estranged adult child is able to gain understanding and realistic practical help from a person who has lived with — and therefore intimately understands — the pain of this devastating loss with all its uncertainty and heartache.

McGregor’s thesis: hope can remain, but you don’t have to stay stalled, forever waiting. You can move past the disbelief and distress. Take charge. Reclaim yourself and your life — or perhaps one which is even better.

NOTE: This book can help fathers of estranged adult children, too. McGregor says she focused the book toward mothers because “Ninety-three percent of the parents who answer my survey at RejectedParents.Net are mothers. That’s why the title is directed at them. But many of the book’s examples are from couples, and include the experiences of fathers. Some passages directly highlight men’s reactions, including my husband’s. The principles presented are relevant to fathers, and the strategies for coping can be used by anyone.”