APB’s Kelly Corrigan Examines Life as an Empty-Nester
13 Sep 2021
For most of us, fall is a magical time of year: cooler temperatures, falling leaves, football and the return of pumpkin lattes. It’s all amazing. But for parents who are becoming empty-nesters, it’s a different story. Sure, they’re happy and proud their kids are leaving for school, but also secretly heartbroken they’re going away—even if it’s for the best.
These feelings may not apply to everyone. But for APB speaker and best-selling author Kelly Corrigan, they’re spot on. Corrigan recently penned a guest essay for The New York Times: “How to Let Go of Your Irreplaceable, Unstoppable Daughter.” Like the majority of her fellow empty-nesters, her feelings are a combination of proud and pleased wrapped around sad.
“Our parting marks the ultimate success,” Corrigan writes about her youngest daughter Claire. “Every unit of love that passed between us—all that attachment—made it possible for her detach, to build, as the campus psychologist said, her ‘own nest, emotionally and socially, outside the context of the family.’”
A sought-after speaker and gifted storyteller, Corrigan will soon host the second season of her PBS program Tell Me More. She’s written four New York Times bestselling memoirs in the last decade, earning her the title of “The Poet Laureate of the ordinary” from Huffington Post and the “voice of a generation” from O, The Oprah Winfrey Magazine. In addition to her memoirs and television show, this talented interviewer and raconteur is the author of a children’s book, Hello World, and the host of a weekly podcast, Kelly Corrigan Wonders, which she describes as a “place for people who like to laugh while they think.”
And in her spare time, she’ll do what she always does best: paint every day in her garage—often in her pajamas—go to live performances of any kind when possible and fret. “I worry constantly, about my husband getting in a car accident or my kids getting snatched by a desperado or a mole on my nose turning out to be the thing that does me in,” she says. “However, I believe worry is the backside of gratitude, so that means that when I get anxious, I am actually acutely feeling my good fortune. And clinging to it with both hands.”