Celebrities Empty Nesters: From Michelle Pfeiffer to Kathie Lee Gifford

Most parents go through a myriad of emotions, but two of them are the most significant ones: when the child arrives and, decades later, when they leave home.

Watching their children grow old and leave home is hard, but for some empty nesters, the experience is so severe that they might even feel a type of grief. That’s what psychologist and mother of three children Anna Zakletska defines as the empty nest syndrome.

Empty nesters from the point of view of an expert

In an exclusive interview that Zakletska had with AmoMama, she said that children would eventually move out of their parents’ place. In a typical, ideal case, parents let them go without demanding attention or manipulating them.

However, those who suffer from empty nest syndrome are different. They feel that their children were the “glue” that kept the family together and, once they are gone, it’s like the family “falls apart.”

Apart from that, parents stop enjoying the company of others as they feel that, without their kids, there is “no connection or interest.” Zakletska pointed out that it is entirely normal feeling sad when a loved one leaves home.

However, if the sadness lasts too long, the parent feels “addicted” to the presence of their child, or if they can’t enjoy anything else in life when their nest is empty, it is time to see an expert.

The following celebrities are empty nesters. Even though they have not admitted to suffering from the previously mentioned syndrome, they have shared their thoughts on how they felt when their children left.

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My babies are all grown up! 😫 #liveformykids

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Michelle Pfeiffer

The “Dangerous Liaisons” star Michelle Pfeiffer has two children: Claudia, born in March 1993, and John, born in 1994. During a 2012 interview with Parade, the actress admitted that Claudia was already in college and John was applying to it at the time.

She pointed out that even though people make jokes about the empty nest, “it is no laughing matter. It is really hard.”

Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe, best known for “About Last Night,” also has two sons: Edward, born in 1993, and John Owen, born in 1995. His case is very particular as he even wrote about the experience in his memoir titled “Love Life.”

“Jesus Christ, pull yourself together, man!” he told himself. “There are parents sending their kids off to battle zones, or putting them into rehabs and many other more legitimately emotional situations, all over our country. How dare I feel so shattered?”

Christie Brinkley

Model and actress Christie Brinkley, best known as the face of CoverGirl, has already seen her three children – Alexa, Jack, and Sailor – leave home.

In a 2016 interview with Page Six, Brinkley admitted that she would get “misty-eyed” every time she thought about being an empty nester despite always encouraging her children to be independent.  

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Sailor’s Happy Birthday Poem ☀️🌙🌟✨🌻 21 years around the sun you’ve learned a thing or two It started with little you, wanting to do everything your brother and sister could do! Like run, leap, climb, lipstick,and swim You started out wanting to be just like them. Then you started school and at first you were shy, then you spotted someone with your sparkling blue eyes, a little girl who was more shy than you and instinctively, you knew just what to do! You put your arm around her shoulder, and you made her your friend, and then you did that with other kids over and over again. The teacher said you were a natural leader, kind to one and all, and your friends came and Summered at our home till they went back to school in the fall. You raised your sails, explored Ports unknown, from India to Peru , trying to figure out what it was in life that you really wanted to do you’ve skied in Aspen, Received visions from Seiks , And you know how to make clothes look terribly chic as model for IMG, SI , and Bruce Weber still you have a gut feeling that you can do better, behind the camera, or maybe not , but there’s one thing we’re sure of and it’s that you’ve got that something special that sets you apart, and you know what it is? It’s your beautiful heart ! 21 years around the sun has warmed your heart of golden rays Cause in those years you have had every kind of day , crushing ones and some ecstatic and while sometimes life May seem erratic... it all adds up, expands your heart and makes you who you are today... someone I’m so proud of in every single way! Yes in 21 years you have learned a thing or two Especially how to make the world a better place just by being being you ! Sail on Sail on Sailor! 🌊⚓️⛵️🚀 I love you soooooo much! Mom

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Kyra Sedgwick

“The Closer” star Kyra Sedgwick, also known as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, has two children with actor Kevin Bacon. During a 2011 interview, she said that having an empty nest was “a loss.”

However, the actress pointed out that people could learn what fulfills them as a solitary person, adding that it could be a time for growth, but it is not easy.

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30 years (yesterday) Lucky Lady

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Kathie Lee Gifford

Cody and Cassidy Gifford, the children of host and singer Kathie Lee Gifford, left their mother’s home already. Speaking on “Today,” she has shared her thoughts on the big send-off.

One of the things she suggests is to find an activity that makes them so exhausted that they are too tired to think about how much they miss their children. Apart from that, she advises people not to get into their children’s bedrooms and keep those doors closed.

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Happy #NationalDogDay from Bambino and Lola! 🐶

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Julianne Moore

Multi-awarded actress Julianne Moore suffered from empty nest syndrome when her eldest son, Caleb, left for college. According to the actress, childhood seems to last forever, but “adolescence goes by in a flash.”

She added that, for parents, watching their children getting older was “shocking.” In her family’s case, though, they do “family texts,” which is quite helpful for some parents.

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📸 @therealpeterlindbergh #tbt❤️

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Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon, the actress best known for “Atlantic City,” has three children: John Henry, Miles Guthrie, and Eva Amurri. Her case is entirely different, though.

In a 2009 interview, the actress admitted that she was eager to see her youngest son, Miles, leave home so she could get her social freedom back.

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Eva and Jack Henry’s first conversation. Joy. #TBT

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The expert's final thoughts

Psychologist Anna Zakletska shared some advice with those parents who think they might suffer from empty nest syndrome.

Psychologist Anna Zakletska | Photo: facebook.com/anna.zakletska

Psychologist Anna Zakletska | Photo: facebook.com/anna.zakletska

First, they have to understand that their children have to live their own experiences, including the dramatic ones.

Second, they should not manipulate them with phrases like “I gave you the best years of my life” or “who will take care of me when I’m old?”

Finally, parents have to focus on living their own lives, taking care of themselves, and being happy. If they manage to do it, their children will see them as role models and would even follow their examples

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