Sometimes there will be people in our life that you have to distance yourself from to breathe easier, to calm your heart and head, to sleep. And sometimes you aren’t given a choice. It’s even harder when someone makes the choice for you, isn’t it?

A break in a relationship can change your entire world. A gradual break is a natural occurrence, you will have friends, loved ones who will slowly drift away. That’s how it works. Some will be with us for a season, for a specific reason ... and then there will be the sudden breaks that stop the Earth as it spins.

In one phone call, my world stopped and I fought to catch my breath. My child had chosen to break from me. The child for whom I had worked so hard to ease her path over the years, the one who with the sound of her voice could change my whole day, she walked away.

I’ve come to realize through the beginning of this journey that my focus had to shift from parenting her to safeguarding me.

I may never understand her choices, her reasons and her path, yet I know that I couldn’t change it. I tried, I railed at the world, begged and pleaded. I cried until I was hoarse and unable to speak at all. Turns out that the worst heartache you can suffer can be given to you by the people closest to you.

So how do you come back from that, the grief that overwhelms you to the core? I can only answer for myself, but distance.

It started small. Awakening from sleep the morning after and for that split second, I didn’t remember what happened. Then it came crashing in, all my senses flooded with pain. The song on the radio that you sing along with before you think of them. The smile that comes naturally not from force. Leaving the house and taking a deep breath of fresh air.

It doesn’t happen overnight, the next week or even months later, but it will come. A time when you can think about someone and your entire body doesn’t seize up in agony. The longer it takes you to step away from the situation, the longer it takes to come to grip with the reality of your new situation.

I enjoy living in my happy little world. I keep a small circle and I try really hard to just embrace my life and plant seeds around me. So when things go bad, I fold inward, and when things go terribly bad, I hermit.

In my hermit state, I have been studying the Word. God tells us in Proverbs 22:6… in that “start the children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it”, that’s a big ole gap between being young and being old, so there’s plenty of room in the middle for that kid to go their own way.

Amazon was happy to deliver books on corrective parenting, parenting in a crisis and my very favorite now, “Parenting for Dummies.” I would dig through these books, these secular books looking for the answers. Where did I go so wrong? How did I mess up parenting so badly that I have a child who walked away from her family unit?

Months have gone by and I’m no closer to answers as I was the day she left. I know this though, my love hasn’t been diminished by my perception of her actions. My faith has not wavered in the midst of my heartbreak. The only thing that I have done for myself is given myself time to heal. I’ve allowed myself to admit that I raised her to be strong. I raised her to stand for herself and to be strong. So I will do that, I will stand back and forgive myself for the mistakes I made along the way. Because when I fail, I fail big. So I’m sure some of this is on me, but I will give her the time and space she needs to grow. She will be prayed over and loved — from a distance.

— Kalynn Brazeal is a conservative, Christian wife/mom/country girl carrying around an MBA, several decades of business experience and a strong opinion. Now living in the remoteness of North Dakota, she continues to share her column on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and cake. She can be reached by email at