I am sure if you are reading this and you have small children then you may find it hard to understand how parents may feel this way. However, lots of parents do and will.
Many parents feel a deep sense of loss and feeling literally 'lost' not knowing what to do when children leave the home to live somewhere else or go to university.
Like any loss, the stages of grief may hit home, depression, being the most common feeling, mostly because parents (being one myself and having experienced this) feel a sadness.
Working parents may regret that they did not spend more time at home with their child, or any parent, may have regrets about something or other and therefore feel guilty.
Whatever it is your feeling as a parent, be accepting of the feelings, there is no need to feel silly for feeling this way. Every emotion is valid, we do not need to push it away and try to get on with life, or be feel pressured to 'get a life'.
You can help themselves by allowing whatever you need to feel, to be expressed and be fully felt.
After all, you are their mum or dad, or carer, grandparent and you have spent many years rearing them, laughing, crying and being there for them through all kinds of challenges.
Nothing you do can change the past, none of us are ever going to not regret anything, that is part of the process of life. In hindsight, we could have always done more or different.
Once we can fully feel the pain of the loss, this will shift, and we can celebrate a new beginning of the next stage of life.
However, be prepared for your children to return to the nest... but that is another story for another day.
A good article to read below.