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Women's Health

Kyra Sedgwick on Work, Family, and Empty Nests

The actress opens up about her long marriage, life as a working mom, and her new movie, 'The Possession.'
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Kyra on "The Closer" continued...

Much as she loved playing Brenda, Sedgwick says it was time for her to move on. "I miss the people and the camaraderie and making something like that, but I don't miss doing it," she explains. "I gave 150% every day, and I was definitely ready to be done. On this visit" -- she's calling during a jaunt back to Los Angeles -- "I was seeing some folks from the show who are filming [TNT's upcoming series] Major Crimes, and I was thinking that I really didn't miss it. I love Brenda so much, but maybe it will take me a few years to feel nostalgic and miss her."

Something she is feeling a bit nostalgic for these days: her kids' time at home. Both Travis and Sosie are out on their own now, although Sedgwick says she and Bacon don't feel like empty nesters quite yet. "The kids are still around, but it's different. I think I grieved an entire year over the process, and I still get boo-hooey sometimes, but I'm so grateful that they're still talking to me and they want me to be part of their lives," she says. "I do miss that level of need and intimacy we once had. As a parent, you have such a great job, and you feel like you're pretty good at it -- then you kinda get fired. But it's also the exact right nature of things, and I take solace in that."

Kyra's Empty Nest

In her wistful but comfortable acceptance of her new, less-urgent role in her children's lives, Sedgwick reflects the reality of most parents after their nest empties, says Christine Proulx, PhD, an assistant professor in the human development and family studies department at the University of Missouri, whose research seems to demonstrate that the loneliness of the "empty nest" is largely a myth.

For a study published in the Journal of Family Issues, she interviewed 142 couples who were at the same stage of life as Sedgwick and Bacon -- watching the youngest of two or three children leaving home. A majority, she says, found themselves truly enjoying their changed roles.

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