My name is L.. My children are now 31, 29, and 25..yikes who can believe it. The worst Christmas I ever had was when they were 16, 20, and 22...they were all away. My oldest at Oxford in England, my 22 yr old son in FL working, and my youngest was away for 6 mos in England in school. We (my wonderful husband) had put all our funds into college and school and had nothing for Christmas. I was sooo sad. I can honestly say I had a huge emptiness in side and cried a lot. My husband, the kids step dad, was wonderful. I knew I could lean on him. These kids of mine were always mature, and I certainly encouraged travel/school. Well, we all got through it. They are now all married, all living in the same town as us, and I get to see my gradkids all the time..We are so very very blessed. I'm convinced giving them the freedom to explore, obtain schooling, is the best way to keep them close.
I would suggest to keep building your relationship with your husband. He's feeling it too, I'm sure. Try new things together. Talk talk talk to each other. Make some new friends who have kids leaving the nest too. I have a new 'walking' friend who's kids have just left. You can do it..hang in there.