I love letters. I love to write to others. I love to write to myself. I know, sound odd, but I do. I seem to hear more clearly when I read letters.
So here is my first.
A Letter to one who is grieving separation or divorce
I know this has been hard. I need to start by saying I am so sorry. I am so sorry you have to go through this…. I truly am.
I know the grief at times can be more than one can bear.
I know for some the grief has been so long and so arduous that they don’t feel it anymore. They don’t feel. Feelings have been shut off- shut down- long ago in order to survive, to stay afloat. But, it is still there. Deep down- inside- it is there.
Often there is a sense of relief, but even in that relief there is pain and loss and death.
Pain. Loss. Death
I saw it just so. I saw this as a death and I grieved it as such….
Because it was….
And when we begin to give divorce the space to be grieved, our hearts will begin to heal.
It must be grieved as a death because there is a death.
The death of what could have been.
The death of different choices.
The death of two people working hard to make something work that had the potential to turn out really really good if not now… ten years from now or twenty or…
and all that ceases…. so I grieved it like a death.
Death leaves a wake of emotions if one so dares- allows- one’s self to feel them. Sharp pains that at times feels like it’s impossible to breath, to go on, and at others an ache that seems to never let up. One day you think you are fine and the mourning has subsided and you begin to see a strands of light, only to get hit once again…
a huge blow out of nowhere… and there it is, once again.
it hits you like daggers, with rage at its heels.
This is not right… you shout from somewhere deep within. This can not be. This is not what it was supposed to be like. This was not supposed to happen. Not to me.
And I encourage you, dear friend, to continue to feel it all… feel it.
As scary as it may be. As looming and overwhelming as it may feel, give a voice to these emotions. Let them be heard, because not looking- not touching-not seeing- what is deep within will only makes the monster of resentment and bitterness grow and grow and grow.
And what good does that do, for it will only kill your soul.
What… good… does that do?
I remember these feelings well.
As I type this, I pause to stretch out my fingers. Glancing down, I see the scar on the inside of my wrist from when I tried to take my own life when I was seventeen…. seventeen. I was a baby.
And this scar reminders me that even the most painful of memories fade.
They don’t disappear. They fade.
Lord,this is so hard, so very very hard, I called out… as a teenager… as a newly divorced mother of three.
Yet, I took it a day at a time, and I breathed and I talked and I wrote.
I left time to meditate and be with the Lord. I talked to friends and family and a therapist. And, I journaled the heck out of life.
I looked at the pain because I learned this pain- these hurts- they fade when they are address, when they are seen, when they are handled and caressed rather than ignored and shoved down deep within.
So, I look at this scar and it reminds me that even as I begin to share about divorce that these emotions have faded over the last five years.
I am not angry anymore, although I do have my rare moments.
I don’t grieved like I once did, although the tears still come… every once in a while.
I have forgiven, yet there are still moments that I beckon myself to forgive again.
And the pain which I once thought I could never move through has subsided…. And made room for New hopes. New dreams. New love.
And I end this letter to you, dear friend, encouraging you to make space… leave time… to let your heart feel- engage- heal.
If time is not taken to address our deepest hurts and pains and sorrows then the wound will never heal properly. Oh , it may look like it is healed, but it will fester underneath. Fester.
Let your heart begin to heal.
Your friend, A