Wednesday, November 30, 2011


The whole 11/11 thing was fun, but I'm glad to see November go. More than any other month, November is packed with marriage-related dates and emotional landmines for me. Compared to how I felt last year, this year was barely a blip on the radar, and I know it'll get even easier. But this is the permanent kind of grief and fallout that you just have to learn to live with. I'm very "over" my divorce in a day-to-day sense, but in a deeper sense, I will never be 100% over it. It doesn't prevent me from being happy, or healthy, or moving on, but it's there underneath everything. Any major loss creates a ripple effect that applies in new ways to new experiences, so you can never totally shake it. I have a special appreciation for friends who have also experienced deep loss, because they instinctively understand this and don't hold it against me.

While I'm on the subject, it bothers me that a death is more socially acceptable to grieve, and feel repercussions from, long-term than a divorce. I believe a divorce can be just as bad as a death, and in some ways and situations, even worse. It's terrible when a loved one dies, and it's natural to have anger and complicated feelings toward the circumstances or even toward the loved one. But in most cases, that person didn't choose to leave you. Generally, you can be comforted knowing that the person loved you, and remembering your good times together. When your loss is the result of someone's choice, a choice that rejects every molecule of your being, it's a whole other ball of wax. It makes grieving the actual loss a lot messier. Meanwhile, people will expect you to forget any happy memories you have, acknowledge that you're better off, and Move On as soon as possible. But you can know the truth of your better-off-ness and still pay tribute to and feel sad for what you've lost, even years later. It doesn't mean something is wrong with you. It's okay... no matter what anyone says. Actually, I think this can apply to a lot of things.

Anyway, this Christmas season should be just what I need. My hope has really been waning lately, so it's the perfect time to reflect on the coming of the Hope of the world!


  1. I have heard it said often from other divorced people I know that it is harder than any death they have experienced in people close to them. Even though I am still happily married, I can imagine exactly what you're saying and believe it to be true.

    With a person's passing, when the grieving is done, there is a sense of completion to things. That person's time on earth is through, though their memory lives on in friends and family members. But in divorce, there is always something lingering and unfinished. Lives are not done. And with each new choice made by either person in the divorce, there must be a sense of knowing that this was not even going to be an option if divorce had not occurred.

    You are a brave and lovely lady, Brenda. I am so happy you have found some sense of peace amidst the continued regrets and thoughts that you must come across at regular intervals. I recognize how holidays and anniversaries of important events bring back a lot more of this stuff because of how my own children are affected.

    I hope December is full of new hopes and possibilities for you. Thank you for sharing your viewpoint of the world honestly and openly. I enjoy reading your blog.

  2. I think you are very correct. I can see why death may be easier to 'deal with' than divorce. Like the other commenter said - there is a certain closure that you get with death that you don't get with divorce. And there are almost more why's with still get the 'why do bad things happen to good people' kind of thing that you do with death. But you also have a lot of self questioning when someone chooses to betray you.

    As always, I'm in awe of your growth and perspective on things.

  3. Thanks for the thoughtful comments, guys. :) And R, very well said about a sense of completion. That was what I was trying to get at, but I didn't have the right words.

  4. I agree with R. I'm sorry more people don't understand the grief you'll always have over your divorce. It's too accepted in today's society, but it's still an awful thing to go through, and unlike death, it's not natural. You were meant to be one for the rest of your lives, and it didn't happen, and that brings about a lot of feelings.