What a week.
Many of the ALI blogs I read deal with loss, but these losses occurred before I found their blog. Mo’s is the first one I have witnessed firsthand (or at least as close as we get online). I’ve been so moved by the outpouring of comments, posts, prayers, and emails honoring Mo, Shmerson, and Nadav. This community is amazing and I am proud to be a part of it.
In addition to Mo’s devastating loss , my officemate’s mother passed away over the weekend at age 64. That sounds so young to me! She has been back at work for two days and has been extremely gracious as people continually come in to express their condolences. After the first rush of visitors, I was able to speak with her and that was when she said it: she was glad to be back at work and have a distraction.
I get that.
Please do not misunderstand: I am not comparing death to divorce. I’m just saying that I get it.
When going through my divorce, I was so happy for any distraction. Being home wasn’t a relief – all of the grief and troubles were right there. The accusations, the fighting, the feelings of hopelessness, the urge to hide, the defensiveness, the fear for Little K… It was all right there.
I felt like a failure as a wife, mother, daughter, and Christian, but at work? At work I was able to focus. At work, I felt productive and safe. I knew that no one would bring it up and, for those eight hours each day, I could forget about everything that was going wrong.
I was reading some additional posts on loss yesterday when I ended up on Life After Addison. In her Blue Storks post, she talks about the giant “No Visitors” sign when they came home without Addison:
I didn't want people stopping by […] I just wanted to be left alone. I wanted visitors only on my own terms, I needed to be in control of something.
Again, not comparing divorce to pregnancy/child loss but there it is – I needed to be in control of something.
Sometimes, you don’t want to talk about it. Because you’re not sure if you can make it through your reply, let alone an entire conversation, without crying or yelling. You’re not sure if that comment or question is going to take you out of your focus and send you into another round of depression or hiding from the world.
Eventually it got better for me. I became used to the awkward questions from the people who didn’t know, being able to answer with a simple “We’re not married anymore” instead of tears. Eventually everyone in my inner, middle, and outer circle knew what was going on and stopped asking about him. I got to the point where I was able to walk into church and not immediately turn around to leave. Eventually, I was able to grow a thicker skin.
But more than that, I think I was finally able to accept that being a divorcee is a part of my story. I had to face the truth, work through it and, if not claim it, at least accept it and push myself to move past it. I had to daily remind myself that my story was not going to end with my divorce; life was still going to move on and it was up to me to join it.
This isn’t a call for anyone to move through their grief at any particular pace. You take things at your own pace, expect setbacks, and try to set boundaries to let you grieve in safe ways. I wish I had had the opportunity to grieve my divorce better and with Christian friends. Instead, I spent the duration of the proceedings and the following two years hiding from God and trying to ignore my problems.
Guess what didn’t work? Exactly. Now that I am back in His Word daily and interacting with other believers, I am making progress and *think* I have reached the last stage of grieving: Acceptance.
And I have to tell you – it feels so good.
Can I be honest for a moment? What in the world am I supposed to do about sex now that R’s count is super final? I don’t know if it’s the concrete lack of procreation or what but, now that we are officially at zero and my period has come and gone, the idea of sex is just weird. Blech. I really want to get over this one soon.