Until you have felt the heavy burden of such this short, two-syllable word, you cannot know the meaning of it's message. In short, two people have dealt with sadness, betrayal, chaos, heartbreak, tears, rumors, gossip, anger, shame, distrust, blame, envy -- the list of negative verbs is endless. It's a word that strips a person of all the happiness in their lives and rips their world into tiny pieces. And we sum it all up in one. little. word. When that couple drops their announcement into the big pool of family and friends, the ripple effect begins to dissipate into the lives of all who they love and who have loved them. Sadness envelops more lives than that couple will ever realize.
Divorce was not a word ever uttered in my family. Sure it has happened. But not within my immediate six siblings. We are a proud family of married-forever believers, We endure to the end. Then it struck one of my own and we were forced to look divorce square into it's heavy ugly face and watch it affect grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings and in-laws.
The heartbreak is overwhelming and as a mother, there is nothing you want more than to take every burden of your child and heave it onto your own shoulders. You want to pronounce to the world "You are wrong! She is good. He is good! It just didn't work." If only I could do that. Because I have seen the poison of malicious gossip seep into the cracks of a broken person and burn their soul. I have heard the cries of agony and have felt the heaviness in the air of sadness that seems unrelenting. I have watched as lives can be destroyed by a simple whisper of deceit.
Through it all I try to give advice, to look for the bright light at the end of the tunnel. Because there is an end. It comes when new relationships form and old ones fade away. That word divorce will soften, I'm sure. It's abrasiveness will heal with time. Rumors will become non-issues because we..."move on." Forgive and forget, they say. But like the Dixie Chick sing, I'm still waiting.
Today I will mourn the loss of a once-happy love story. I will force myself to smile as I watch new relationships blossom. And I will empathize with anyone who shoes have walked this same path of despair with grace and elegance. I applaud those who come out on the other end as a better person.
My Apple watch reminds me daily to ....breathe. Take a minute, focus, slowly inhale, then...exhale. For now, that's enough.