Sunday, January 15, 2012
Right after the holidays, I was having some bad days, more specifically, some bad nights. For me, the grief of my divorce hits me after my kids are in bed, when the house is quiet and I have time to think. The mornings are hard too, right when I wake up and I remember that this is my life, and I am really getting divorced, and it wasn't all a bad dream. Sam and I have been separated for over five months so I am used to being alone. I think I have come to terms with my current situation. What is hard for me, is how to deal with the past.
Divorce is hard on so many levels. I could never possibly explain to someone who has not been through it, all the ways it hurts. And it hurts in a different way than it would hurt if your spouse died. I mentioned in my earlier post about my divorce that I don't know what to do with my memories. I got married at 21 and have been married my entire adult life. Every memory I have from adulthood includes Sam. We went through law school together, worked in Washington D.C. together. We got our first jobs, bought our first home and took vacations and trips together. We had four kids together. We experienced all of the excitement and hard times that goes along with that, together.
And I don't know what to do with those memories now that our marriage is over. It makes me feel like a part of me is gone. I am crying even as I type this because no one else will ever really know me the way Sam did. He has seen me at my very best and my very worst. He knows me so intimately and knows all the funny stories of my past. He was the witness to my life, so to speak. I worry that whoever I end up in the future, will only be getting a part of me..the current me. My history will be boxed up in photo albums and old blog posts. My future husband will never know the whole me.
I talked to my counselor about these feelings and for the first time since I started seeing her, she really didn't have any answers for me. She simply said, "that is one more thing to mourn."
But tonight, as I was doing dishes and listening to my ipod, Garth Brook's "The Dance" came on. As I was listening to the words, it made me realize that I'm glad I didn't know the way it all would end with Sam. I'm grateful for the 13 amazing years we spent together. I'm happy that I was able to have a best friend and lover in my life and even though the time has come that we have to go our separate ways, I am grateful we had "the dance." I don't regret marrying Sam. We had something special. And it's okay to be sad that it's over.
As for the memories, I don't know. Hopefully, with time, I will make sense of all of it. That part of my life still made me who I am today. So even if the past is tainted a bit by my present situation, it isn't gone.
"Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance. Video here: