Unlike a funeral, where people gather around to say nice things and remember your loved ones that have gone, few if any are there to witness your divorce. There’s no ceremony to truly memorialize the end, and in some places you don’t even have to appear in court– the paper work just gets mailed to you, so it’s up to you to find some way to acknowledging the passing of what once was.
As the years passed, long after my own divorce became final, I would still remember our wedding day with fondness and our divorce anniversary with some melancholy, as I’d recall memories of our good times that led us down the aisle in the first place, and then the tough times that drove us apart. After a while, however, I stopped noticing when the anniversary dates came up, and the bad memories truly faded away, and I certainly consider that to be a great measure of progress– but it takes time.
Looking back, I’m just so glad that I didn’t do anything stupid like destroy all the wedding pictures or throw some lavish “divorce party.” Truth be told, after my hearing, I simply went home and cried. A part of my life had just died in my opinion, and it was not something to rejoice about.
My husband was my best friend– I met him while I was still in college. He saw me go through law school, start my career, and become a mother. This man believed in me before I ever was really anything, and the fact is no one will ever replicate that in my life. Aside from being one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, he was patient beyond belief, kind, and loyal to me. Despite all that, we unfortunately failed to keep it together when too much hit us at once.
This year, on tv and radio I got to comment extensively on many celebs who have now join our ranks, including Kenny G (after 20 years of marriage), Stevie Wonder (after 11 years), Heidi Klum and Seal (after 7), Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (after 5) to name just a few. Unfortunately, these guys are not able to have their divorces fly under the radar like I did, and so it is with all the more reason that I caution these guys not to let their emotions get the best of them.
Time does wonders to help heal wounds, and as the years pass, you will hopefully look at your divorce anniversary as a date that marks the end of one life and the beginning of another. The feeling for me is bitter sweet– one part of me died in order to allow the new part to begin. Would I have delved into the past and searched for my dad if it was not for my divorce? I doubt it. Would I be who I am today? No way. Will I ever doubt my strength again? Never. So, for all these discoveries (which came at a hefty price) I am indeed grateful to acknowledge my divorce anniversary this week, even if I still shed a few tears for the love that was lost.