Letters Never Sent
I read a lot about divorce. A lot. There’s good information out there, and then there’s absolute crap. Many sites post stuff I just consider “filler.” I usually skim over the filler and head for the information I need to stay current or to write a blog. You know, like this one. I’d seen this one title repeated a few times, but with some variations: some form of a letter to someone (“A Letter to My Next Husband,” or “A Letter to My Ex Wife”). I never bothered to read any of these because I couldn’t see the worth, aside from filling out the page. As I sat at my laptop researching for the next blog entry, I kept thinking about these letters. My mind trailed off as I mentally mocked the idea and began writing a letter to myself — as a joke and a writing exercise, since I couldn’t find an idea.
At first it was dumb, funny, but at some point I crossed a threshold and I began really writing to myself. I thought of advice I could have used — that anyone could use. It was actually pretty therapeutic. Divorce is hard. Straight up. I shouldn’t mock any process that helps someone deal with the issues that follow in its wake.
So here’s my letter to you:
These years of doubt, quiet, anger, silence, sadness, or change will now shift. At the close of this marriage, you might feel pain, exhilaration, weightlessness, or emptiness: all at once. It’s normal.
Be soft: for your children. Be kind: to yourself; Be open to the power of forgiveness and forward motion; Be a rock, an impenetrable defense for necessary boundaries; Be compassionate and giving, but firm and just.
Allow yourself to sit with your grief. Know that when things feel dark and empty, you are experiencing a space ripe for growth.
Learn your strength. Great loss has the potential to show you identity and the transforming power of great love.
I guess those “letters never sent” are the ones you are really writing for yourself.