What is left when what you have been building for over a decade crumbles at your feet? You nearly escape being buried underneath the weight of the rubble which were your dreams and longings. Your identity undergoes aftershocks that are so seismic you never fully recover the same as when the shaking started. You are transformed and cracked now, taking up space amongst the messy debris. This place is far less comforting yet way more real than the illusion of having your life "under control". You have narrowly escaped the suffocating confines of what you were told perfection looks like.
Recently my life underwent a major earthquake of the likes I have never had. As my daughter Bell so eloquently stated “Mom I have never had this life experience before.” I heard her loud and clear. Pieces of me unrecognizable as stress, depression, and anxiety started taking up space in already cramped quarters. Stripped from all this I became naked and raw.
My marriage was such a beautiful union. I think it would have been so much easier to understand any of this if my husband were an asshole. Nathan is one of the brightest human beings I have ever had the pleasure of knowing as well as the most amazing father I could have ever of chosen for our daughter. His name translates to “Gift from God” and he forever will be just that to me.
Looking back I have no idea how it all kept spinning. Going about my days with the waves of grief slamming me down. Shattered in some upside down underwater world where the light is refracted and you do not know what is up or down. The world does not stop when you are hit with tragedy whether by surprise or by design. The bills do not stop coming the commitments to clients and friends do not cease. The school pick up and drop off still happen each day. Dinners needs to be made and clothes folded. A blessing and a curse.
The weight subsides just long enough to catch your breath. Sometimes you see the grief surge coming instead of being surprisingly slammed by the waves one after the other. At times you can even dive into the next wave before it crashes on you. This is my dance with grief as it need not always slam me down if I am willing to surrender into its arms. I have a moment of tranquility and stillness before I need to come up for a breath as it can be so beautiful and still and even peaceful at times.
I now know that connection and acceptance are the passage ways through transition. Connection to something bigger than yourself and finding your way back to yourself. Committing to not abandoning your truest nature with false accusations or unkind judgments or feelings of failure. Finding more resiliency and grit to keep moving forward on the unknown path. Acceptance that your idea of how life should be, only adds to your discomfort and suffering. Making genuine space for what is and then having the courage and hopefully the support to actually lean in. Through is the only way out of the pain.
I have so much compassion for other couples who have split and anyone experiencing loss or transition of any size. I now see there are no sides, only suffering until even that passes. I am so thankful for this morsel of a gift as I held onto it firmly as the form of true empathy during this time of quicksand.
The genuine appreciation of Nathan, our relationship and what we birthed now brings me to a place where I can at times be filled with love for all the growth and possibility this situation has dawned. The love and strong hearts underneath the rubble of grief are starting to finally shine through. WE are family. We only want the highest good for one another and we actively choose to protect and cultivate the qualities of our relationship that help it thrive.
There is a ritual we had before our separation which I cherish and which we kept up until the day we sighed our divorce papers. After we signed we met up at the sauna together where we had a final sweating it out. It was a healing ritual for us. The simple acknowledgment we are transforming yet staying connected. I have so much hope that we are just expanding as a family… Amplifying our love on so many other levels. On a spiritual level I will always feel united with this man.