The day your divorce goes through.
The last time you went to dinner and officially knew it was the end.
The last holiday you spent together.
The day of your separation.
The day you moved out.
The first holiday you spent alone.
You probably have your own version of at least two of these days. Days to mark on a calendar. Days you’ll never forget.
Except here is the thing: you will forget.
We have our own versions of these. And at the time they were happening, it was REAL. 100%, in your face, “I’ll never forget this moment,” knife-in-the-chest real.
Both of our “first holidays alone” happened to be Easter. (The parallels we discovered after we met were uncanny.) And this week we wanted to share what those days were like for us. We wanted to paint the picture of OUR first individual holidays alone… and we couldn’t do it. Neither of us could recall just what we’d done, who we’d interacted with, what we’d missed most, or how hard that day was.
Five years from now, chances are you won’t either.
We’re not writing this to dismiss any of it. It’s your life, after all. And if things are falling apart, or have been in pieces for quite some time already, it might not even be helpful to hear “someday you will forget this.” We get it. We DO remember not being ready to hear helpful tidbits of advice from friends or strangers.
When I (Melinda) was in the midst of one of my lowest seasons after divorce, the emotions came in waves. In the first few months I had the “new beginning” jolt of energy, followed closely by the “what the eff just actually happened” mode of realization. And this is where I was when I met someone who listened to my story and offered me advice. Here’s what he said:
“Melinda, if you can picture yourself three years from now, do you think you might have moved on from this, even a little bit?”
I sheepishly said, “In three years? I sure as hell hope so.”
He then said, “So why can’t you be over it today? If it’ll happen anyway, why waste time?”
I then most likely gave him an extremely long answer about death and the life I had lost and how my “three years from now” looked so different than it was supposed to and MAYBE I WOULD STILL FEEL THIS WAY IN THREE YEARS and if I do, I’ll feel worse thanks to him.
So here we are moving it up to five years. And not promising, per se, but suggesting and letting you know what happened for us. Five years ago, we were both living different lives. Five years ago we were both in the trenches of disaster and pain. Five years ago, we wouldn’t have believed where we are today.
And here we are, five years later, and we really can’t recall what Easter was like or the exact dates of that list.
The day your divorce officially went through? Maybe when you go to get your driver’s license replaced in four years, after you lose it on a plane ride, you will have to dig up those papers and you’ll say, “Oh yeah! How could I forget?”
The time and date of the last date or night out… that will be replaced by SO many other experiences. You will not be stuck there forever. The day you were separated or the day you moved out – those will become seasons. “I think it was around the first week of January?” “I remember it was definitely cold out… but was it March??” “Did I even GO to church that first Easter I was divorced? Hmmm?”
If you are calling bullshit right now, please continue to do so, and yell as loudly as you want. We can take it.
But we’ll still be around in five years, and you will, too. Let us know.