During the first year after a divorce, with every milestone and every holiday that passes it’s only natural to look back and think – this time last year… I’ve done that on a few of my blog posts and I can’t help it. It’s truly remarkable what a difference a year can make. Time does heal. For those of you who are in the thick of it, I promise you this is true.
It’s Holy Week. I am a fairly faithful Episcopalian and this time last year my divorce had been final for a couple weeks and I decided that I was going to go to all of the Holy Week services and grieve and cry and on Easter Sunday I was going to be resurrected! I was going to get it all out of my system. The pain. The loss. The entire 11 years of my marriage. I was done with feeling sad and out of sorts. And on Easter Sunday I would miraculously feel better. I was ready to feel better. Really, really ready to feel better.
This same week last year, I packed up all of my belongings in the condo where I had lived with my ex-husband. I was leaving the space that I thought was going to be my home for the rest of my life. I was looking forward to moving. Looking forward to starting my new life! But when moving day arrived, saying goodbye to that space was ultimately heartbreaking. I really didn’t think it was going to be that difficult, but it was nearly the worst part of the entire process. All of those memories. All of the potential. All of the pain. All of the loss.
The moving truck pulled up on Maundy Thursday – figured I’d take the long holiday weekend to get settled. Even though I had uprooted my entire life that day, I went to the service that evening. Good Friday. I unpacked all day and went to the service. Saturday evening vigil. I broke down moving boxes and went to the service. Sunday morning came around and I could barely get myself out of bed. I was exhausted, physically from unpacking and mentally from dealing with the goodbye to the condo, but managed to make it to the 11:00 a.m. service. And the sermon, the sermon was all about a colleague of the Bishop’s who could not “do” Easter. He had recently lost his spouse and the sermon was all about how we are all human and as humans, sometimes we don’t feel ready to be connecting with God. As humans sometimes we are not in a spiritual place. As the story was coming out of the Bishop’s mouth, tears began flowing down my cheeks. Within a minute I was sobbing uncontrollably. People were noticing. I was literally having a breakdown right there on Easter Sunday – in the middle of fancy ladies with their Easter bonnets! I was in no place to do Easter, and forget about the resurrection bit.
After church, I went back to my new apartment. I wanted so badly to feel better, to feel free, to feel light, but it wasn’t time for me yet. I hugged the cat for a while and I wrote an email to the Bishop, thanked him for his sermon and told him how that was exactly the message I needed to hear. He wrote back and said “even when Jesus was resurrected, he still had wounds”. That’s the thing. I went through years of a bad marriage and even though my divorce was final and I thought I should be feeling better, and I desperately wanted to be resurrected, I did have wounds.
Tonight is Maundy Thursday – one year later. I am just home from the service. As the alter was being stripped bare I did shed a few tears. But this time they were tears of gratitude. One year later, I love my life. I love my freedom. I am grateful. Happy Easter.