This week, I heard that my step-brother and his wife are getting divorced. To be honest, I felt genuinely sad. I will not pretend to know any of the details about who is to blame and all that is going on. In fact, I really don’t know anything. I have only seen him 3 different times over the last 12 years. Two of the times, he had his family with him and of course most of my attention went to his kids. I think he has been married about 17 years and has 4 kids. The one thing I always think about when it comes to divorce is the unexpected people who suffer with them. I am guessing that both he and his wife are a little surprised by how emotional people get when they find out.
When I got divorced, I was certainly shocked by how many people got dismayed by the news. It was easy for me to tell close friends and family. I had never really criticized my husband, but once I knew there was no other choice, I started sharing some of my pain. The decision to get divorced wasn't that alarming to those near me. The difficult part was sharing the news with casual friends, neighbors, close friends that I haven't seen in a while, and acquaintances. It isn't easy to introduce this topic in everyday chit chat or contact them specifically to share the bad news. After I filed the divorce papers and was preparing to move, I realized I just had to start announcing it to others. Quite a few of them started crying huge heartbreaking tears. In my tired and numb state, I found myself consoling them. Even though I was walking around in a daze, I truly felt grateful to be surrounded by such caring people. I felt loved.
When I was in junior high, I remember crying almost all night long when I heard that a guy in the grade above me committed suicide. I knew who he was and who his friends were, but probably nothing else. I wondered if he would have committed suicide if he knew that his death would hurt so many people that he barely knew existed. I was sure that if I was crying others were too. I realized that night that our lives affect more people than we can possibly imagine.
This evening, my aunt had a wonderful post on Facebook. She got engaged after being divorced possibly 30 years. I remember her divorce, but I was a child. She is a beautiful, intelligent and successful woman. My heart filled with joy when I read the news and saw the picture.