Fourth of July reminds me, just like, Father’s Day that holidays are different for our family. As you know, Jonathan and David get to share Father’s day with their father and I need to arrange a time for my boys to see their grandfather. We would usually enjoy breakfast or brunch as a family including my parents. But this year was different. Of course, Adam wanted to spend time with the boys. In the same spirit, holidays are assigned equally per year and meant to be spent with the boys every other year, too.
I saw my dad on Father’s Day, but it just didn’t feel the same without Jonathan and David present. I sensed a glimpse of disappointment from my dad and yet a mature understanding of the situation. :::sigh:::
Divorce really affects us all doesn’t it, Grace?
Eve, divorce is hard, messy and filled with a lot of reminders of brokenness and space created because of the separation. The family is no longer physically united. Everyone is trying to grab on to the allotted time and someone is left feeling it’s not enough or short-changed. Pain and heartache extends beyond the core family to the relatives and friends. It gets pretty tiring.
What can you do to cope and get through these difficult times? Here are some ideas:
1) Look into your children’s eyes. What do you see? What emotions are they experiencing in the situation? This little exercise helps you take the focus off of what you wanted things to be and think about what is best for your children, the way things are. It gives you the power to be their voice when they may not feel anyone is listening or even asking them what they want. Remember they didn’t have a say and are trusting the two people who love them to always keep their best interest at heart. And doesn’t your heart smile when you know your children are happy? They don’t need to hold the tension of the situation. The adults need to do this so that they can be children who are nurtured so they can thrive.
2) Prepare for these sad moments. After your children are taken care of, it is time to care for yourself. Go out with friends who make you laugh or ones that are great listeners. Other ideas: journal, dance, sing, declutter, garden, exercise, cook, get a facial or massage, buy a new lipstick, etc. This is about nurturing yourself because it can be emotionally and mentally exhausting during these times. Choose something that soothes your heart and soul. You may sometimes just need to cry so allow space for this. And know these moments will get easier as you build your tool kit to help you move through it.
3) Bless these moments. As painful and difficult it may be, there is always room for a blessing. It doesn’t have to end in devastation or loss. It can end in gratitude, abundance and grace. Gratitude that Adam cares to be with his sons. Gratitude that your children have another male role model to look up to. Gratitude for the love that surrounds your children in the midst of a divorce. Then look at the abundance of joy and laughter that has an opportunity to overflow within everyone’s heart because they stepped into the fullness of the moment. Abundance is only realized when you awaken to the “Now” which is perfect and filled with a wealth of grace. If you stop and be still to take in the moment, divine grace will overshadow the loss.
So stretch out your arms and be grateful, live in abundance and step into grace. Life will be sweeter and bless your days.
And so I end with another saying by John O’Donohue that is found in one of my favorite books called “Bless the Space Between Us.”
“May I live this day compassionate of heart, clear in word, gracious in awareness, courageous in thought, generous in love.”