I just clicked the categories for this post. I usually do that at the end, but for some reason I changed it up today.
Divorce. Group. Grief.
Last night at divorce group, we talked about grief. When the facilitator opened the class and mentioned the topic, some jokes were made about how we needed to have boxes of tissues out. Little did we know.
The task of the evening was to write a letter saying goodbye to our former partner and the things we miss.
Oh, I thought. I’m way ahead here. I’ve already done this.
About two months ago, at the suggestion of my therapist, I wrote a letter of sorts. It started out as an accounting of the things I miss, but turned into an inventory of the things I don’t miss. It was helpful at the time, and I thought that, well, I had already done the exercise. I decided to participate in my “small group” (four participants and a volunteer-leader who has gone through the class before) as a way of being a good sport. I’m nothing if not a good sport.
I didn’t really think I’d have much to write in the twenty minutes allotted, but somehow I filled up both sides of the paper I had been given. Somehow.
And this time, it didn’t turn into a listing of what I don’t miss. Somehow I was able to hold the space, and think of the beautiful moments. I remembered that many of them were tainted by our dysfunction, either then or later, but somehow I was able to write out my grief for what I had lost, and not shift into protest mode.
The time was up, all of us in a suspended space. I heard someone in one of the other small groups start to talk. Then, my group’s leader told us we would then be reading our letters aloud to each other.
It was very difficult to read my letter aloud. I had no idea that what I had been writing was not to be for my eyes only. Reading the letter, hearing my own voice speak what was in my heart was much more difficult than simply writing it.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about letting go. Mr. X dominated 6 years or so of my life while we were together, and he has dominated this last year since we’ve been apart. A large part of me is saying “enough already.” As I wrote last night, and as I read my words aloud, I felt a bit of him slip out of my grasp.
Before we split into our small groups, our facilitator played a song for us. As soon as I heard the first notes, I recognized it. In almost any other setting, at almost any other time I might have thought it was too corny for words. Somehow, last night, it fit.