How Great Thou Part

It has been said that divorce is like grief. I would agree. It is a loss and loss is felt especially during the holidays. I know that as I move forward that my boys are still acclimating to the changes in their home.

A little over a week ago, my family came to my house for dinner. It is a rare treat. It is difficult as our kids get older for us to get together with frequency. The laughter is rampant as always. There is nothing like the the community of a table to bring us together as an undeniable whole.

As everyone is bidding goodbye, my son asks me if I will make a fire.

I understand what he is trying to tell me…that for those few hours our home felt truly like a home again.

The one where I always had a fire going, food on the table and loved ones milling in and out. A home that felt alive and not dulled by the pain and length of a long goodbye. He is looking for a home that is ‘living’ again. The marital problems and divorce have suspended such fluid activity.

I am happy to know that he finds comfort at home again.

Those of us who are experiencing divorce should not kid ourselves. We should be able to admit that our once coveted four walls temporarily represent sadness for us and our kids.

This experience made me realize that I need to have a plan for the holidays.

That maybe we could…

Do many of our old traditions for comfort and start a few new traditions to symbolize the hope and motion of moving forward towards a new happiness.

Invite family or friends over to cook with us, address cards, or help with some of the typically joyful things that are more challenging now.

Pick a charitable activity to do with my children so that their pain is lessened by the heightened awareness to the struggle of others. The simple activity of ringing a Salvation Army bell outside of a grocery store or checking on an elderly neighbor is a healthy compass for blessings.

Mostly though, I realize that our house needs to come ‘alive’ with family and friends.

This needs to happen at our house, the point of impact. The place where sadness pierced its arrow.

And if you know someone who is divorced or going through a divorce, this is my advice:

I would tell you to show up at their house with takeout, flowers, a bottle of wine and a log. I would tell you to bring them coffee and bagels. I would tell you that these things are what bring a house ‘alive.’ The community of togetherness, of breaking bread and of co-joined love and laughter.

I actually realized this familial deficit some time ago. I knew that my children needed to be enveloped by the ones that loved them. It seems that people see divorce as strictly a counseling arena. The truth is the loss is so dramatic for the children that people need to show up just like they do in grief.

Love is the greatest healer of all. Love overcomes all.

So if you have a friend or loved one who needs to get through the holidays and divorce…

I would tell you to fill their house with love.

Help it come ‘alive’ again.

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