There has been a pit in my stomach for over a week now brought on by one of those inevitable changes in life – moving from one house to another. While excitement may surface in the ebb and flow of change, for me, those moments are fleeting. Packing up your life creates temporary chaos. I can’t find my shoes, I forgot to pay a bill on time, and my pets are hiding in distress. I haven’t eaten a decent meal in 7 days and the new night noises are creating sleepless nights.
During divorce, households change. You, your spouse, or both move out of the home you occupied together. For those left in the marital residence, memories are tucked up into every corner and closet bringing on grief in unexpected moments. For those moving out, the loss of a daily routine, neighbors, and your comfort zone may be jarring.
Regardless of who goes, the household transition during divorce is the physical manifestation of the separation and one of the hardest adjustments to make. Personal belongings need to be sorted and separated, sometimes causing heated debate and resentment. Photographs, albums, and framed family pictures need to be divided sometimes causing heartache. Both spaces post-separation feel empty. You might too.
Those weeks when your physical reality changes are those weeks that you need to be the most gentle with your children, your supportive family members and friends, and most of all, yourself. This loss is big and this grief is hard. I have found that there is no better time to make your to-do list in the smallest increments possible. Attempt to have singular focus on one task at a time. Purge as you pack or unpack and in doing so, you may also purge some of the sadness.
While there may not be a remedy to cure the remnants of the heart, there is truth in the adage that time heals all wounds. Know that your moving on will take time, maybe lots of it, but the important focus is that you are moving. As much as it may not feel like it, you are moving away from the hurt, pain, and angst that filled many of your pre-divorce days. You are moving in a direction toward something new. And slowly but surely, you will find your shoes and your new normal.