After being assured that all guests at the table had been served, heads bowed, then the priest said a blessing. No one hesitated to make the sign of the cross. Everyone recited the familiar words in unison. All in attendance were raised in the same faith which included this simple prayer prior to each meal.
The peacefulness at the conclusion of this moment was palpable. There is a wonderful comfort in belonging. In being a part of a group where there is a shared understanding of who we are and the rules we follow as we go through life. It is this same tribe that we turn to during important times from birth to death.
Our friends, family, or community come forward when a new baby arrives, a car crashes, a bride walks down the aisle, or the funeral is had. A kind word, a carefully selected card, a casserole, a plate of cookies. They wrap us in a gentle blanket of loving kindness.
For a host of reasons, all of this can vanish when we divorce. Our religion may disapprove, ours might be the first divorce in family history, or our sister might think our spouse is a great catch that we are a fool to let go. Whatever the reason, we are at risk for losing that which we have counted on all of our lives to support us when we need it most.
A divorce demands everything we have and more. Finances are strained, emotions are in turmoil, and each aspect of our lives suddenly changes. When we need it most, our once trusted safety net can be pulled out from under us.
The fear of this loss sometimes tempts a person to hide their divorce as long as possible or to postpone the initiation of an inevitable marital dissolution. It’s normal to feel vulnerable when a marriage is ending; asking for what we need during this extraordinary time demands remarkable courage.
Whether or not we have our treasured understanding from those we have come to rely upon in years past, it is essential to find this caring somewhere. If you find yourself feeling abandoned in the midst of your divorce, ask yourself where else you might seek support. A therapist? A spiritual community? A friend at work? A support group? It’s different for each of us.
Rather than forging forward alone, search for those places where others will give you a compassionate ear and an open heart. In doing so, may your wonderful comfort may be restored.