Monday, August 1, 2011

Divorce & Death: Awkward Moments

Having dated my ex husband for so many years prior to our marriage, our families had developed close interpersonal relationships between individuals. There is a lot of love between  us. There is still regular communication between several of us, and we are determined that we will never stop loving one another or lose contact with each other.

I don't want to give any fairytale ideas to you about extended family and divorce. People you think are your friends will turn tail and run the opposite direction without rhyme or reason, and sometimes in very mean spirited and negative fashion. Some folks have only been waiting for this excuse to tell you how they really felt about you all along.

However, there are just as many wonderful cousins, aunts and uncles with whom the relationships you have built over these years will withstand the test of the divorce hail storm and continue to grow.

In addition to this, when there are children involved, there are still existent family ties. Your children remain a part of both families, forever.

All of these details make it incredibly difficult when a family member dies. There are so many avenues to navigate. Dealing with this for the first time after my ex husband's remarriage adds even more twists to the proper protocol. My immediate response is to call those closest and console, comfort, care for them. I pulled back because it isn't reasonable. The cold reality is that although my children are a part of this family, I am not, even though we still have love for each other.

After I step back and pray for perspective, I have talked to my children, explained all to them, we have prayed together.  I realize I can send my condolence through my cousin, and contact the family matriarch by phone. I definitely got busy doing what I could right away, and made plans to do more later.

Although my ex husband will provide me with information, there is a good chance I won't be at the funeral service. It's okay. These are some of the changes that come along with divorce. Life changes, but it does not stop.

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