It has always been disconcerting for me to of learn of the news that a couple I know has filed for divorce. This past week, yet another couple I know has been added to the growing list of soon to be or already divorced friends. With the state of divorce being what it is in the world, you’d think that such news would no longer rattle me, but it does. There is an inherent sense of sadness that comes over me when I learn of the dissolution of what was vowed to be a lifetime commitment. And with each tale of divorce I come across, there is the angst of learning how divorce infiltrated my friends holy state of matrimony. Still, no news of divorce hits me harder than those where there are children involved. Although I am not a child of divorced parents, I feel a certain affinity with children who come from divorced homes. Where I was raised in an environment where there was little attachment to my parents (more so with my mother than my father), children of divorced homes must contend with the separation anxiety that follows the departure of one of their parents from the home. Likewise, my feelings of loss over a sense of familial structure and security is, I believe, similar in nature to the experience of children who must now learn how to navigate a family landscape that has been forever altered by divorce.
Challenging situations such as divorce typically bring to the forefront tried, but true, adages that, while at the time may elicit little more than a scowl and a hiss, in hindsight serve to remind us of our fragility and humanity. “Whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger,” is one such adage that I’ve initially balked at for its cliche sounding nature but that I have nonetheless come to appreciate as having both a bark and a bite. Life has continuously broken and scarred parts of me. Yet, despite the number of blows I’ve received, I’ve managed to get up and move past the charred pieces of my life more resilient than before life knocked me down. Time will reveal how the children of my divorced friends will fare in their effort to move past their own individual broken pieces. But that there is always a chance to rise up and move forward, of that they can be certain.