Divorce Is Like Death

two bronze-colored rings
Zoriana Stakhniv / Unsplash

Divorce is truly like death.

If you sigh, and call me melodramatic, I will say that you must never have gone through this. You must never have severed your ties with someone in such an intrinsic, finite way.

You must never have hit the nails in the coffin of your marriage, looking at the corpses of the bride and groom, the bouquets of their dead-and-gone dreams crumbling in their hands. I was beautiful in my white, lace dress, and you were dazzling in your dove grey suit. I look down at us, six feet in the ground, and throw a little dirt on our faces. I am saying goodbye. To you, to us, to the life we had, to the children we might have had.

Goodbye, my once friends.

We had a life together. My knick-knacks and your chemistry books, my romance novels and your video games, my faerie wings and your guitar, my Chevy truck and your old Buick. I remember picking out the couch for our living room, hanging my dream-catchers in every room, insisting on a new comforter that matched the decor of our bedroom. You painted sunflowers for me and I painted your wolf dog for you. Our lives were intertwined. That’s not something you can so easily cut, not without loose ends and a beautiful tapestry that is slowly unraveling.

Not without a hammer, nails, and a mahogany coffin big enough to fit all of it in.

I loved you, once upon a time. I loved your quick wit, your dry humor, your sly-never-show-your-teeth-smile. I loved the way you kissed me, the way you crushed me to you until we were one person. I loved the way you adored me for my strange quirks and the way I smiled indulgently at your “man-toys.” I loved your family. I loved the way you called me faerie girl and how I called you dragon boy. I loved the life we had together.

Or I thought I did.

I am no longer in love with you, and I believe you are no longer in love with me, but…

When I packed my car with clothes and books I couldn’t live without, and drove away from you, I felt my heart clutch as if in an attack.

When I told you I wasn’t coming home, and you heaped anger and disbelief on me, I felt it crack. I felt every part of me that was from before splintering into pieces and turning to ash. I fluttered away with the breeze until it was only my beating, ravaged heart that was left.

When we huddled under your umbrella together on our way to the courthouse, to file our paperwork, my heart was shredded with bullets of legalese and sorrow. The heavens broke over our heads and pelted us with rain, I changed. All I could think was:

“I failed.”

I failed you, I failed our marriage, I failed myself.

I know that’s a ridiculous thing to believe, but that’s how it felt. And the worst part was that you and I were now strangers. I didn’t even know you anymore. I failed a stranger. I failed someone I once loved, and knew so well.

I used to know your thoughts, dreams, tics, fears.

Now, someone else is dreaming in that bed.

You and I died.

I died.

But doesn’t that mean I have only been reborn? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I am the girl who gave up whiskey to drown in stars and nostalgia, instead. I am the girl who has so many dog-eared romance novels that people, when they notice my bookshelves, chuckle self-consciously. Does she really believe in that stuff? I hear their whispers, smile to myself in a cracked mirror, because I do. I am the girl who was broken and eaten, the meat sucked clean from my bones by men with sharp teeth and words like barbs, who enjoyed the taste of my poetess meat. I am the girl who revived herself with the salt of your tears and the words I made myself write.

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