I’m sorry, but you’ll have to indulge me on a darker subject for this post. It is a bit of therapy for me to write this down, though I admit it may be a bit on the selfish side to share it as a post.
My world was rocked yesterday when I found out a great friend in the Bay Area had her husband move out after 18 years. She was part of my running group for 15 years and some of my best conversations about life, marriage, kids, and faith happened during those Saturday morning runs through the beautiful redwoods. Her kids were as close to cousins as we had in California, and even through all the changes in our lives we managed to stay close. Heck, she’s probably one of the key people that kept me alive during my early husbandhood and fatherhood.
And I’m pissed. And sad. And just frustrated because there is nothing I can do about it. I know I don’t have the whole story, so no judgements can (or should) be made. But it still pisses me off because I think of the kids, the goodness that they had as a whole family, the consistency that comes with having both a mom and dad always there, and simply the loss that comes with the break of a relationship.
I want to have the answer. I want to tell them that it takes a lot of work to make a marriage a great marriage, one that gets better and continues to grow despite the pressures of life and the siren call of seemingly greener pastures. I know this because I went through a divorce. Comparatively mine was painless, with only 5 years dissolved and no kids involved. However, I didn’t have the answer then either.
As I get older, loss seems to affect me more and more. Death. Divorce. Wars. Violence. It all seems such a open wound to the goodness I have found in my life and the world. And it makes me cry. And maybe that’s the answer in the end. Just cry for the loss, the ugliness, the pain that separates us from the Good that I believe is at the heart of this world, that created this world, that sustains this world. So I’m crying for my friend, her husband, and her three children.
However, it seems so futile and the only thing that sustains me is hope. Hope that we will figure out how to minimize these pangs, that our lives will continue to make a difference and that there still is a Beauty that will shine through all the darkness.
At the same time and in a seemingly opposite universe, another close couple to both of us in the Bay Area are expecting their first child (see their blog here). They will be incredible parents and just the thought of that family is enough for me to see that glimpse of Beauty through my present darkness.