There’s been a lot of talk among my friends about throwing me a “Divorce Party.”  The ideas are great. A “divorce shower” to get back half the stuff I “lost.” Invitations that state “plus two” as you’re welcome to bring a significant other but highly encouraged to bring a single friend! Offerings of cakes, catering, invitations, DJ and live band. Friends who wouldn’t miss it…who’ve been behind me.

But here’s the thing.

I’m not interested in the celebration of my divorce.

For so many reasons.

When my marriage collapsed…so did I. Never in my life have I experienced such pain. I didn’t think I would ever crawl out of the hole I was in. I would go from wanting to beg him to come home…to wanting to throw him off a cliff…to wanting to throw myself off a cliff.

I entered my marriage with much hope for the future. During our vows, he rubbed his thumb repeatedly on the palm of my hand. He gave me a ring I cherished and how he presented it will forever be etched in my memory. I stood in front of my friends and family… many coming from away…others who couldn’t make it but phoned that morning. I smiled bigger than you can possibly imagine the entire way down the aisle to the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I told God. I told everyone I loved. This was my dream…this marriage…this new and exciting life…this man…was everything to me.

My shoes were gold as was the embroidery on my gown…fit for a queen. The girlfriends who stood with me were my childhood friends and one was a new friend who would later help welcome my son into the world. The cake was delightful. The flowers exquisite. The dance was made special by the DJ who was one of my very dear friends. I married my husband the week of my parent’s 30th wedding anniversary. The photographs show so much love with so many wonderful people who’ve been such an amazing part of my life…many who are no longer with us…but for in our hearts.

I shared all of this with my four year old daughter who wore Cinderella’s ball gown, gave loot bags to her friends and ate chicken nuggets served on a silver platter.

I was in love.

And continued to be for several long, hard, horrible months after my marriage ended.

It was extremely painful to stop loving…to get to the point of moving forward. It was a slow and draining process. I faced much loss, a horrific betrayal and paralyzing grief. The death of a marriage that failed. A failure so astronomical it took much counselling and guidance to get me to where I am today.

I celebrated the purchase of my first car, the purchase of my house…the first time I BBQ’d, the first time I mowed the lawn and the first time I pumped my own gas. There were many small celebrations along the way. One day I got off the couch. Another I walked into my empty house alone. I stopped spending the weekends looking out the window and waiting for my children to come home. I held my head up in a public place without feeling so damn ashamed. I went through all of the “firsts” without him…and started making my way through the “seconds.” I finally passed through the “I can’t believe this is happening to me stage,” got to the “grieving stage”… and not so long ago…made it to “anger.”

Through all of this there were so many of you who supported me. Bringing me to the point where I am happier and healthier than I have been for many years.

But I won’t celebrate my divorce.

I don’t want to celebrate what I’ve been through. And never would I want my children to believe that I thought my marriage was so unimportant…that I would celebrate its ending. My family, my marriage, my husband…were everything to me.

Tonight…I will raise a glass of wine. A toast as I move on to the next phase of my life. As now, after such a long and difficult process…my divorce is here.

To the friends who got me through…my family who felt my pain…those who’ve listened to my journey…encouraged me, laughed with me, cried my tears…I raise a glass to you.

For my wonderful friends who’ve offered to throw me a divorce party…you made me laugh when I needed it most. For someone who didn’t feel as I did, I’m sure the celebration would be an amazing event. However, for me…the journey was far more powerful than the end. I have finally reached a point where I want this divorce…I want to turn this page and start a new chapter but still…it is not a celebration. It’s a new beginning…but my heart is still quite broken.

I will be turning to each and every one of you, to take you up on your fabulous offers, when I marry again…as I hope to marry again.

There’s nothing more wonderful than loving someone that deeply.

Except maybe…just maybe…someone loving you in return.

7 Replies to “Celebration…”

  1. Pouring out your heart but showing how far you've come and how the healing process is moving forward…… stay strong. And remember, loving yourself is even more important!! -kim

  2. My heart is filled with so much love for you. I have learned so much from you Colleen. I wish I was home to get a hug from you and I wish I could just sit in your front room and take a long deep breath and just look into your eyes and not have to say a word.
    I cherish you.

  3. I read this with tears in my eyes…it is both poignantly sad and incredibly uplifting! Not only should you be proud of yourself for getting 'through' this, you should be proud of how you have shared it!

    Maybe a party shouldn't be about the divorce, rather, the "new" Colleen that has emerged on the other side! (Not better or worse-just different!) 😉


    You are an inspiration!

  4. This is the first time I have heard anyone say the words that I feel. A tiny part of me feels like I am not alone, I will look for your face in the crowds when I am out and wonder if it is you who feels the same way I do.

  5. Well put 🙂
    I shall raise a glass in your honor this evening and toast your strength.