Over 10 years ago, in the midst of a contentious divorce, I lost three adult children and a daughter-in-law. No, they didn’t die, but the relationships did.
The first two years nearly killed me. “How can you stand it?” people would ask. Poorly, if you want the truth. Eventually I realized that my broken heart served no positive purpose; it only made me miserable. If I ever wanted to be happy, I needed to put together a new life that looked very different from the one I’d envisioned. I realized I needed to start living on purpose instead of merely reacting to the circumstances of my life. It’s been a long, slow process with a lot of detours along the way.
I don’t know that I would have survived the pain if not for the love and support of my remaining child and his boyfriend. They provided sympathy, empathy, emotional support, and even financial help when I was destitute. (You’ll learn more about these fine men in future articles. I. Am. So. Proud. Of. Them.)
These guys also provided unintentional comic relief. I walked into the kitchen one morning to find them making breakfast. “Well now,” I commented as I took in the scene through bleary eyes. “This is a middle-aged female’s fantasy come to life. Two handsome young men cooking me breakfast. Shirtless.”
Yes, I have a sense of humor that can most kindly be described as odd. It’s one of the things - along with a refusal to just curl up and die - that has helped me get through a lot of really tough times.
What about you? How have you coped with the rough times in your life?