It’s Still Sad Sometimes

It’s still sad sometimes. Usually not, especially when I’m caught up in the current of life. Rarely in a tear-producing way. Generally when I don’t expect it, although it almost always passes quickly. It’s still sad sometimes.

Yesterday, the sadness hit as I returned to my car after a delightful Friday night intergenerational church service.  Most attendees were parents of children under age 8 or so, although I know I wasn’t the only single adult in the room.  I sat with a friend and her son while we participated in chant, meditation, song, and storytelling.  It was a captivating hour and a half that left my spirit light and my soul at peace.

And then it was time for refreshments.  I considered bugging out as soon as the service ended, avoiding mingling with all these people I didn’t know well.  All those families, looking intact and full.  But I took a deep breath and wandered down to the refreshment area.  After several minutes of relative silence except for reminders to children to wait a turn for snack, we started to converse.  The five children quickly inserted their laughter, which seemed to loosen the tongues of the adults.  We talked of what parents do when first meeting.  We talked about our kids.

Except that I didn’t have mine.  They’re generally with their dad on Friday nights.  Not always.  We’re flexible with the schedule, but since he works weekdays, I often work Saturday, and Sunday is church for the boys and I, Friday night is almost always a dad night.  I really hate explaining all that, so when the question of my children’s whereabouts arose, I simply said they were with their father.   When asked later if I’d bring them next time, I let the rest out.  I’m divorced.  I don’t have my kids on most Friday nights.  My eyes fill just typing that.

To be fair, no one ran screaming.  Admission of recent divorce is quite the kill-joy, as people mutter apologies while hoping the divorce cooties don’t rub off.  Instead, the conversation turned to jobs, kids, and then the late hour.  We went our separate ways, and I quietly headed to my car.  Alone.  And then the sadness came.

Sadness at being alone at a service filled with parents and children. Sadness at the loss of being one of two parents with kids at any event.  Sadness at the shuffling back and forth my boys do, twice each week, and will continue to do until they leave both nests.  Sadness that the promises of marriage and family don’t always get kept.  No anger.  No wishes to turn back the clock.  No remorse, blame, self-recrimination, or frustration.  Just sadness.

So I sat with it.  I wept a bit.  Not much, just what came naturally with the late hour, fatigue, and the sorrow that washed over me.  Not the racking sobs I’d wept before and during my separation and divorce, wept alone and with friends, tears full of fear, anger, and confusion.  No.  These were simply tear of sadness that welled up, flowed down a bit, and passed.

And they always pass, as does the sadness.   And they’ll return, most likely, at least on occasion.  Because loss hurts.  Even when it was the only path left.  Even when it brings better times and greater peace.   Even when love, life, and joy fill life so fully it seems impossible for that sadness to find a way in.  It’s just that it’s still sad sometimes.  And that’s okay.

4 thoughts on “It’s Still Sad Sometimes

  1. I really admire your ability to embrace and experience your sorrows and write about them. I can’t do that. I really enjoy reading your postings, Sarah, and look forward to us getting to know each other better.

    • You are a great writer! All these things you talk about, I’ve something so similar and its so affirming to hear someone else put it “all” down in writing how, I too felt! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Sarah, most of the “walking on eggshells” isn’t worry that it will rub off, but worry of ME saying the wrong thing because I don’t know who filed for the divorce, if it was a relief for you or not, if you have hard feeling of it or not, not wanting to interfere with either my interjections on your current situation and how you are handling it, or the hindsight, or how others handle(d) it. And it is not so much a pity we would want to give you as an empathy that such things happen and we are here now with a different situation.

    Look at me with the hearing handicap. I am interfered with more because the hearing aids might make people feel uncomfortable, than if they would be a little more open, ask me about it or even crack a good deaf joke. 🙂 Sure would like that hurt, but they have to be scrubbed out with reality before they can properly heal. Otherwise you’d end up re-opening old wounds to get the infection out. Seriously. Better to not let it fester.

    Lastly, I believe that in tears are the used and discarded neuro-chemicals of memory. So to cry means to not so much as to “forget the old” but to relearn and adapt to the present and the future. That is the evolutionary (evolved) purpose of tears. So a good cry is flushing out the massive amounts of used and discarded (ejected) memory chemistry. At least as far as this handyman understands current neuro-chemistry.

    And as always, you are such a great writer.

    • Thanks, Tom. Yes, the divorce was a relief, since the marriage was long over and it ended many fears I had, although he filed. Hard feelings? Hmm. Bits of anger flare, but less and less as time goes by. My concern now is for my boys. I’ve had support beyond belief, and that support carried me when I could not manage on my own. Sympathy and empathy in spades have come my way, as well as help and compassion. I could not ask for more support from my friends and family.

      I appreciate your parallelling the situation to your hearing handicap. It’s all better out on the table, in my opinion. I know I still feel a bit self concious about mentioning the divorce (Shame? Fear of pity? Just plain fatigue? I don’t know.), and I can only imagine what that would be like with a challenge that introduced itself into every verbal encounter, such as yours. Again, it’s better to have it all on the table.

      And as for the crying, I’m with you completely. Had a good one last week. Shed plenty of tears with a trusted friend, felt emotionally better, and lost the pain in my neck and head I’d been carrying around for three weeks. Tears cleanse and heal.

      Thanks again for the compliment!


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