Last week I said that September feels like the beginning of the year, and this blog post is actually going to go out on Rosh Hashona, so for Jews, it really is. I’ll go over to my Mom’s house tonight and we will have apples and honey. Round things symbolize the circle of life and sweet things to hope for a sweet new year. She will also have a pomegranate – its many seeds represent the many good deeds we hope we will do.
It’s funny about holidays, isn’t it? Things that happen once a year make you realize that time is passing. It has been 3 years and 4 months since my husband, Darryl, died, and yet it feels like he was just here yesterday.
I think about who was home with me in prior years – and about who I was in prior years. About how much the configuration of my family has changed over time. And it shows me how much I’ve changed – for better and worse.
There’s a point in the divorce mediation process that I find particularly poignant – when we talk about where the kids will spend Christmas and Thanksgiving. I purposely start with the less important holidays first – (who really cares about where they will spend Memorial Day or Election Day)? But when we talk about Thanksgiving and Christmas, clients shift their seats and they seem to pull inside. I can tell that they are imagining what it will be like to spend the holiday without the kids. And for the spouses who went to their in-laws’ house every year — all of a sudden, they are on the outside looking in. There’s often a subtle shift and quietness – a contemplative moment – even in the most angry couples.
My dad was a doctor, and when we would go to him with our ailments, he usually prescribed “Tincture of Time.” Sometimes I “prescribe” the same to my clients – to remind them that it won’t always hurt so much, that they will create new traditions, and that they will build new futures. But I know that can be hard to see – especially in the beginning.
For those of you who are divorced, what would you say to someone just starting the process to make holidays easier? Let me know and I’ll try to include your comments (anonymously) in next week’s blog post.
In the meantime, here’s hoping it will be a good year for everyone!