The Taking Away

Posted on | August 2, 2011 | 16 Comments

When you get engaged, the giving begins.  As a woman, you first receive a ring and then you receive showers full of toaster ovens, china patterns, and various and assorted nicknacks.  Then you are given a party which begins with the giving of an oath and the exchanging of rings.  At the end of the ceremony, you are given a new name, united in love before God and everyone else.

You wear your ring with pride, you sign your new name with a flourish.  You relish going to the DMV to change your drivers’ license and to the Social Security Administration to officially change your name.

And then, if you are unlucky in love, you experience the great taking away…. divorce.  First, you are stripped of your ring; uncomfortable wearing the circle of love you thought would remain unbroken.  It starts to weigh heavy on your hand, the skin starts to smart on either side, and you finally get so tired of staring at that symbol of the love he used to have for you, that you take it off and place it gently in a ring box … in THE ring box; the one he gave you, tucked in a Nordstrom box beneath a red pashmina on the night you thought your life was bound together forever with his.  And then you tuck that ring box, the one you thought meant something, just like the ring it held, somewhere hidden. You place it somewhere the memory will not haunt you every morning when you open your jewelry box… the jewelry box he gave you for your first Christmas as husband and wife.

Your house is full of him, even when he is no longer there.  There are the movies you watched together, the holes in the walls were his pictures used to hang, the shoes you wore on your first date.  He is everywhere, woven into the strands of your life, running untamed like wild ivy across your world.  Little by little, you replace the things he gave you with things you give yourself… little by little his memory is taken away from the things that surround you.

And then you sign a paper that takes away your title, takes away your partnership with the person you swore to love forever.  You sign on the dotted line on things like who gets the car and who gets the house.

They’re just things; those china patterns you lovingly picked out, the wine glasses with the platinum trim, the Christmas dishes, and the everyday flatware.  They’re only things.  And you realize as you pack them into stacks of his and hers that you care even less than you ever thought you would about waffle irons and Kitchen Aid mixers.  You remember opening the packages when these things were delivered and oohing and ahhing with your spouse-to-be over where you would put these things in the life you were planning to live.

And now you are packing them back into boxes, wondering where these memory laden pieces will belong in your new life, the one you’re forced to live without him.  The joy you once had in the pieces has been taken away, along with his face in the picture frames and his ring on your finger.  You have been stripped bare of him.  He has been taken away.

And no one throws a party for the taking away.


16 Responses to “The Taking Away”

  1. molly
    August 2nd, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

    Oh, my heart? It hurts so much for you. Just know that I would totally throw you a party. Or at the very least I would buy you a drink!

    p.s. I think people have “divorce” parties. I think that must be for when it’s mutual though 🙁

  2. Kelster
    August 2nd, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

    I think you should have a party. New beginnings party.

  3. Caroline
    August 2nd, 2011 @ 10:17 pm

    Throw a party!!!

  4. Lisa
    August 2nd, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

    I once saw a party invitation that said “gave him the wrong finger.” You could throw your own party.

  5. Law Momma
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 7:38 am

    Okay the “gave him the wrong finger” party? That’s HILARIOUS!!!

  6. Erica Snipes
    August 2nd, 2011 @ 10:54 pm

    You definitely need a new beginnings party :). Also, you might consider selling the jewelry and doing something interesting and proceeds. Or, maybe have the stones put in something that you’d design yourself? At the end of the day, the “taking away” certainly is painful, and my thoughts and prayers are with you and J. as you move through the pain that a divorce brings, and move on to a life that you never imagined, but that will have its own reasons to celebrate.

  7. Erica Snipes
    August 2nd, 2011 @ 10:55 pm

    “with the proceeds”…sorry…

  8. Janet
    August 2nd, 2011 @ 11:50 pm

    It’s more like a funeral..laying the marriage to rest. “Cremate” some of the pictures or trinkets, wear black and cry for the loss and then move forward to your new life and happiness.

  9. Mindy
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 12:55 am

    Ouch. I’m so sorry you are hurting like this.

    I didn’t feel that way. I felt like I was gaining. Gaining independence, freedom, gaining being enough (I was never enough – good enough, dressed well enough, outgoing enough, happy enough, supportive enough), my own bed, my own house with my own routines, habits, and rituals. I threw myself a huge new beginning party.

    Of course the hurt and pain still came, but clinging to what I gained verses what my boys and I lost helped a great deal.

  10. Kristin
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 7:11 am

    I’m at the very beginning of the “taking away”…which includes being forced to leave the home I’ve loved for the last 10 years.

    I too am trying to focus on the “new beginning” and when the hurt gets too much, I think of the two beautiful children I now have because of him.

    I agree with Mindy – cling to what you have gained (and will continue to gain).

  11. krlr
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 9:36 am

    I’m with Mindy too. Sell the ring, pay off the divorce atty, spackle your walls, & fund your party.

    Also, you still have the same pair of shoes? NEW SHOES ARE REQUIRED for your new beginning/wrong finger party.

  12. Michelle
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 10:12 am

    I had a party. I had to celebrate the new direction that my life was taking, even if it was not the original path that I chose. Celebrate …all the little daily victories you never thought about having to achieve alone. Heck, I even bought myself a new car!

  13. Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 10:35 am

    I totally agree we should have a Divorce Party (when you’re ready of course!).

    I sense a hashtag coming on…

  14. KLZ
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 10:41 am

    I actually get the feeling you’d be really pissed if I used this as an excuse to throw you a party.

    Much love, dear one. I’m confident it gets better.

  15. Sara
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

    sigh… the packing away of things once loved… let’s just say I’m doing some of this myself but for a different reason.

    deep breaths, that’s all I’ve got.

  16. MamaBHive
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

    I vote for “Gave him the wrong finger” Party.
    Take a group photo of all who attend, giving the correct finger.
    Save it for when you need a laugh. 🙂

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