MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The need to shop is overwhelming.  It’s a familiar feeling.  It’s my vice, my weakness, what I do when I’m super stressed.  Not healthy, but I’m aware of it. And here it is again.

The trigger was the email from my lawyer that I’m officially divorced.  I knew it was coming, but didn’t know when.  It came yesterday.  The feeling was quick and icy, like a paper cut.  First I felt cold, then sad, but mostly I felt alone.  I asked other divorced people what that moment was like for them and I heard, ‘relief,’ ‘overwhelming sadness,’ ‘anti-climactic’ and ‘joy.’

Me: I just felt alone. In reality I am not alone.  My support network of friends and family (and listeners and blog/Facebook/Twitter followers) is incredible.  But honestly, in the end, in our most raw moments we are always alone.  I’m now refinancing my house alone, paying bills alone, parenting alone and making decisions alone.  I am no longer a “Mrs.,” a wife, a plus one or half of a married couple.  I don’t miss my husband, I don’t want to be married to that guy anymore, but my new independence will take a little getting used to.

I still have wedding photos around the house.  Our wedding invitation is framed in a shadow box that still stands in my wall unit.  My ketubah (Jewish wedding certificate) still hangs outside our bedroom.  My wedding gown is still preserved in a box in my basement.  I called him my husband up until the day the email came, because he was my husband.  But now he’s not.  No big epic meltdown this time, just quiet acceptance.

My support systems sent the right emails: “Be strong”, ‘congratulations, and I’m sorry,” “Great! Onto bigger and better!”  But not today. Today I need to be alone, not to shop, (ok, maybe to shop) but also just to feel it.

I have one more hurdle before I obliterate everything.  (Some mementos will go in a box for the kids, but most in the trash.) I need a ‘get’.  A get is a divorce under halacha, or Jewish law.  If you can imagine something even more emotional than a civil divorce, this ceremony is said to officially separate the souls that were joined under the chuppah at the marriage ceremony.  It’ll be brutal, but it’s the last step in a long and painful journey.  I will go alone.  I’ll write about it for you.  Then I will shop.


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