We, the disillusioned.



Too bad you can’t move on, Dear.

It’s not as though someone died.

It’s a trifle – not a tragedy –

That you loved someone who lied.

Yes there’s pain, but not as with death.

Look, starving children die in scores!

Who are you to languish so long

In those mother’s grief-filled corridors?

Husbands depart and return not from work,

Stolen from life without warning.

Who are you to weep bitterly as the widow

As though you could grasp her mourning?

…We, the disillusioned, take issue

With the constraints of those who believe

A set of rules exist for our pain, by comparison,

And that we lack the legitimacy to grieve.

Yet we know pain this pervasive can only be found

Lying somewhere in the chasm between

Surgery while awake and aware,

And an ever-repeating bad dream.

So don’t apologize, dear one, or feel any shame

For languishing at suffering’s table.

Let no one diminish your place or its reason…

You’ll rise and depart once you’re able.

So to those who’ve been betrayed, let us speak our own language.

Let us be helpful, and teach it to others.

We’ll know each other by our matching scars –

A firebrand of sisters and brothers.

We will never tell you ‘your suffering doesn’t measure up’,

Stealing any fraction of peace you can derive.

Seek, instead, those who know just what it feels like

To mourn someone who is still alive.

– Ex-Wife.


8 replies »

  1. Wow! You said this so well. This may be generalizing some but it seems to me that widows are given sympathy and understanding while those who have been betrayed and left are told to get on with their lives and to stop whining about what was lost; it’s over and we need to accept this new reality. We’re told our kids will adjust and we just need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. No sympathy. No casseroles. Nobody looking out for our fatherless kids. And on top of that we get the privilege of fighting for our fair share and then hoping he actually pays.

    Excellent poem, Ex-wife.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are two kinds of death. Physical death and divorce. With physical death, the person dies. With divorce, the person is still there.
    There are still the five stages of grief…but the grieving process is different.
    So beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen to that, Laurel. I’m a big advocate for using a proxy – a stand in – to vent to. I use a voice recorder while I’m driving. Oh my God, the recordings from first few months after he left were so intensely raw and filled with crying and cursing that it takes me right back to that time when I hear them. If that’s not pure grief, what is? Thanks so much..


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