When my mind flashed those words, my heart and mind exploded, but I didn’t realize that by killing herself, my beautiful child had also, in a certain way, released me. Perhaps the divorce too, in the guise of more unbearable change, is really my path to transformation.
I need to focus on finding a lawyer, a prospect that slips and slides out of my conscience mind. Some days when I feel like my old self before Olivia died, I call friends and get references, I interview lawyers on the phone in Palm Beach, have actually managed to make arrangements to go down and meet them in person in the hope that one will feel right, that there will be one attorney who will hear my story and not just look at my case as a splitting of too few assets, but who will take the measure of my enormous suffering and trauma even though the law does not. I know this is their profession and their business, it is how they make their living, with retainer fees and hours billed, but I can’t imagine a process that is going to take the mesh of our private and corporate life and snap it clean and fair. My mind balks at the myriad of complex details, the raddled strings that are entwined beneath the surface of this long marriage. There is a boggling lifetime of accumulated objects and patterns of behavior as well as, to my naïve surprise, an eye-popping accumulation of debt.
When I said for better or for worse at my wedding almost twenty-eight years ago, I meant it, although I surely fulfilled the vow imperfectly. Coping with a divorce on top of my daughter’s death is stupefying, unthinkable and unimaginable at the same time that I know it is ineluctable. For better or for worse apparently did not include the worst of all.