My Book-Now Available!


“Grieving after a divorce is an animal in itself. There is the loss of not only the relationship, but also, all the plans and expectations that were made within the framework of that commitment disintegrate as well. Add to that the complexity of feelings that can follow, and the emotional undertow can drag you down again and again. Recovering and regaining one’s footing can feel tentative. Resentment, anger, sadness, and regret are like emotional undertows. I am often surprised by how accessible those feelings are even when I’m feeling really strong. They are right there, within reach. . . . Though we might not be able to become master of our feelings, we can master how we handle them. We can choose to live well and make it our quest to find as many ways as possible to do so. And when sadness rears its head or disappointment nestles in beside us, we can celebrate the endeavor we’re on, the blood, sweat, and tears we’ve shed to get beyond it.” Sarah Burke, This Is Not the End: Reflections on Finding Hope During the End of a Marriage

This book is my love letter to the broken hearted. My hope and prayer is that it might be part of your lifting. When you do not know if you can stand, remember that you are not alone. You are never alone. The collective fold of the broken hearted healers holds you. We have weathered the storm, and we are still standing. We now stand with you. Read it and know. Read it and remember. You are strong. You are a force. You have everything you need to take the next step. Warrior on. My heart is with you. This is, indeed, not the end!

Now Available for purchase online at all major book retailers (Amazon, Westbow Press, Barnes and Noble, etc.)


Finding Center: Four Questions to Ask Yourself When the “Worst” Happens


A few years ago, I was cruising along in life when, out of what felt like nowhere, everything changed. My perception of the life I’d lived was put into question as I faced the abrupt end to my marriage. Every plan and idea I had about the future was placed on hold as I grappled with the loss of my spouse and an an uncertain future. One of my favorite sayings is that hindsight is 20/20. I now understand and can accept things that at the time I fought against. I also can see that there was a lot I did, not always consciously, that laid the framework for healing and growth during an unexpected divorce which could have completely derailed me.

When we’re faced with traumatizing circumstances or an unexpected turn, it’s easy to react instead of respond. When we react, we often do so out of the heightened emotional state we’re in. We may say or do things we regret because we haven’t stopped to consider what our options are. Instead, I believe that our greatest strength in the midst of chaos is in the power to choose and to do so wisely. Let me add that wisdom is not always a ready resource when the worst happens. As I reflect on how I made it through that dark time in my life, much of what I  held on to was passed on to me by friends or counselors who themselves were not embroiled in my own unfolding saga. Their rootedness anchored me. Here are a few key questions that we all can ask when all may seem lost, a few of them inspired by some amazing people who walked beside me.

Who do I want to be?

In the middle of what felt like  impossible circumstances, I decided early on to see a therapist. She encouraged me to take good care of myself, saying, “your children will be well if you are well.” Whether it’s children or other important relationships, it’s true. All of them will suffer if you are not well yourself. I had to consider who I wanted to be and how I was going to handle the situation that I found myself in. At the time, I probably could not have articulated who I wanted to be, but I knew that I still wanted to enjoy life. I took my kids to the zoo, the park, the beach. In the face of deep internal agony, I still got out of bed. I cooked dinner. I went to the gym. Each and every ounce of self-care had a cumulative effect that kept me moving towards the next thing, even if it was just walking across the room. I wanted to be someone who could live well, even if my course was being dramatically altered.

I came to understand who I wanted to be by also recognizing who I wasn’t going to be. Whatever battles you choose to fight will be a withdrawal from your emotional reserves, so choose wisely. It’s important to also consider how you fight. A dear friend passed on some advice she’d been given during a difficult period in her own life. She said, “do no more harm; don’t add to your regrets; always take the high road.” The high road doesn’t always feel good. It means not necessarily getting in the last word. It means choosing grace over revenge. Taking the high road means saying and doing things that don’t keep you up at night rehashing old scenes and wishing you’d done things differently. It also means forgiving yourself when you blew it all together because, after all, choosing the high road is impossible to do perfectly.

What do I believe?

I am of the Christian variety. While there are many different tents in this camp, I am grateful to be in the it’s-ok-if-you-aren’t perfect one. I let God know I was angry. With the windows tightly rolled up, I screamed and let God have it. My marriage as I saw it had been untouchable; my expectations that I could preserve it at all cost were perhaps naïve. Even still, I was honest with God about how I felt about what was happening in my life. In the years since the hardest turns, I’ve often prayed simple, sometimes indiscernible prayers. “Set my feet on a firm path; show me the way. Help.”

Knowing what you believe, though, especially if you don’t profess a faith isn’t about finding a religion necessarily but, rather, about knowing what your internal order is. We each live by a set of values, internally held but externally lived out. What, where, how, and with whom you spend your time says a lot about what you think is important. Sometimes those things are helpful, especially during a time of hardship. If not, then it may be time to identify some values that offer a better way to deal with what you’re going through and ultimately put on the horizon a glimpse of the life you want to live in the future.

What can I control?

When I was going through my divorce, I felt like everything was being taken away. I could easily have fallen victim to my circumstances and, as I mentioned earlier, reacted from angst. Instead, I made a list of what I could control when everything else felt out of control. I could still try to make my kids laugh. I could still create beauty. I could spend time with friends. I could hold on to hope and believe there was something beautiful waiting on the other side of my painful situation.

I could control my attitude and each choice that I made. Sometimes I chose to drive 30 minutes just to play the piano in an empty chapel where my friend was a pastor. Other times I chose to make lasagna which seemed fancy when cooking for just me and two small children who would have been just as happy with hot dogs for the hundredth night in a row. Each choice was an investment in restoring my sense of empowerment, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant.

Who do I love? And who loves me back?

The trauma of my divorce left me vulnerable, foggy-headed, and facing a mountain of decisions that I was ill-prepared for. While some friends marveled at my strength, I now can say with confidence that I am still standing because of theirs. When the “worst” happens, draw close to the people who have a track record in your life; lean into them.

A friend I’ve known since the fifth grade spent hours with me on the other end of a telephone line, several states away on the first evening I was alone. Another sent a box of fruit and earrings, small tokens of love from the other side of the country. Friends cooked for me, painted with me, sipped wine with me and held me through the most difficult of days. When we’re faced with the worst and lean into the ones we love, we will know who loves us back because they are still there when the sun comes up again.

Always: Redefining What “Being There” Means as a Divorced Mom

You get the call from the school nurse one afternoon. Your child has a stomach ache and a temperature. Your instinct has you reaching for your keys to go pick her up, but then you pause. The nurse also called your ex because it’s his day to pick the kids up. “Fair enough,” you think.

So you check in to make sure he’s received the message on his voicemail and learn that he’s asked his wife to go pick up your child. “Right, fair enough,” you think to yourself as your heart takes a hit. “But I want to be there.” You’re reminded of how you don’t get to be there anymore in all the ways you once could.

This is the quiet ache of many divorced parents, moms and dads alike. It’s one that I am all too familiar with–of the ongoing struggle to keep reconciling oneself to the turns that life has taken and the heartache of having to let your children go over and over and over again.

We don’t get to be there whenever our kids are sick. We don’t always get to see them on their birthday. We don’t get to love on our kids whenever they have a stomach ache and take their temperature and ask if they want some chicken soup. It’s an empty-nest syndrome that comes far too early for divorced parents who must grapple with how to feel connected with their children and present even when they are physically in a different place.

A familiar adage comes to mind: children don’t keep. Indeed, they do not. They grow up; they move out; and they build their own lives. For divorced parents sharing custody or without any custody at all, this experience comes too soon. It’s not without saying that I’ve had to redefine for myself what being there for my children means, or else I risk living in a state of perpetual heart sickness.

Being there means always I am with them in spirit. When they’re sick, I’ll always say a prayer. When we’re apart, I will think of them. I will always hold them close at heart. I will give them the best human version of divine love I can, with a promise to love them no matter what–when they’re doing well in school and when they’re not; when they try my patience; when they make me proud; when they disappoint me.

Being there means doing my best to be fully present when they are with me. Being there means I will seek their best even when it comes at a cost to my own heart. This is how I have redefined what “being there” means. And if there is any comfort to be found as I let them go it is that I will always, always, be their mom.

Step Away From the Laptop

There’s a new show on HBO that I love. Never would I have expected books about divorce and remarriage to line my shelves or Sarah Jessica Parker as Francis in “Divorce,” to be part of my catharsis. In one particular episode, Francis’s best friend who happens to be a therapist reveals that she has just learned that one of her clients is dating Francis’s ex-husband. For a moment, Francis sees this as the golden opportunity–oh to be privy to those details! But her best friend is thankfully also a decent therapist. She discourages the idea, citing her own experience in tracking down her ex-husband in the cybersphere, which led her only to fret over the mundane details of people she didn’t even know. The question that hangs is, “to what end?”

Whether it’s an ex or an ex-friend, we’re all probably tempted and at some point have wandered into the vortex of unsettled curiosities. Where is so-and-so? What happened to whosy-whats-it and whats-his-name? But to what end? In most cases, our interest is relatively benign, leading to amusement or relief. In the case of life after divorce, however, those energies are better directed to exploring something new and uncharted, not stewing over your ex’s whereabouts and whatnots.

There comes a point in the great beyond, not the cybersphere but, instead the great beyond that is one’s life after divorce, in which one must consciously sever ties with those curiosities. Because, after all, you can’t let go when you’re still holding on. Rabbit trails lead to potholes which lead to booby traps and sprained ankles. Nothing good comes from it. Let it go. Do whatever you need to close the door, so you can move on. Block them. Block yourself. Just turn it off and step away from the laptop! But seriously . . .

Channel your energies toward your future, your friends, your own family. It’s an exercise in self-control, but you’ll never regret those unexplored indulgences. Peeking into someone else’s future only mires you in your past. Because, as I said already, you can’t let go when you’re still holding on.