Remnants Of A Broken Marriage

Sometimes the life you leave behind lingers on.

Woman clearing out home post divorce Brett Jordan, Annie Spratt | Unsplash, spukkato | Canva 

While I sobbingly packed up my dream home as my marriage was in tatters around me, I ruthlessly gave away anything sentimental. Boxes and boxes of photos — both framed and not — family heirlooms and wedding gifts given to us long ago when we were still young and full of hope. I also off-loaded at least two-thirds of my kitchen.

For the next two years, I bounced from one temporary place to stay to another.


When I finally had a permanent home to move into, and began to unpack the boxes I had kept, I was amused to see what I had saved: instead of my childhood photo albums, I had six containers of collagen and three of powdered MCT oil — now long past the expiration date — that I had bought on sale for my ex-husband because he liked it in his coffee.

I no longer had the photo of my grandparents laughing candidly at my wedding shortly before my grandmother passed away, or my pasta maker, but I had an old vintage rolling pin that I bought for $3 at a garage sale. Half my dishes and knives were gone, as well as my bathroom rug, but to this day, I can’t tell you what happened to them.


Remnants of a Broken Marriage

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

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I ruthlessly got rid of all the clothes that would have fit me now, but I was skinny then from over-exercising and under-eating and had only kept what draped well on my tinier frame. Over half my former closet now sits folded daintily in laundry tubs to take to Goodwill since I mostly wear sweatpants and baggy men’s clothing these days.


I still had a cast iron pan that was too heavy to lift one-handed, and a couple of scorched saucepans, but nothing that made me want to cook. And the good pots and pans? Yep, you guessed it; those were part of the kitchen accessories I had handed off like I was doling out an overgrowth of unwanted zucchini from a garden gone wild.

I had an electric lawn mower — bought when I fantasized about doing my part to not pollute as much, and when I had a small, pristine, manageable lawn at my former home — but no batteries to power it. I had a trowel, but no pruning shears or shovels. I possessed my ex’s ski coat — which he told me he didn’t want nor need — and my old wedding dress.

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It was more bitter than sweet finding that plastic-sheathed dupioni silk dress.


I sat on the floor of the garage, running my fingers over the soiled hemline, realizing I had never quite gotten around to cleaning and donating the dress. And now it was 15 years old and — while still fashionable — I wasn’t interested in spending $150 to dry clean this reminder of the past that I neither wanted nor needed.

My prized plants — once so healthy and happy and lush — were now just ceramic pots filled with dry dusty soil, and while I had two staplers and an outdated printer, I no longer owned a pair of scissors. Gone somewhere was the handful of family heirlooms (did I sell them? Give them away? I honestly can’t remember anymore.)

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The pewter lining in all this is that now I do have a house to live in that my ex can’t take away from me. I have places to put all those keepsakes that I didn’t keep. And I have time ahead of me to collect more or create new ones. Best of all, no one tells me that I’ve talked enough and to be quiet. No one alternately pushes me to achieve more, building me up, and then tells me that I take up too much space in the room, deflating me.


This house, while not my forever home, is mine.

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Kyra Bussanich is an author, entrepreneur, and dedicated explorer of enchanting moments. She's written for the Huffington Post, The Today Show, Martha Stewart Everyday, Giada Daily, Redbook, Shape Magazine, The Doctors, and various other esteemed media outlets.