Last night, Avy began moving out. He scooped up his hanging clothes and piled them in his truck to take to his parents’ house, where he’ll be staying until he finds a place of his own.

I was relieved. Finally, I thought!

Until I went upstairs and peered into our walk-in closet. At his end of the closet, it was bare. I could see the white particleboard wall beyond the empty hanging rod. And suddenly I felt sad.

It’s to be expected, I know, and I will feel even sadder as he packs up dishes and furniture and truly leaves this place we bought together five years ago and intended to inhabit with happiness and a growing family. Any death brings on a jumble of emotions, not the least of which is sadness, and we have yet to truly mourn the death of our marriage. We’ve been so busy fighting and protecting our respective selves that we haven’t taken a moment to mourn.

But we will, I am certain. It’s like when a beloved pet must be put to sleep, as my friend Debra Darvick did last week (check out her new blog!). It was a necessary step, but it didn’t lessen the blow that her 15-year-old companion is no longer by her side.

She had to do it – the dog was old and frail and life was no longer good to him. The same could obviously be said for my marriage, though it wasn’t terribly old. It just was far from good, it was detrimental to all involved.

I’ve said before and I’ll say again, neither Avy nor I are bad people. We just had a bad marriage. We were ill-matched, something we both knew going in but didn’t want to heed.

And so begins the move-out. I steel myself for what’s to come, for gaping holes, for emptiness, in which I hope to find peace.

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