On 2 March 2015 this was the sight I woke up to. The mountains surrounding Fish hoek were on fire and there was a strong wind chasing it and fueling it.
I was not sleeping in my own bed that night because it was the night my marriage of 23 years finally ended. After a gut wrenching conversation I had to say, with tears in my eyes, "I can't continue any longer". When he left I remember falling into the arms of my friend in who's house the conversation took place, sobbing like I have never sobbed in my life before. I just couldn't comprehend what had just happened and I finally went to bed feeling more alone than ever.
So when I woke up from a restless sleep and saw the mountain on fire it felt as if nature was in sync with what I was experiencing. The powerlessness to change anything, the disbelief, the utter fear and misery about what the future holds.
The next day I volunteered to help "fight" the fire on the mountain. At least it was something practical I could do. And so the fire on the mountain and the recovery became a metaphor of my grief journey. Yes, you read it correctly, the death of a marriage is an intense experience of loss. It is the loss of all your ideals of "they lived happily ever after", it is the loss of your idea of the home you wanted to provide for your children, it is the loss of your identity, it is the loss of who you wanted to be and so I can continue.
I want to share my journey with you, in the hope that you might look at divorce differently if it isn't part of your life story. But also to say, that the mountain recovers, and there is always hope for those of us who have experienced this reality.
I am a Grief Counselor & Self-care coach.