17 April 2010

Till death (or divorce) do us part

When Joe, a nice man married for over 50 years died, his wife, Myrtle was devastated. A couple of months later, Myrtle also died. Once in heaven, Myrtle anxiously looked for Joe.

Suddenly, behind a cloud, she could clearly see him with another woman. She ran towards him, calling his name: "Joe Darling... Joe…..."

Joe said "Hold your horses, woman, and don't 'darling' me. The deal was very clear...

"Until death do us part"


I got that joke from my sis. It stayed in my mind for a while and now I've decided to write about it.

Marriage vows made are valid only as long as both are living. Therefore, the phrase "till death do us part" is really part of the deal. I used to have the notion that love only happens once in a lifetime. When your spouse dies, love shouldn't figure in your life again. That's a myth!!!

So I don't subscribe to that notion anymore. I believe that if one's spouse dies, life must go on. Some may choose to honour the memory of their loved one by remaining alone. Some others just move on and welcome whatever life offers to them with an open heart and mind.

"Till death do us part" is a wise clause to have in a marriage. It opens the door to the one left behind to having a second chance at happiness. After all, why must the death of one mean the end of life for the other?

I know that those who choose never to love again, because they feel they would never find anyone to measure up to the one they lost, are equally normal in every sense of the word. I suspect, though, that they probably frown upon others who can and do move on in another relationship. Those who do, probably raise their eyebrows at those who don't. Neither is the better. Every person is unique and every situation exclusive.

When there is a death, I know that it's the lesser of two evils, if compared to divorce. Death is final.

Divorce, like death, also means the end of a marriage. Both parties agree to give up and move on. Sometimes, only one is emotionally ready to do so and the other is not really given the option to stay.

From what I've seen among family and friends, I think death makes for a cleaner cut. The ties are severed completely. There is no more chance for reconciliation and makes "moving on" a tad easier.

"Till divorce do us part" sounds very much as if everything is over. Kaput. Ended. Not true.

More often than not, the links and old familiar feelings remain for a bit before they fade into oblivion.

Divorce can be amicable. Rare but not impossible because I've seen it firsthand. My parents divorced and they were always cordial. My mom got on with my step-mom. Nevertheless, it's important to know that this can only be so, if both sides close that chapter of their lives and move on. I remember my mom feeling hurt before the divorce. Once she decided to end the relationship, she closed that door and moved on. No more ill feelings and never a twinge of regret. She never looked back and I'm glad for her. It was the right thing for her to do.

Some get divorced and almost immediately remarry. Perhaps they feel smug about moving on so quickly. Not smart, I think. Divorce, like death, should have a mourning period. A time to heal, mend, and be completely over that love. Yes, love would have been there, at the start.

This sort of "cooling off" period is essential because a divorce can be so unpleasant. More so when one pretends to be a victim and betrays the memory of what was once a union of love.

In today's world, the vows "till death do us part" might very well be "till divorce do us part".

What say you?


KS Cheah said...

Hi Lita,

As I was reading your interesting observations, I felt a sense of déjà vu.

Yes, "till death do we part" but life goes on.

Just to share; Jeannie and I did discuss it numerous times and since I always felt it was I who will go first I never took her seriously when she consistently said if she went first, I must find someone else. Now, with her passing at least I know how she felt. In my selfish way, I never told her the same thing.

I think how a person is after death ends a loving marriage depends on the person's basic belief about the afterlife. Perhaps it is easier if one truly believes in nothing.

My personal belief is in live between lives and an immortal soul. This includes certain reasons why we are born. That being the case, if ever I am fortunate enough like you to have lightning strike twice and find bliss again, then so be it. It is also not that I am pro-actively looking for "that someone".

Divorce in this day having the finality of death? All I can say is that Jeannie and I never ever could conceive being divorced. Hehe...maybe it is because we loved so fiercely we knew a divorce would be nasty and acrimonious! But seriously, both of were cynical about seemingly amicable divorces.


Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Hi Cheah, Whoa!!! 4.28 am. What time did you get to bed? or did you just get up?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Always appreciated because they are so personal and yet you generously put them down in words for all to see.

I guess we all have different paths to take in this life. The only thing that should matter is that we are happy while we make our journey.

Thank you again. ;)

KS Cheah said...

Got home at about 4.00 am and after a shower. Now you understand why "Nocturnal Mind" ;o)

Antares said...

For once I find myself unable to add anything to this discussion. However, in 1992 I experienced a "vertical" fusion with my own "angelic" aspect - and that's when I realized that sacred union essentially involves the integration of one's male and female aspects so that one becomes whole unto oneself. Anyone who happens to share space and time with you once you're an integrated entity is to be cherished and eternally loved - but certainly not to the exclusion of all others!

masterwordsmith said...

Hi dear Lita

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about death because I am approaching the big 5 and am facing certain health issues. All my life, I hope to be the one to go first, cos I don't think I am strong enough to survive if he went first.

I have told my spouse many times - if I go first, please remarry - do not grief too long and crazy as it may sound, I did sound out a few possibilities :-) and of course he was mortified.

Suffice to say that at this stage of my life now, I treasure every waking and sleeping moment and don't sweat over the small things nor fret.

Life is indeed short and we should live it to the max.

Praying for you and yours that you will all have a blessed purposeful and fulfilled life.

Take care.

Hugs and blessings

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Antares, LOL, nothng to add huh! ;)

I had to read it twice! Hmmmm vertical fusion eh!

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Dear MWS, Your comment made me smile! Appreciate your sharing here.

Big 5 eh. Let me tell you, it's great! Don't you worry!

God bless and sending you similar wishes back! :)

KS Cheah said...

Hi Antares,

Cannot fathom your esoteric allusions leh...

You voting in Hulu Selangor bro?


Johan H said...

Being unmarried I'm happy to escape this issue but I do empathize with those who must. Not long ago I lent support to a friend though his divorce period. The anger, the denial, the whole roller coaster package. I know what you mean about death being the cleaner cut it happened to my friend. He kept thinking, maybe she will knock on my door again so I better wait. Took him 6 months of false hope to finally accept that it was truly over.

I'm glad he finally picked up the pieces and moved on to a new relationship even though he never forgave himself for the failed marriage.

On till death do us part, some people say its a worldly vow, meant to cover physical life only. In heaven the contract is forever valid. I said really? So how if you got married and divorced 3 times, what would you do with 3 spouses in heaven! So Lita, care to share what church ministers would say about the vow's true meaning?

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Hi Cheah, I missed this follow-up comment earlier. Yes, I do understand why now about the "Nocturnal Mind"


Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Johan, You're asking me what church ministers would say! Good grief!

I asked my husband and he replied quite satisfactorily! So here it goes:

First, we can't be sure that all three wives will go to heaven? Well, let's say they do. In heaven, we believe there are no marital ties. All are one, with the heavenly Father.

God allows us u-turns. A divorce, is an obstacle, a hard road.So a re-marriage is like a u-turn. Both parties have the equal right to mend fences with God, and to make a u-turn.

The "contract" of till death do us part, is not a contract, but a "heavenly law" (if we can put it that way), by God, for a man and a woman for as long as they are on earth.

I'd say he said it all! ;o)

Johan H said...

Gracias, una respuesta buena!

Pat said...

I found both your post and the comments simply smashing, Lita! I love it when I'm shown life from new perspectives!

I've told Chuan that he cannot die before me, and that I'd haunt him if he dared look at another woman when I did! Yes, lah, in jest ... I think. MUAHAHAHAH!

But seriously: For me, it doesn't matter whether we're talking about marriage or divorce or simply loving another. The 'partnership' ends when love ends - be if from death, or divorce, or just breaking-up. The pain is the same, and as real.

And we can only find love again when we've healed, and have moved on. Isn't this true, though, about all that hurts us in life? There is no moving on until we can make it right in our heads, and heal our souls.

I'm not really sure about Antares' vertical whatever. Hahahah. And I'm pretty sure I'm not there yet, or will be soon!

I am in such a good place with my Chuan right now. On the cusp of a new wave of our lives together. It is a good feeling, and it makes me strong and brave. A good place to be.

And I see you and Stephen as the poster children for the wonders of second chances - and how to do it right! And that's a wonderful feeling - to know that a life of such unfathomable (for me) sadness can eventually be turned around, and become so beautiful and so right. A simply brilliant proof-positive that love is the miracle of life.

Zaharan Razak said...

The word divorce sounds all pat but its reality hides many unsolved issues which both sides want to forget or gloss over more so by the more errant one. By karmic law these issues will rear its head again, now or after, until their final denouement. To believe otherwise is to deny ultimate justice exists. Mind you, there are disbelievers, whatchamaycallthem ... nihilists?

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...


OMGosh!!! *blushes*

What a lovely compliment in your comment!!!!!

Stephen was beaming as well. You really made our evening so much better. We had this topic to talk about and basked in the glory of your words!

Poster children, eh! What a great great description for us. We loved it.

Just got to send you a huge virtual hug for all that!


Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Zaharan, I agree. I think, simplified it means, what goes around comes around. Sow good seeds and reap a good harvest, so to speak lah.

I also believe in the hereafter. So that takes care of all the injustices in the world.


Anonymous said...

Hi Lita can't help pondering about it n how i came 2 know u too:) come April 23rd it would be exactly 17yrs since "till death do us part" n have remained single since then. Nothing to do with memory n stuff like tat but......
still thinking if i wanna go thru all tat again.....


Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Hey LadyRP, I can understand what you say. I'm glad our paths crossed then and even though we'd not been in touch, the friendship has survived and remained in tact.

As far as I can see, you're doing great. After all, life is about being happy. Alone or with someone, it all boils down to being happy, dear!