A lady at my office is a CPA, and primarily deals with couples in the process of separating. We always put tissues in there when she is using the private conference room.
Also, side note, she brings us chocolate from San Diego all the time, just started eating one, “Gingerbread Crumb.” Delicious. Thank you, lady and Eclipse Chocolate!
Back to our CPA. She meets with plenty of couples. Some are emotionally prepared, others are fairly friendly to one another, as if they were meeting for coffee again, and then there are those that quickly walk out of the office, tears falling.
Today, I thought we had a passably stable man and woman. As usual, although there is no communicated agreement, one half comes earlier than the other. In all my time, I have never seen two people come in at the same time for their appointment. Its as if they know, there’s always one person in the relationship that is always late, or somehow its just understood, one person is going to need more time to get comfortable with the idea, with what is happening.
This time the man came in before the woman. After an hour and a half, they had to move their appointment to an office; the conference room was booked for another appointment. There was a FedEx delivery, another client needed a form filed, more clients arriving. Then the couple left. Its always interesting to see how awkward or not the couple is in the hall, waiting for the elevator.
This couple caught me off guard. I looked up from my work to see the woman begin the nosedive into despair. She began to cry. And before I could feel the pain in my chest, because this happens every time, I found every part of me freeze. The husband, soon to be ex-husband, pulled her into a hug, and the weight on my chest became heavier.
They had just gone through two hours of sorting out the rubble of what was their marriage, and there was no hate or spite, just love. I’m sure it wasn’t romantic, lustful, or just compassion. It was a love that can surpass a horribly painful experience induced by the person you had committed full vulnerability. Although they will not be together much longer, it is clear that there was once something absolutely great there. Something that will never fade, regardless of how much hurt they feel. We should all be so lucky.