Toolkit Parenting

A Birch Forest, Recovering From The Emotional Impact of Divorce

In our “Divorce Support for Gentle Parents” group I often talk about a visual that has helped me through periods of loss and grieving.

A forest fire can burn a forest to the ground and leave nothing but ashes. When you are standing in the middle of a field of ashes it is hard to imagine anything but the end of a beautiful forest, of destruction and damage. It is THE END.

But life doesn’t work that way. Life is strong and determined. After the fire come other things. Things we can’t imagine when the ashes are still new and the ground is still unnaturally hot beneath our feet. Something we can’t imagine when our senses are overwhelmed by the charred smell of what once was.

Did you know that birch trees grow quickly in the ground left bare by fires? They like the ash in the dirt, and they can grow in places where they would have never been able to grow before, with all the other trees and brambles and weeds.

A beautiful birch forest with white trunks and fragile leaves can spring up from those ashes. New growth, fresh beginnings, beautiful places that could not have otherwise existed or been imagined.

Yes. Fire burns. It destroys. Divorce hurts. It breaks hearts and dreams.

But when the fire burns out and the ashes cool.. When the hurt dies down and time and space allow us to heal..

New things grow. Beautiful new things that you could never have imagined standing there in a field of ashes not too long ago.

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