The Great Divorce

My parents are divorced.
They have been for a long time.
I spend weekends with my father
But all through the week I am cared for by my mom.

When I was younger I used to go to my dad’s house
Every morning too.
He taught me how to be kind,
How to love others, and he reminded me
Over and over again how much he loves me.

But there were lies too.
Isn’t that how divorce works sometimes?
My brothers told me not to talk about mom.
Every time I was at dad’s house
Mom got the silent treatment.

As I get older my relationship with my mom gets better.
I talk to her every day
And she leaves little notes for me hidden all over
Reminding me how much she loves me too.
We go for walks in the woods
And just like that song I learned so long ago at dad’s
“All flowers remind me of her.”

My sisters are teaching me more
About mom’s side of the family,
How she was once held in great esteem.
They taught me about her persecution
And how my siblings who stood up for her
Were silenced.

Why does divorce have to be so messy?
What drove my parents apart?
Is healing possible for my family?

When I go visit my dad
He assures me of mother’s place.
He says he loves her,
But he doesn’t seem to make the effort to get to know her.

He promised me this year
That he would support me more
That the things I learned at mom’s each week
Were central
And my weekend visit
Would strengthen my weekday life.

But I feel so betrayed.
The promise feels hollow.
He still will not speak of her.

Mom gives me hope.
She reminds me that
Love is a powerful source and can heal all wounds.
She assures me that this separation imposed on her
Will not last forever.

I realize I don’t have to choose
Between one parent or the other.
And I don’t have to apologize for or hide
The relationships I build.
I will take what’s good from my dad
And let it join my mother’s unconditional love.
Limitless, boundless, inclusive love.


Tirza lives in New England with her husband and four kids. She spends as much time as possible reading, sleeping, and playing outside.

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8 Responses

  1. Allemande Left says:

    Well said. Thank you.

  2. Andrew R. says:

    I feel very sorry that you feel this way. I don’t believe this is how it is at all.

    If The Father and Christ are one, as we should become with them, then how much more must the Oneness of an Eternal Marriage be. I would not expect a different response, or reaction from HF than from HM. Eternity together as ONE – why do we even think there is any level of separation. The separation is in our minds.

    For as long as I can remember (and I am 53) my parents taught me that I had Heavenly Parents – a Father and a Mother. It has never occurred to me that Heavenly Mother is not watching over me, that she didn’t assist in preparing me for mortality, and that she will not be there to guide me through the eternities.

    • Tirza says:

      I’m glad you had a good experience. My poem is not about theology, rather about my lived experience in the LDS Faith. I was taught implicitly and explicitly at church that Heavenly Mother was too sacred to talk about. It is only recently that I sometimes hear at church or general conference a reference to Heavenly Parents. As much as I study and learn about her or teach my own kids about her, this is not supported at church. There aren’t any primary songs that refer to Heavenly Mother or even Heavenly Parents and very few hymns. And there are no lessons about her.

  3. Chiaroscuro says:

    beautiful allegory

  4. Such a perfect metaphor!

  5. Shauna Malia Ikahihifo says:

    This is beautiful, Tirza! Growing up, I always looked up to you. It’s good to see you’re continuing to inspire. Lots of love from the Ikahihifo/Thompson Ohana!! <3

  6. DoubtingTom says:

    I miss my mom every day. She passed almost a decade ago and I still long for that connection with her. Only recently, in the last few years, have I felt that same longing reach out towards the feminine divine. I know many women have felt this longing but there doesn’t seem to be as many men and I’m not sure why, but I am one of them. Thanks for sharing this poem.

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