dear diocese

I’ve known for a while that my annulment was official, but I didn’t get the certificate until today. Without this piece of paper, you cannot remarry in the Catholic church. Not that I’m planning on any more trips to the cathedral; I figure I’ll store it with important documents. It’ll be one of those boxes a relative opens posthumously, wondering why the hell I kept so much junk.

I just couldn’t ignore the dig at the end of the accompanying letter.


Dear diocese:

You didn’t get to hear my side of the story, as I chose to make things easier for my former spouse, who sought your official decision. He is the one, looking for the approval of his parents, through the body of your church. I figured it would be quicker to not give you two versions of the truth to sort through.

However, I want to make one thing clear. I was very open to children. My openness was and is not in question. I resent this statement.

I did everything I could to stay in that land of openness. Beyond when it was good for me, even. When, finally, I broke down and admitted to my then husband that I couldn’t pursue any more treatments, adoption, surrogacy options, etc. I cried for DAYS. I was wracked with guilt, and doubt, and grief.

When you close your letter with this kind of sentiment, please understand, it only opens up those old wounds. (See what I did there, counsel of priests weighing these decisions that have never been married themselves?!)

All those years, I sat in the pew, trying not to cry; silently begging that no families with young ones sat by me. Going to the early mass, more populated by nuns than babies, pleading with God to give me what I so desperately wanted. Praying novenas to patron saints and Mary, that I too would be blessed with a child.

Don’t mock me. You don’t know what the plan is any more than I do. You’re just more able to sit back and let it unfold with the grace I’ve never been able to muster.

I will always be resentful. I will always begrudge the once loved family friend / priest who told me perhaps God didn’t think I was ready, as I was going through my second miscarriage. I will remain unsettled by a maker who gives children to those who beat, abuse and worse, while my arms remained empty.

So, please, take your notes about how I should embark upon some future church-endorsed marriage and stuff them in your collection basket. I learned more from my infertility and divorce than you could ever take away with a gold seal on an annulment certificate.

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