Healing By Sweat of the Soul – Abandonment Pain 31 Years After Divorce

                                                        Majid Ali, M.D.

An Article of Spiritual Healing Course 


I entered my consultation room and found my patient, a 74-year-old woman, sobbing inconsolably. I picked up a box of tissue paper from my desk, offered to her, and sat down for several moments of unspoken empathy.

“I’m sorry for crying like this,” she spoke struggling to calm herself.

“Please take your time,” I said in a soft voice.

“I feel abandoned. It hurts so much,” she continued.

“Abandoned by whom?” I asked after some moments of unspoken empathy, offering her the tissue box a second time.

“My husband.” She replied wiping her tears.

“Your divorce was 31 years ago, right?”


“And he passed on over a year ago, right?”

“How many children did you have with him?”


“Did you marry again?”


“Then you raised three children as a single mom?”

“Yes, I did.”

“That must have been very tough.”

“Yes, it was. I had to go back to school, become a nurse, and work.”

“Did your ex agree to financially support your children?”

“Some, not much.”

“You told me last time that your childrens’ situation also stresses you much.”

“That’s a big, big stress.”

“Do you feel they also abandoned you?”

“No… Yes, maybe,” she stammered a little.

“Whose abandonment bothers you more, that of your children or your ex-husband?”

“My husband’s. I was only fourteen when I decided to marry him. He knew so much. He was my mentor. He taught me so much.”

“What brought on the abandonment issue now after decades of divorce and more than a year of his passing?” I asked sympathetically.

“I wish I knew that. I took psychology classes in college. So I think what makes me so weepy is abandonment.”

“But why now?” I pressed.

“I ask myself the same question. Do you know why?”

“No, not really,” I replied, looked at her for several moments, then spoke, “I don’t know the answer but I could offer a guess.”

“Yes. yes. That might help.”

“Well…” I stopped in mid-sentence.

“What do you think it might be?” she pressed.

“Do you think you would have felt the way you do now if you had been an insensitive and unkind wife?”

She looked at me in silence for a while. I did not want to interrupt here inner narrative.

“I know the divorce was 31 years ago. Do you think you would have been like this if your love were not true and enduring?”

“I don’t know. I am not sure I understand where you are going with it.”

“What I am wondering about is if your tears are the sweat of your soul,” I spoke tentatively. “You think your inner responses are triggered by abandonment issues. Maybe it is not abandonment. Maybe it is your inner core, still alive, aware, and free of anger and hate. Maybe there is enough love left in your heart which sweats its tears without demands for revenge.”

We were silent again for some minutes. I looked out of the window as she studied my face. Then she spoke,

“What do I do now?”

“Celebrate.” The words escaped me before I realized they may not be appropriate.

“Celebrate what?” she asked, surprised.

“Yourself. Celebrate yourself for being that blessed individual who can nurture love for 31 years and still feel the pain of having lost someone you once loved deeply.”

“Celebrate, not hurt with abandonment?” She looked more surprised.

“Yes. Celebrate, not hurt with abandonment.” I repeated my words, then added, “Ask your soul what choice you should make.”

We were silent again. May your present truth be your present blessings. Words spoken by by my wife some time earlier returned to me. There was nothing more to say.

Later after receiving her treatment, she passed one of our staff members in the hallway, smiled, and mumbled something about celebrating. Still later when I saw her through the window of reception area. She grinned, winked, and waved the word celebrating at me.

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