I spent a lot of time, many years to say the least, deciding if I could endure the challenges in my marriage. If God put us together, who was I to give up? How could I bear the burden of my kids constant questioning why their parents couldn’t ‘just make it work’? Wasn’t marriage supposed to be hard?

It was when my sanity was at stake that I confronted God head on and begged him for clarity to help me understand my role in our marriage, in our family. A few months later, God answered my prayers. He reminded me that in Judaism there is a way out of marriage when one feels that his soul is dying a slow tormented death within the relationship. Laws of Gittin are meant to tell spouses like me that God loves us and knows how hard we tried to make it all work, to be a good wife and to keep our family together. But when it just can’t, He offers us another option to continue nourishing our souls and doing His Will.

I am a part of Jewish history like my ancestors before me and the generations behind that will follow me. The pain is part of my journey on earth that sparks growth and brings me closer to Hashem. It’s humbling. No one gets married to get divorced. I thought I knew how the plan would go – date, get married, be happy, have kids… God is teaching me to let go of my plans and let Him lead the way. I am grateful for being able to experience marriage even though it didn’t work out in the end. I am grateful for the children that came out of my marriage who bring me so much joy and help my spirit grow every day. I am grateful for the relationships that literally shine light upon me in the the darkest of moments.

The days before receiving my Get, I tried to prepare for this moment of closure, this ending, this relationship’s death. Jewish occasions call for certain attire – a wedding dress, torn clothes, etc. But what do you wear to receive receive your Get? There are prayers that accompany these occasions as well – mincha of Yom Kippur, burial prayers – but what for the end of a marriage? Two days before I got my get God sent me a shalicha (messenger), Rabbanit Shani Taragin, to literally hand me the prayers I was looking for. A blessing to say right after receiving a get that asks God for peace and tranquility now that the marriage has ended and asks Him to bring forth another partner in the future. Hashem supports new beginnings.

I felt ready to receive my Get now. I had a tangible way to bring my Jewish marriage full circle and to pray to Hashem from the depths of my heart about this moment in time where the union of two souls that became one under the Jewish canopy are now being severed in a Jewish Court. I didn’t wear a white wedding dress and there were no guests or music. But just as it had been under the chuppah, Hashem was right by my side and I felt embraced by his His blessings through my tears.

I have one more stop on this ‘marriage closure’ train and that is going to the Mikvah. I learned that I am able to go as a new divorcee and dunk 3 times. The first dunk will be followed by a blessing thanking God for the relationship with my former spouse that was. The second dunk will be followed by a blessing that asks Hashem for a future relationship and the last dunk asks Hashem to fill my current loss and emptiness with good things. Judaism teaches us to feel, mourn, and then move forward. This post-get mikvah ritual is another gift from God that will help me heal from a broken marriage that has come to an end and put final closure on the physical and spiritual relationship we had in our marriage so I can move on.

Attached are the two tefillot that were recommended by Rabbanit Shani Taragin– one composed by Yael Levine upon receipt of the get (click here), and the other, a 3 part blessing to be said in the three immersions signifying the closure of the marriage, the present hopes, and prayers for the future from a book Parashat Hamayim, Immersion in Water as an Opportunity for Renewal and Spiritual Growth, edited by Lisita, Marx, Leibovich and Duvdevani (click here).