Burn, Baby Burn-Divorce Bonfire

second fire boxI mentioned a few weeks ago, it’s my Divorce-ary coming up. It will be 10 years since my initial separation.

20 10 years. Where’d they go? 20ย  10 years. I don’t know. I sit and wonder sometimes, where they’ve gone…” -Bob Segar

Our divorce proceedings dragged on from 2005-2012. Yup, 2012 was the final signing off on an agreement. Ultimately that agreement says everybody’s happy now walk away

In all those years you can’t imagine the amount of paper that was accumulated. Stacks upon stacks of files, orders, transcripts…all of it so important and irreplaceable at the time but now? It’s all garbage.

I didn’t want to throw it in the garbage though, for environmental reasons and confidentiality. Paper shredding was out of the question. I would have spent the next 10 years shredding…MWAH! The answer? Have a divorce bonfire!

Before we get it started though, let’s get in the mood with some Trammps, Burn Baby, Burn

divorce bonfire
unfiltered image

Pick the perfect night at the beach.

a) no fire ban

b) little to no breeze or wind

c) warm enough to sit out for a few hours

d) clear sky offering a beautiful sunset

Don’t forget your bottle of wine and plastic wine glass.

burn baby burn-divorce bonfire

burn, baby burn-divorce bonfire

burn baby burn-divorce bonfire

fire box edited

Last, celebrate the fact that it’s all in the past. Good bye DT, RBH, ER. The burning of the ‘documents’ means moving onward and making room for better things.

What did you do with your divorce documents?

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33 Replies to “Burn, Baby Burn-Divorce Bonfire”

  1. So cathartic!!! Good for you, Lisa!! I’m so happy for you!! <3

    (I still have to hang onto my files, unfortunately, but i look forward to the day when I can also have a bonfire…I think I have to wait until my youngest turns 18 to be safe? Or finishes college?)

    1. Hi Jane, yes you probably want to wait until he is 18 and/or you’re finished receiving any support from your ex. I had boxes stored away and I knew I had to get rid of it somehow. I’ve talked about doing it for a few years so it felt good to watch it burn, finally! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Dear Lisa, What a perfect ending! Self-therapy is the best one and what a fantastic way of celebration! Such lovely pictures…hope is glowing in its best hues and I can sense the happiness, emerging out of the ashes.
    Thanks for sharing, dear friend. Hugs and love!

    1. Thank you, Balroop! I had fun doing some editing of the photos! Two of them aren’t edited at all though and capture the pure flame. Throwing piles of papers from lawyers felt liberating. I went through 3 separate examinations (during the divorce) and I perused some of that before I tossed it. The questions his lawyer was asking…so annoying.

  3. not mine but my parents’. elderly parents. my dad left 44 yeRs ago and by the time they got around to divorcing, my mother was too sick to appear at court so I had to do everything. collecting documents, scanning them for her lawyer, making decisions, editing documents AND appearing in court. stood at the shredder for hours on end. it was the best diet!!! more to go, some files still on my computer, but I’m free of THEIR marriage! hallelujah.

    1. Congratulations on the conclusion, Jane! It must have been hard for you to do all that. You’ve gone through a divorce that wasn’t even yours! Paper shredding is kind of fun, too. I had way too much for our little home shredder. Thanks for stopping over and sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I love this Lisa. I keep it in a corner of my mind. We are not yet done with divorce. It’s been 2 years and I already have enough paper to fill a suitcase!
    I think it’s the perfect ending and a way to release everything that we keep holding on.

    1. Hi Marie, yes it was the perfect conclusion! Watching all that stuff go up in flames was pretty cool. I have kept a couple of things like my application to the Supreme Court of Canada. It was something I did on my own and it took some research and preparation to get it done. Stuff like that is valuable information for someone else who might need to do the same.

      I hope yours comes to a conclusion soon, Marie. I found the longer it went on the angrier everyone got, unfortunately.

  5. I’ve been divorced now for 22 years and yes, there was a ton of paperwork. I did something similar. It was in December of 1993 when ours became final. I invited my ex-husband over to the house, made some finger foods, poured two glasses of wine, and 2 cups of hot chocolate for the kids, and we sat around the fireplace each taking turns burning a stack now and then. I believe we were watching Rudolph at the time. It was such a relief that the fighting was over. It was a cleansing process for us all, preparing us for the next chapters in our lives, apart but yet together.

    1. That’s a beautiful way to do it, Dee Ann. I love hearing stories like yours. It reminds me of the topic we discussed a few weeks ago about whether you’re (or can be) friends with your ex. Sounds like you two were civil! Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I am a solo practice divorce attorney and develop close relationships with most of my clients. I definitely recommend such ‘rituals’ but caution that there are a few (only a few) documents you should save, especially until children reach majority.
    The other ritual I recommend is quilt making — either an actual quilt or a drawing/painting. Our lives are like quilts with many passages — some happy, some sad, some both. To be healthy and moving forward, we don’t want to eliminate any because each passage makes up who we are today — even a bad relationship. It must have had happier times that we can respect.
    Finishing (by sewing, drawing or painting) past passages and leaving room for future quilt squares can point us to our future.

    1. Hi Mary anna, what a wonderful idea to quilt! Our lives are like quilts, indeed. It’s important to remember and honor the good times we had as well. It takes some time and perspective to do that. Thanks for sharing your suggestions!

  7. Love this ๐Ÿ™‚ Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate if you ask me. Glad you made it even more of an occasion with a bottle of wine. Onwards, to bigger and better. XOXO

  8. Oh boy – this is fun. I know that divorce is very much UN-fun, but I love symbolic ceremonies. It feels good to be free sometimes. It’s necessary.

  9. Mine is a weird story but I will finally be filing for a divorce from my ex – we’ve been separated over 20 years. I’m looking forward to doing a ritual like this…I bet it was so liberating!

    Here’s to a bright future! Have a great weekend Lisa :).


    1. Wow, Cori that’s a long separation without making it official. I bet that story is interesting! Thanks for stopping over and have a great weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Oh Lisa, I bet that felt SO goooooood!!!

    Almost a symbolic rite of passage for you after all these years of battling belongings and what nots… wow. What a long time coming.

    Carry on Warrior!

    And congrats, to new beginnings!!

    1. Thank you so much, Chris! I love being called a ‘Warrior’. Thank you for that. Some days I feel like one and other days not so much. Yes to new beginnings!

  11. Oh wow, that is amazing. You go girl!!! I feel so happy for you. I thought my divorce was a long process. It took about 2 years. The longest most painful two years of my life. I have to admit, I’d throw out the papers as I went along, except for the really important stuff. It was just too painful to see. Anyways I’m still paying my lawyers fees. I paid $8,000 this month. Ouch! But it kind of made me feel good too. I am not helpless, I am handling it, and I’m going to be ok.

    1. I know how painful it can be. It will get better, Caroline and yes, you will be ok—more than ok ๐Ÿ™‚ Legal fees are a super drag, yes? Ugh, whenever a new bill came in the mail I would recoil but it’s a necessity. Thanks for stopping over.

  12. I still need mine because the kids are young…but some day…

    Congratulations Lisa. How liberating!

    1. Thanks, Liv. It really was cathartic. When your kids are older you’ll be ready to purge as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

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