Sealing A Brewkettle In Plastic On Valentine’s Day

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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31 Responses

  1. Jesus. This was insanely depressing. Congrats on the new job.Report

  2. Don Zeko says:

    This is great writing; if only the subject matter were happier. As I think I’ve mentioned on here, I’ve gone through analogous, albeit less severe, romantic and professional setbacks in the past few years. if you need an extra ear to commiserate with from an online semi-stranger, send me a message.Report

  3. Oscar Gordon says:

    Here’s to finding your feet, and your way, again.Report

  4. Maribou says:

    “The angel of epiphany sang to me: “There’s no future here for you. Not at work, not at home, nowhere. It’s time to go.” I protested back: “O bringer of this ephiphany, won’t I carry my demons with me?” “Yes,” she replied, “but the demons won’t be as powerful without all these ghosts.”

    This part was startlingly beautiful, and reminds me of the epiphany I had that led to me immigrating to the US. Not exactly the same, but cousins.

    Thank you for sharing this part of your experience with us. It’s hard, but you are telling the story anyway.

    May you and your dog experience some space and light in the new place.Report

  5. Jaybird says:

    Oh, dude. That sucks.

    (Are you planning on selling the table?)Report

  6. Aaron David says:

    I get the feeling that good things are about to come your way Burt.

    Very touching essay, from someone who has been through a divorce.Report

  7. Slade the Leveller says:

    Writing like this is why I visit this site. Thank you for sharing.Report

  8. j r says:

    Great writing. Oddly enough, I didn’t even think of it as possibly depressing until I read the comments. Maybe because I see it as cathartic and catharsis is a step away from depression.Report

  9. greginak says:

    Great writing Burt. Like others here i’ve been through the divorce and grief trial. You’ll pass through. Just make constant forward progress. That’s all, even if it’s just a tiny bit. It’s a mantra in the ultra running world but it’s true and works with life. Just constant forward progress.Report

  10. Michael Drew says:

    Unbelievable writing, Burt. I have no idea how you attain such equanimity regarding your changed circumstances that allows you to write about them in this way so soon.

    Keep believing in the possibility, nay, likelihood of eventual lasting happiness. You have too much goodness, sense, and talent in you for that not to be the most rational thing to expect.Report

  11. Mike Schilling says:

    Wonderful writing. Here’s hoping that soon you can do the same on a much happier note.Report

  12. Damon says:

    I feel you. That was pretty much me you described…..but with a few tweaks….

    God the black hole of despair even when it’s amicable. It’s like being gutted. Fortunately, I bonded with her sister and she was able to keep me from falling too far into the pit. Even now, 7 years later, it can be very hard coming across photos or things that we shared that I have around….but it does get better. Trudge on……Report

  13. North says:

    Magnificent writing, I’m so sorry for your troubles. I can’t even imagine what would happen if I lost the Husband; I don’t even know how to date.Report

  14. Sam Wilkinson says:

    @burt-likko The loss and the sadness and the pain and the anger and the frustration can consume you, and there are points in this essay where it appeared reasonable to assume that it might have. And yet, you continued forward, even if only lurchingly. There is strength in that even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. I hope the darkness lightens to whatever degree that is possible, and although I am just a stranger on the internet, I am always here if it would be useful. Good luck friend.Report

  15. Chris says:

    Man, as someone who’s been through the failure of a very long relationship, and who’s spent his adult life struggling with depression, I wish I could buy you a drink about now. You’ll have to come back to Austin so that I can. I know that regret, that self-flagellation, and that hopelessness all too well.

    I hope the change of scenery and routine helps a great deal not just with the depression, but building a new life as well.Report

  16. Kazzy says:

    Stay strong. Stay resilient. Stay safe and healthy. There is no right way to do this other than the way that gets you back to happiness… which may seem impossible now but undoubtedly remains within reach when the time and context is right.Report

  17. Miss Mary says:

    I’m sorry. My divorce sucked, too, but for totally different reasons. I know you’re not happy about moving out of your home now, but I’m hopeful your new home won’t he as bad as you anticipate. I downsized two years after my divorce (I got stuck with the house) and I love it!Report

    • Miss Mary in reply to Miss Mary says:

      I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I have had a very difficult time emotionally since the baby was born. None of the other surrogates I spoke to had the same problem and I was getting advice that was not helping, like focus on your work. A month ago I found a surrogate who felt the way I felt. Having her to cry with in the middle of the night gave me little peace, less like I was so alone. I hope you find someone that you feel supported by. Hugs!Report

  18. Chip Daniels says:

    Upon reading, my first instinct was to conjure up something pithy and optimistic, the way we do to try to coax people out of grief, to move them to a better happier place.
    But I will resist that.

    Per our discussions on the Lent/ Mindfulness posts, I think there is something to be said for the view that grief and suffering are not things to be swept away as quickly as possible, but just normal parts of our existence that we cope with and enfold into our lives.

    In my dark times I found Stoicism to be helpful, with its counsel of seeing pain as something to be expected instead of a freakish abnormality. I remember how it did help to stop thinking that my divorce and difficulties wasn’t my being “cheated” out of a rightful bliss.

    In the end, we all find our way through our dark places and come out the other side with a different perspective.
    I wish you well in your journey there.Report

  19. I really liked this essay, Burt. I realize all this is difficult–and I also realize I don’t really know firsthand what you’re going through. But while talk is cheap, especially on the internet, I’d just like to say that I wish the best for you on this new stage in life.Report

  20. Burt Likko says:

    I thought some of you might like an update. I just held the garage sale, and got rid of a great deal of my stuff.

    I made decent enough money, all of the money wasn’t really the point. The point was to rid myself of things that I need to move, rid myself of things that I don’t need and don’t use, rid myself of things that would weigh me down from moving forward with my life.

    Now that I’ve done it, I can tell you all that it’s a liberating feeling. Definitely a step in the right direction.Report