Traveler’s Tales on the Pilgrimsteps blog

Within moments of John telling me that he was leaving our marriage, I texted a friend:

John is leaving me.  In despair.  Can I come over?

I remember almost nothing of that night except that I had a shoulder to cry on and a friend who listened and offered every imaginable support, while serving me cup after cup of hot herbal tea.  In the days that followed, as I explained my situation to other close friends, a tight net of support emerged around me.  The support often came from tangential relationships, such as the woman who came over to explain California divorce law to me.  She’d never been to my home and we’d only met once before–but she was freshly divorced herself and knew she had information that I would need.  She stayed for hours and listened as much as she shared.

Then there was the group of friends who live far away, who daily sent me snail-mail letters and care packages.  These sweet notes arrived both in Pasadena and Irvine–they covered all the bases because they knew I was flitting between two homes during the month of December.  They were envelopes filed with color and poetry and care.  Reminders that I was loved and important and strong.  My Exponent sisters sent the softest-ever blanket with a giraffe-fabric pattern–as a reminder that giraffes are matriarchal creatures and they take care of their own.  That blanket went back-and-forth with me wherever I slept during December and is still folded into a rectangle at the foot of my bed.

Now, as I find myself trying to forge a path forward with this new life of mine, I continue to be influenced by the stories of friends who have followed similar trajectories.  I consider myself a fellow pilgrim with these women.  Some of them have traveled on ahead of me and can offer a map of where they’ve been.  Others are traveling alongside me, or are journeying on a similar, but separate, route.

Recently I wrote to several of these women and asked them to share their wisdom on my soloblog.  Because I feel as though we can all benefit from hearing their stories.  Though not all of these women have a relationship with the LDS church, I still feel that we have  much to learn from each other and we have much support to offer those who are in the midst of their own difficult paths.  Thus, I’ll be posting the writings of many of these women as Guest Posts on Pilgrimsteps over the next few weeks, under the title of “Traveler’s Tales.” If you have a story or some thoughts that you would like to share for this feature, please send them to janaremyATgmail.

Jana is a university administrator and teaches History. Her soloblog is


  1. I’m so glad you have such strong communities of friends to support you, Jana. That makes all the difference when something so central in your life dissolves and collapses around you.

    I’m looking forward to those guest posts.

    • Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  2. How blessed you are to have supportive friends both LDS and non. When my daughter’s husband left her, she received support from nonLDS friends, but her church friends were less sympathetic. They knew that keeping the commandments means everything will work out well in your life. Bad things like divorce only happen if you deserve them.

  3. Having your husband leave you is a traumatic experience no matter what. Having him leave you for another man is 10 times worse. I can’t imagine having to deal with that on top of my husband leaving. Your strength inspires me whenever I read what you post.

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