How do I tell the kids they're about to lose a beloved aunty to my equally beloved brother's separation?
I don't have to do it yet.
But the decision is final, so the telling will have to come some time.
And I'd really like some ideas of how to go about it, other than: "It doesn't mean she doesn't love all of you very much".
You know, and I know, that no matter how much she loves them, she's very unlikely to keep contact once the formalities are done. No matter how much we might all want it to be so.
My niece from my first marriage (neice-in-law?), who I'd known since she was just out of nappies, was the 12yo bridesmaid at my second wedding.
It was all very friendly but, as it turned out, it was close to the last time any of us spoke again. For my ex-sister-in-law and I, the second wedding was like a very late bell to sound the alarm that more than one relationship ended when my marriage to her brother died.
Is it that experience which makes me so pessimistic about keeping in touch with my brother's (soon to be ex) partner? Could I be too gloomy? After all, I've known her for 16 years and she's one of the few people who came to both my weddings. We have lived through in-jokes and tragedies and birthdays and funerals and dogs (hers) and children (mine) together.
When my mother died, this sister-in-law (I have two) was the only one in the family to realise how enormous was the loss to the Pea Princess. She'd seen how much my mum and daughter doted on each other, and she made an effort to fill the gap a little. No one else got it.
I've been focused thus far on just getting my brother through this. He's a brilliant human being and I adore him. And, much as I love her, I will back him to the hilt because he believes this is the right thing for him to do. He does not make this choice lightly, or selfishly.
Inside, though, I am weeping already for all the other relationships that are about to end.
Three little ones, in particular.
Advice, gratuitous or otherwise, is welcome.