Thanks, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, For The Divorce

Dear Tom and Katie,

I know you’ve got a lot on your minds, so I’ll make this quick: I’d like to thank you for the divorce. I’m not actually wishing you grief, but given that you are splitting up I wanted to tell you that I appreciate it.

You see, back when I first had my son, Max, I didn’t think I’d ever care about celebrity gossip again, or anything fluffy. I didn’t think I’d be happy again. I thought life as I knew it was over. Max had a stroke at birth and doctors told me and my husband grim things about his future: that he might not walk or talk, that he could have vision and hearing problems and be cognitively impaired.

For months, I didn’t do much except cry. Returning to work was a relief, something to take my mind off my grief.

Max progressed, on his own timeline.He was eventually diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and while he has his challenges with speech, using his hands and learning, he is doing so much better than the doctors ever thought he would. He walks well, he’s determined, he’s charming, and he is generally an awesome kid who’s perfect in my eyes.

As the years passed, I stopped grieving about Max. My life became a new kind of normal, and once again I was able to take pleasure in things—occasional mani-pedis, seeing a play with friends, reading magazines. I remember how psyched I was that I still cared about celeb scoop. What happened to my son may have changed me in many ways, but I remained as nosy and curious as every other star gazer.

I was a little worried about Max the other day; he’s been trying so hard to tell me things lately, except his speech isn’t getting any clearer. Then I spent part of my commute gulping down the People article about your breakup, and suddenly I was calmer.

Thank you for the distraction.

I wish you both the best of luck. Remember to put Suri first.

Yours truly,



From my other blog:

Brave (special needs version)

A prayer for parents of kids with special needs

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  1. by Anonymous

    On July 5, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    This is wrong on so many levels. I’m kind of shocked that a reputable publication like Parents mag would publish this.

  2. by Tracey

    On July 5, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I am a mom living life without one of my children, so I understand a bit about coping mechanisms used to manage grief. I am HORRIFIED that you’d consider someone elses pain to be a distraction and that it could make you calmer. I think that a mom who has walked a challenging path of motherhood would be more compassionate to others pain. How would you feel if someone read your blog about Max’s struggles and reported to the Internets that reading about your struggles made them feel calmer and provided them a distraction.

    They may be celebrities, but they are real people, with real pain. NOT entertainment.

  3. by Dawn

    On July 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Ellen….Sorry for the misfortune that has been given to your son and you but this was so inappropriate. Parents magazine really should be ashamed for publishing this!

  4. by Kandyce

    On July 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Uhm…. I’m dumbfounded and don’t know what to say. Your son Max seems charming and I wish him all the best things in life. That said, I just don’t get this – at all. Like – at all. And I get less why Parents would publish it. Sorry, I totally agree with the previous posters.

  5. by Noneofyourbiz

    On July 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    I follow Parents on twitter for this? A suggestion that I may find joy in someone else’s pain? Have the “comments” totally flipped places with articles? I don’t know “TomKat” but I do know the pain of divorce, problems of cultural and religious incompatibility, difficulties with any child rearing, etc., and I would not mock anyone who endures any of those. Karma, baby. Ellen, you missed your mark.

  6. by JK

    On July 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    WTF. Whoever made the decision to post this all over Parent’s social media outlets encouraging people to read it should be fired. I want the past 5 minutes of my life back. This was not only self indulgent & over dramatic rubbish but written TERRIBLY. You can do better than this.

  7. [...] She wrote an article today “thanking” Tom & Katie for their divorce. Immediately following, wives everywhere have been shaking their heads in disagreement. Read the full article here. [...]

  8. by Andrea

    On July 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I think y’all are taking this the wrong way. I think she was trying to be clever in conveying that she appreciates the fact that maybe her struggles don’t seem as bad as they did a minute ago after reading about their divorce. That’s all. Or the fact that it helped her to forget her troubles for a moment. I think she is just saying that IF there were a silver lining….no matter how small….that would be it. I doubt ths person s malicious. My father has terminal cancer and he has been “thanked” by people. For helping them put things into perspective in their own life, etc…..and let’s face it….we all knew this was a train wreck waiting to happen. The only person I feel empathy for is Suri. This marriage was a joke.

  9. by Ashley

    On July 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    This made me uncomfortable, and I’m not sure why. I decided to share it on my military spouse blog to see what everyone else thought. Surprised this article got published, really.

  10. by M. J.

    On July 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    You r all way overreacting and not really getting it. She wishes them no pain, infact it could have been anything related..she just said she was thrilled that her life was at a place where gossip can come back in her life. For many of us, me included, for months, during my pregnancy and a year after, all i did was cry. The day i went shopping, without crying all the way there was important to me. Yes, i was dealt a bit of an off hand but shopping was still good and i had to pull it together. That was a year ago. my Max is also doing great and will be 2 next week. I still love gossip, coffee, bravo, shopping and Pina Coladas, and every little milestone Max achieves!

  11. by Dani G

    On July 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I’m completely on board with Ellen, the author, on this one. She isn’t basking in their pain and sorrow and difficult experience. Rather, she’s expressing joy at being able to be distracted. Those of us who struggle with the chronic grief that comes from raising a baby with special needs had thought we’d never be able to distract ourselves from “it”, that we’d never not compare ourselves and our struggle to every other person on the planet and feel sad and sorry for ourselves.
    Ellen’s commentary is perfect and eloquent. There’s no shame in being distracted fr ones own problems by reading about celebrities. That is, after all, how tabloids such as People and US Weekly are in publication and being sold by the millions, isn’t it?!

  12. by MJ

    On July 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Very well said Dani G! Its nice to feel normal and “care” about an event that doesnt involve Pt, Ot, st…or any other T!

    And while we r at it…I thank jennifer hudson for loosing weight, the wonderful people at Bravo, the kardashians, American Idol and jessica simpson.

  13. by Kikarose

    On July 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Celebrities choose to live in the public eye. They choose to put their lives on display for the distraction of others. Ellen meant them no harm personally and even mentioned that at the start of this article.

    I loved this piece. When you start being able to enjoy the little things in life… like tabloid articles… is when you realize that the grief you are wading through has finally abated and normal, whatever it looks like, is coming back. I have a feeling that both Tom and Katie could relate and appreciate the sentiment behind this article.

  14. by Holly

    On July 5, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    I am shocked by the negative responses to Ellen’s piece. She is incredibly candid about her life. It’s not an easy one, but she makes the most of each moment, despite her worries. But sometimes life is too much to read a magazine, or a book. When I’m upset or overwhelmed with dealing with my special needs son, I also can’t focus on celebrity gossip, as much as I enjoy it. God bless Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise for making her interested in something other than her daily concerns. Don’t we all deserve a break from reality every now and then?

  15. by Lisa Rose

    On July 6, 2012 at 12:10 am

    I think this is a great piece. Reading celebrity magazines is a great distraction and I know that if I’m too busy, distracted or ill to read them, something must be very wrong. When I pick them up after an absence, I always laugh at celebrity drama, especially the Tom and Katie FAKE marriage drama. Cheers to an honest piece!

  16. by Elizabeth

    On July 6, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Had it been another article or just a vague mention of a gossip magazine no one would have said anything. She could have said she was glad to read about anything else in the news lately that wasn’t bad and it would have been fine.

  17. by Arlene

    On July 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Most people just didn’t get it.

    Ellen wasn’t wishing anything negative nor gloating at another’s suffering. She merely was expressing how the news helped temporarily divert her focus from the challenges she faced daily. This is a great article, well written and candid.

    Sometimes it really helps knowing that we’re not the only ones facing life’s challenging twists.

  18. by Linda

    On July 6, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I understand where she is coming from. It just so happens that’s the article she read at the time and was thanking them for the chance to be distracted for a little bit. Like someone stated earlier, they are celebs and constantly in the public eye.

  19. by WaitWhat?

    On July 7, 2012 at 6:40 am

    For those of you supporting publishing the article in support of Gossip… Gossip is just bad on so many levels. Gossip does not just affect celebrity, it ruins lives at school, at work and within families. There is a difference between news and gossip. I just lost alot of respect for Parents Magazine. No longer a fan.

  20. by Lauren M

    On July 7, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Not offended at all. It’s not actually meant for the celebrity couple to read, hear about, or respond to. It’s just saying that celebrity gossip is a distraction. It is! I relish the time spent waiting in a dentist or doctor’s office because I get to read magazines I wouldn’t normally get to read. It’s a great distraction.

  21. by Luna

    On July 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Wow. I cannot believe the overreactions in these comments. It’s okay, Ellen. There are still people out there who aren’t complete idiots and understood what you meant. And seriously, the marriage was a joke. Just because Katie had a poster of Tom Cruise on her wall as a teenager does not mean she should have married him. He’s nuts and I don’t have any sympathy for her for getting mixed up in his crazy.

  22. by andrea frazer

    On July 9, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Um, I think some of you people need to calm the Katie and Tomcat down. As the mom of a special needs kid myself, I did not in any way, shape or form take this woman as basking in the pain of anyone else. Your weird reactions to a funny article are way more a reflection of you than the author so just pipe down a bit, okay? Geez.

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