Dealing With Grief

Divorce and being widowed are the two most stressful life events.

Those who have gone through (or are presently going through) these profoundly challenging experiences have almost certainly gone through the 5 stages of grief as described by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her famous book On Death And Dying.  These are certainly applicable to divorces:

  • Denial
  • Anger/Resentment
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

The length of time it takes to reach the final level of acceptance varies greatly, as you can well imagine.  Here are some suggestions that may help you on your journey to a sense of wholeness:

  1. If you are divorcing, immediately implement a no-contact policy.  No phone calls, emails or jabs at your ex, and don’t lament the things you did or did not do. If you are widowed, don’t hang on to what you cannot change. These are NOT ways to move on.
  2. Do not beat yourself up verbally. Spending time feeling sorry for yourself prolongs the healing process unnecessarily.
  3. Do not allow memories to deter you from living your life to the fullest. Memories are just that, memories, not tangibles.
  4. Do not lose sight of what and who is important. You could realize that the only important relationship now is the one you have with yourself. No doubt you have spent many hours doubting who and what you are and if you are worthy and why you were rejected or left alone. You may have lost sight of the really good person that you are. You may have to re-introduce yourself to your own soul.
  5. Do not keep your hurt and anger inside! You cannot heal until you have been heard.  Consider support groups or therapy if you cannot find other avenues for release.

Spoil yourself to something you have always wanted and would not get or do. Read (or write) that book you always felt guilty about because of responsibilities to a spouse or family. Make new friends, go to new places, do new things. You are in charge now, so please yourself.

Remember, you are not alone.  We have been there and have come through it.


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