People often talk about what you feel and experience when you lose a loved one, the hurt and grief that you experience then is commonly addressed and accepted as a completely healthy and natural part of the healing process. However, there are other ways that a loved one can be lost that has nothing to do with death, and one of the most common ways that a person can experience that loss today without a death is through divorce. While, it may not be as recognizable, someone going through a divorce will have the same grief and emotional responses as if someone they loved had passed away. The reasons behind this are simple, physically and emotionally one has to break ties with someone that they loved during a divorce, in much the same way that they would have to if that person had passed away.
Often people tell a person going through a divorce, that they should simply move on and put the past behind them. Not taking the time to think, that they are losing someone that they have spent a good deal of their lives with. Obviously, things went wrong somewhere along the way, but despite any negative emotions they have about the relationship their will also be memories that are both wonderful and cherished. A person has to have time to put these memories into perspective, as just that memories. While people often think this is an easy task to accomplish, or should be, it is often one of the most complex things that many people will face in their lifetimes. Finding a way, to not only lay those old memories to rest, but if there are children involved, to lay those memories to rest, get past the resentment and the hurt, and continue to parent a child with a person that you have had a relationship with who ultimately will continue to be a part of the child’s life, but not a part of yours. It is a task that is difficult, but not an impossible task.
The first step in this almost insurmountable task is to give yourself time and the space that you need to go through the inevitable sadness and grief that you will feel. Because, although there is not a person dying, there is a relationship dying which was held very close to your heart, and along with that relationship a person that was once closer to your heart than any other is passing from your life. Recognize this. Take all the time you need to allow yourself to heal from the undeniable pain that comes with the passing of your relationship.
Slowly, begin to push yourself to do more. Whether you volunteer somewhere, find a job, discover a new hobby, whatever means suits your taste and talent, get out and begin to explore and enjoy life as a single person. Seek out and meet new people with interests similar to yours. While I am in no way saying jump into a relationship with the first person that expresses an interest, explore your feelings with the type of people that you would enjoy being in a relationship with, you might just be surprised at what you discover about yourself along the way. Getting past a relationship that is over is truly one of the hardest things that most of us will face at some point during our adult lives. The only way to truly get beyond it is to grieve the relationship. Come face to face with our lost hopes, dreams and expectations, and realize that we can still build a wonderful future whether it is alone or with a new mate. Love can be a fabulous and wonderful thing, and the loss of it is a hurt that most people truly need time to grieve. So, take your time grieve your loss, then pick up the pieces and live your life, because there truly is life beyond divorce.