After reading my work on loss after a death, many people have commented on the similarities in the aftermath of their divorce. “The loss feels the same in so many ways,” they observe. Yes, the transition is huge. And it’s so important to do it well for all who are involved in the process.
In death, you can no longer be with that person physically. You cannot spend time with them to continue the relationship on an emotional level, so you detach and find new emotional attachments in your life. This does not mean that you stop loving or remembering, it’s just that the relationship is not as it was when the person was living. It can’t be.
In divorce, the relationship changes because it’s different than it once was. This is due to circumstances and a difficult situation, not because someone has died and left completely. Divorce includes multiple losses in numerous secure relationships: Mom and Dad, brother and sister, Grandpa and Grandma, uncles and aunts, friendships and shared communities are all interrupted as people have to redefine their relationship with those involved in the divorce. Continue reading →