Grieving and Healing Through Separation and Divorce

In my blogs I like to add my perspective to an expert’s article.  My theory is that I may add my expertise from working with divorcing couples to the ‘authority’ I find online.  In today’s case, the article that caught my attention was not written by a therapist, lawyer or financier, but is an author’s very heartfelt account of the grieving and healing process from his separation and divorce.

What struck me about Steven Crandell’s (“For Men Who Have Everything Including a Broken Heart—Thoughts on Surviving Separation 2: Grieving is Healing”) account was how deeply he was affected and how openly he shared his pain, his challenges, and the universal lessons he learned.  I often encounter spouses who are grieving terribly for the loss of their marriage and the life they thought they had chosen.  The circumstances and experiences are different for every individual.  There are support groups.  Many are not inclined to share their pain publicly.

What I offer today is one man’s account (the stages of grief and lessons learned are just as true for women), of his journey out of the grief and onto the healing.  Mr. Crandell’s lessons:

  1. Accept Grief.
  2. Grieving is Healing.  Hurting sucks but it’s natural and appropriate.  The healthiest among us will not seek mind-numbing escapes to avoid this natural process.  The process is an opportunity to grow stronger, deeper and more aware and more compassionate.
  3. Learn to Wait.  “If you don’t know what to do, it’s ok to do nothing.  It may even be the best option.”  When you relax you will best realize what you want to do.

The three lessons of “Grieving and Healing” in tough situations:

“When confused, ask questions.

When in pain, face it and try to understand.

When uncertain of what to do, consider waiting.”

What I want to add to this is that reading and watching this personal account of the grieving and healing process may prove cathartic.  While that first day when the children walk out the door for the alternate parent’s time with them may feel like your heart has been ripped from your body, a time will come when you learn to appreciate the ebb and flow.  You are thrilled when they return home and have so much to share, but one day…some day when they leave, one of those visits may become an opportunity to go to a yoga class, get some shopping done, read a book and otherwise enjoy your own company with some me time until your beloved children are back on your doorstep.