Mourning a Breakup or Divorce


“Breaking up is hard to do”, or so the song goes. Well, there is a great deal of truth to those words. It truly is hard to do when it’s the demise of a relationship that you thought (at the beginning) was “the” one. Being side-swiped with the reality of a divorce or breakup may bring you to the point of mourning just like a death of a loved one. Probably because it is just like that.

Whether it hits you right away or has a delayed reaction, the pain of the loss of someone you love will send you into the same kind of emotional pattern an actual, physical death would do. And, that’s perfectly normal. You may try to put off the whole process by keeping yourself busy with friends, your children’s activities, work or all of the above, but it will catch up to you. It’s supposed to, so don’t be fooled by the lack of tears that may flow or the anger that may surface. It will come to claim its time, so it’s best to make time for it to happen instead of having it hit you at the most inopportune time.

I speak from hard experience when I say this. Nothing is worse than having the reality of the loss hit you while in a line at a grocery store. Or the anger of it strike while you’re driving on the freeway. Make a date with mourning by getting the kids out of the house for an evening, bring out your favorite candles, perhaps a bottle of wine (or other comforting beverage – tea happens to be my comfort drink of choice) and go take a long bath…then, let it flow.

It doesn’t matter what you feel. Just feel it. All of it! Don’t hold back anything and don’t hold it in anymore. Get ugly with your cry, because you know it is waiting to happen.   With everyone out of the house, you can get as cried out as you need to get. Also, don’t put an expiration date on this part, because you may open a floodgate and it may bring up more pain than you thought you originally contained. It doesn’t matter how little or how much you mourn, but it has to be done for your own emotional and mental health.

After a good purge, pick yourself up and put one foot in front of the other. No one, including yourself, should expect you to hit the ground running after a divorce or breakup. You may do that, and it’s fantastic if you do, but it’s okay if you don’t. Do what you need to do in order to process everything to the point where you’re ready to put it behind you and move forward. Even if you need to do some sort of “burial ritual”, such as burning pictures or throwing away other items that remind you of the pain of your relationship, do it. There’s no one right way to mourn, but it is a process that happens to us all to one degree or another.

So, let it happen, my friend. It’s okay.

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