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Embracing the Grief of Divorce

Today is one year since my father died.  I was struggling in the fog of grief and then 9 months later, my mother followed him.

Loss and grief are part of everyone’s lives and they are especially acute during the divorce process.  There is the loss of illusion. The loss of how you thought your future would be. The loss of the home, the family you thought you were building together, for your children. You may have lost the perfect ‘meet-cute story’, as it now turns out, you weren’t so perfect together.

My grief wells up and catches me by surprise at the oddest of moments.  Yesterday, I was driving to my parent’s house to put out some trash. As I drove through the familiar streets – my parents lived in their house for 63 years – I had a stab of sorrow, thinking I’ll have no reason to go to this neighborhood in the future, and I started to cry.  

Do I love that neighborhood?  Not particularly – but the change and the loss can well up in me at any time.

When you are grieving the loss of your relationship, approach yourself with kindness.  Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a beloved, close friend, small child.  (For an example of how not to talk to yourself, watch Physical with Rose McGowan on Apple TV.  It’s kind of amazing to see how they captured that mean, critical voice that is sometimes in my head  – that poor little puppy.  And poor me – and you.)

It’s important to let yourself feel all the aspects of sadness and loss. If you don’t have people in your life with whom you can share these feelings, look for a grief group. Then at least once a week you can let yourself mourn the losses of separation and divorce. 

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Raising Teenage Daughters with Nellie Harden

Nellie is a wife, mother to 4 teenage daughters, author and speaker in the space of Family Life & Leadership. She focuses on helping parents love & lead their teen/tween daughters in a way that teaches them to love & lead themselves while building a strong foundation of worth, esteem & confidence all before they leave home!

Her background is in biology and psychology, from humpbacks to humans, and she has invested decades of her life into personal, family, faith and leadership development. Most of all, she believes the best way to change the world is through one living room at a time!

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