Confronting the Despair of Divorce


You need to understand that I do these blogs years past the kind of mourning you are probably dealing with.  I went through that valley.  I felt all that desperate  pain, too.  And so now, being past it, I try to give you courage, optimistic hope and even humor.  But since some of you are in the middle of that active grieving, I’m sure some of what I write sounds trite and shallow in the face of your despair.  I wish I could hold each one of you in my arms and tell you everything will be okay.  I wish I could somehow protect you from the grief.  But if I could, you would never grow.

Judith Viorst in her book, Necessary Losses says this:  “But in our own different ways, we will have to pass through the terror and tears, the anger and guilt, the anxiety and despair.  And in our own different ways, having managed somehow to work our way through our confrontations with unacceptable losses, we can begin to come to the end of mourning.”  Her chapter on grieving the death (or divorce) of a spouse described the absolute despair I felt at the end of my marriage.  You should read her book.  The subtitle is “The Loves, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up In Order to Grow.”

Just know this:  you will get through the pain.  You will decide to live on.  You will find a way to come to grips with your losses.  And here’s the good part:  as unconvincing as it sounds from where you are, there will be joy again.  Real, deep, full-out joy and, yes, laughter.  And precisely because you have been through the unbridled grief, the morning takes on new meaning.  The gladness is brighter and more sure.  In fact, you can now make a new life that is indeed an amazing, whirling dance.

I’m sure you don’t believe that fact if you are still in the active grieving stage.  But put it in the back of your head that there will be an end to your mourning.  The new dawn will break through.  And truly “God will take off your black armband of grief, deck you out in wildflowers and turn your wild lament into a whirling dance!”

“You turned my wailing into dancing:  you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.”  Psalm 30:11 (NIV)

About the Author:

Suzy developed Midlife Divorce Recovery as a safe refuge for people healing and surviving the overwhelm of divorce. Starting her first RADiCAL support group in 2003 she's been helping women navigate the journey of divorce ever since.

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