Microsoft word - coping with grief

Coping With Grief
Part II: Loss Through Divorce
In Part I we discussed loss through death. This issue focus on coping with grief as a result ofseparation or divorce.
Individuals facing marital separation and eventual divorce undergo similar stages described in Part 1.
However, the emotional experience may differ in terms of frequency and intensity. The spouse whohas lost her loved one is more likely to undergo the stages of the grief process in the order mentionedin Part 1: whereas the divorce person could experience the stages singly or together at any phase ofthe divorce process. Feelings could range from failure, rejection, defeat, resentment, guilt andfrustration to emotions of relief and even euphoria.
In order to cope better, the person undergoing divorce should have a clear understanding of theemotions she is likely to experience.
Emotion pain which is often accompanied by humiliation. A sense of low esteem is likely to
set in.
Difficulty adjusting to the status from a married person to that of a separated / divorced
Uncertainty and guilt. She feels responsible for depriving the children of their other parent.
Being targets of their children’s anger. Grief is more likely to be shared with the children of
the widowed that for the divorced. The children may resent her for depriving them of their
other parent. She is likely to have difficulty explaining to the children the reasons for the
Loneliness. This is more acute for the divorcee, especially when she is among married
friends. People are more sympathetic towards the widows and the divorcees. Divorcees are
also seen as easy meat.
Anger. This is more intense for the divorcee. In bereavement they are less deeply felt and
soon muted.
Painful memories. The widows can draw strength from memories of a relationship that was
string and firm. The divorcee is plagues with painful and better memories. For the widowed,
the spouse is a memory often cherished. As for the divorcee the other parent continues to
have visitation and other rights and struggle for custody often continue.
Tragedy accompanied by a sense of failure / bad judgment. For the widow, the death is a
tragedy per se
Financial deprivation (in most cases). Support payment from former spouse is not always
forthcoming. The widowed is more likely to receive gratuity, insurance and other social
Copyright @ HELP Family Service Centre – All Rights Reserved tel: 6457-5188 fax: 6457-5343 Relief. She is now free and lead her own life and start afresh.
The above factors show that generally, the widowed receive more public sympathy and support thandivorced, It goes without saying that coping is more difficult for the divorce / separated than for thewidowed largely because of the social stigma attached to a divorcee.
The following are the ways a divorcee could consider in her attempt to cope with the grief process.
Seek out the best person with whom to discuss your problem. Talk it out with someone youcan trust. In may cases of dilemma, you may need the expert help- your lawyer your pastor,the school teacher or principal, your doctor. Professional help may be a necessary if theemotions get out of control.
Get to the root of your apprehension and anxiety. Understand what is causing it.
Practise positivity. In your hands is the control of your emotion life. You may have heard thissaying: “Two man looked out from the prison bars. One saw mud the other saw stars.” Replace “I can’t” with “I will”. Take time off to “stand and stare” and to appreciate thebeauty and goodness of life. Be prepared. Expect to be miserable. Keep in mind that there will be a grieving period you willgo through and that it will pass.
Write all the things that hurts as will as the things that you are blessed with.
Concentrate on simple joys. Life does not read like Hollywood script.
Change your behaviour. Stop listening to mushy sentimental songs if it depress you. Remindyourself that things could have been worse. If it doesn’t work, play the love songs, exhaustyour sadness until boredom sets in.
Discover your inner strength. Examine your personal worth, stop complaining. Develop yourcapabilities. Start believing in yourself. You will be amazed to learn that you do have hiddentalents which never surfaced.
10. Lead an active life. Inactivity lets you dwell too much on the tragedy.
For more Exclusive Newsletters, please visit Copyright @ HELP Family Service Centre – All Rights Reserved tel: 6457-5188 fax: 6457-5343


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