Grieving Life’s Diverse Losses

Today I am realizing that when our children or couples we love divorce, there’s a mourning period involved. Particularly with friends that we only knew when they were married. We have to mourn and let go of those we have loved in relationship. It has nothing to do with thinking they should or shouldn’t divorce. It just involves coming to grips with the differences.

With a child we knew and loved long before they married or divorced, we at least have something to look back to, but not with the spouse that we only knew as a unit with our child. They simply aren’t the same person now that we have only known. There really is a necessary time of mourning, particularly if we truly came to love them as part of that unit. And mourning involves the stages of grief…..denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

I think recognizing this can help us not bog down hopelessly at any point in the process. I am also beginning to reflect on the possibility that we have to go through a similar process when either people we love or we ourselves change because of aging or illness.
I realize now that I need to cut myself some slack and take time to reflect on the effects of this recent period in my life that includes my own losses of abilities and joys through age and illness, my husband experiencing losses from these also, one of our adult children and a spouse that I loved deeply as a couple for many years now being divorced, and friends that I have loved and only known as a couple divorcing.
The last year and a half have simply been overwhelming and I have been bogged down in emotional denial of some of these things and in anger over others.
Hopefully, recognizing this  and my need for grace will help me move through to the peace of acceptance.

About Eileen

Mother of five, grandmother of nine, great-grandmother of five. 1955 -1959 Rice University in Houston, TX. Taught primary grades; Was Associate Post Director of Religious Education at Ft. Campbell, KY; Consultant on the Myers/Briggs Type Indicator, Was married for 60 years to an Architect in Middle Tennessee.

Posted on June 3, 2017, in Healing, hope, Love, marriage, Mental Health, Necessary Losses, Prayer, relationships, self-doubt, spiritual growth, Suffering and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I don’t have things to add, but I love you.


  2. Blessings as you grieve your losses, Eileen. I agree it is a necessary part of being human.


  3. You are not letting go of the people Eileen. and U don’t have to. You are just letting go of the “construction” of what U perceive ‘relationship’ as. Grief yes… but love always.
    No one needs to be mourned when they are alive… even if you R experiencing grief. That’s not what Jesus was/is doing.
    that’s not acceptance…
    People get to grow apart and change is all. This is not a mourning period… even if it’s growing pains. We gotta stop looking at divorce as death. IMHO. And it is ok when we split up… but continue to love the family. and NO I do not know everything or anything at all…
    and i love you.
    your pal forever,


    • I do understand what you are saying. I think the difference is semantics and in our stage of life.
      Change usually involves loss, even when the gains out weigh them. Loss is a dying of sorts, even
      if just to a dream or illusion. At this point in my life, even physical death doesn’t seem like an ending, just a door to something better.
      My son’s divorce, his wife starting to work full time, my and Julian’s health issues limiting our strength for the two hours of driving to see our grandchildren or to have them here overnight has been a drastic change for a year and a half now.
      My having begun to be active in politics and also the plight of the homeless and now having to let go of even that makes me face some unpleasant realities.
      Dying to things that we thought vitally important in our life, even just the status quo, is actually
      the central process of our time of life. When faced and dealt with, this is an incredibly freeing and grace filled experience.
      More and more I realize that I need to focus on Julian more, but also realize that time is short even for that.
      This is simply the present part of the spiritual journey…..letting go….dying to self. It makes this stage meaningful when we recognize that the challenge to let go , though painful, is grace.
      Love you. You are in a different place and even words, like death, have different meaning for you. Stages of life are about very different things, although holding things with open hands is pretty important at every stage. The only thing permanent is change. Love you. Hope you are well. I pray for you as one of my family.


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