Divorce is unfair in that is often asks people to make some of the most important decisions in their lives at a time when they may be impaired by many emotions, including grief.
Many clients experiencing divorce have described the process as feeling like dealing with a death. It is true that no person dies, and therefore the analogy of death is not perfect, but a marriage dies and some amount of grief would seem quite natural. In addition, grieving the loss of a marriage can be complicated because there is less of a support network. As a culture, we have learned how to help people grieve death. However, the people in your support network may not know how to help you grieve the loss of your marriage, and that can cause them to respond with either anger or avoidance instead.
One of the significant trends in our society is an increased understanding of the role of hospice when someone in approaching death. Hospice occurs after all efforts to preserve life have been exhausted. At that time, the focus of the medical team and support personnel turns away from finding a medical “solution” and toward providing comfort and care and preparation for what lies ahead.
It may seem odd, to think about hospice for a dying marriage, but many of the same principles may apply. If all efforts to save the marriage have been exhausted, it may be best for the legal team, as well as friends and family, to switch to providing comfort, and, perhaps, to finding time to grieve.
Giving divorcing clients time to grieve, and providing resources to help them with the grief, (including options such as coaching, or divorce closure counseling), could help people make better decisions when they are ready to focus on divorce details.
If you are facing divorce, and feel like you need time to grieve, it is important to select a divorce team that understands why this is important, and to fully explore your divorce options so that your emotional health can be taken into account. To learn more, go to www.collaborativelaw.org or www.divorcechoice.com.
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