A Loss is a Loss/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on March 12, 2014

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The Wall Street Journal, on February 25, 2014, featured an article on dealing with grief after a loss. The focus of the piece was on Becky Aikman’s book on loss of a spouse, entitled “Saturday Night Widows”. The book discusses a widows support group founded by Ms. Aikman in the aftermath of the loss of her husband. The article cites a comment by Dr. Camille Wortman, Professor at Stony Brook University, who suggests that it is important when dealing with the aftermath of loss to “Stay in touch with your values.”

A divorce is clearly a different type of loss than a death, but a loss it is. Grieving need not be destined to control a particular period of time before it lifts. There needs to be an active decision to move forward. The Aikman book quotes Dr. George Bonanno, a psychologist, who gives the following advice: “It is adaptive to spend ‘some’ time processing your loss, but to focus on your loss ‘all’ the time is harmful.”

Divorce, perforce, compels one to look forward rather than backward. There is much of life that hopefully lies ahead. After some initial period of grief, think ahead to the next chapter. Your children will appreciate it. Your friends will appreciate it. Indeed, divorce may be the perfect time to be in touch with values and with yourself.

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