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  • Ways to Thrive After the Tragedy of Divorce

    Ways to Thrive After the Tragedy of Divorce

    Ways to Thrive After the Tragedy of Divorce

    After divorce-especially unexpected divorce-shame and responsibility can feel inescapable.

    Healing can feel like an abstract concept. Pain feels inescapable. But life goes on, and we must turn our thoughts and our heart away from what has been lost to what might be found. We must find what works for us to accomplish that goal. For me, I relied heavily on my friends, my journal, and my therapist.

    Empower ourselves

    Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand up taller than you ever were.

    We must become open to opportunity and keep our head up and our eyes open. When the life we have known has been snatched away from us, it is difficult to move ahead. However, if we are looking down and at what was past, we will miss what lies in front of us and the options that will become available.

    For me, writing my story provided a healing catharsis. I found success in the publication of my book and the satisfaction in the accomplishment. I realized I could take on new challenges and appreciate new opportunities. I came to be truly grateful that he was “done” with our marriage. His leaving led me to a new beginning and enjoying every moment of the journey without him and on my own.

    Find the “silver lining”

    “You can’t control what happens to you in life, but you can control who you will be after it happens.”-Jennifer Pate Gilbert

    Divorce is the death of a marriage.

    Death requires grieving. Grieving is an experience as individual as the person experiencing the loss. No one can do the hard work of healing for us. They cannot understand the depth of the pain we are in.

    They are unaware of the strength required to recover from that pain. The path, timeframe and means to the discovery of our personal silver lining are arbitrary, circuitous, and seemingly unachievable.

    We must each dig deep and discover our own inner strength

    We must believe in and work toward opening the window that will replace the door that has been closed in our lives.

    We must find the rainbow after our darkest storm and we must move toward it. Triumph does indeed follow tragedy if we are open to the option and allow it to happen.

    The takeaway-growing into ourselves

    “We are born, and we may never know to whose prayers our life is the answer”

    Change is never easy, but it is always possible.

    We must be receptive to change. We must embrace the idea of change if we want to move ahead with a meaningful and fulfilling life. That new life will likely look quite different from the one we had-or the one we had imagined.

    Yet different can be better. Remember the caterpillar who turned into a butterfly! I promise, if I could thrive after what occurred to me, all can thrive after the tragedy of divorce.

    Kathryn was born at the Great Lakes Naval Station near Chicago, Illinois and spent much of her life in the Chicagoland area. She has spent thirty years in the classroom and has taught in Illinois, California, and Virginia before retiring to South Carolina. It was there where the seeds of her book took root. Two Minus One: A Memoir followed the unexpected abandonment by my second husband.
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