There’s no escaping the grief process when a relationship ends, but there’s a great life waiting on the other side, if you allow it to happen.
I was cleaning out some junk in my closet the other day and found some photos of my cat Ricky, who went to the Rainbow Bridge several years ago. Ricky had cancer. He endured several surgeries and rallied back to snooze in the sun, chase imaginary gremlins and enjoy a good purr. But those good times became fewer and farther apart. Toward the end, there was no denying he wasn’t going to get better. His vet said I would know when it was time to let him go, and oddly enough, I did.
He was a great friend, so there’s no escaping the sadness. As much as I believe in the importance of a positive and grateful attitude, it’s also OK to experience pain when a relationship ends. The experience with Ricky was a reminder that grief isn’t just a mental thing, it’s a physical sensation — a cold and painful place in your chest. Clearly, the terms “heavy heart,” “broken heart” and “heartache” come from this shared human experience.
That same kind of pain happens when any relationship ends — and not just because of death. Friends move away, people grow apart and decide to pursue different paths, “irreconcilable differences” occur — and we are left to walk through that experience called the grief cycle: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.
Fortunately, it is a cycle. As painful as the loss may be, in time we come through the tunnel and emerge on the other side. In this week’s edition of Singular magazine, the article “Suddenly Single” looks at the experience of “suddenly” finding yourself living single after a marriage ends, whether by divorce or the death of a spouse.
For those of us who have walked through this kind of loss before, painful as it is, we know we won’t feel like this forever. We can recall when we were on our own and truly happy. However, for those who find themselves suddenly living solo after a decade or more of marriage, the thought of all that quiet solitude can be terrifying.
Do you remember the first time you climbed to the top of a high diving board, edging out as far as you could and finally leaping off into the deep end of the pool? The freaky sensation of falling, then hitting the water, sinking for a moment and then bouncing to the surface? Well, it’s the same when you jump into your new life without the person you thought would be your lifelong companion.
It may seem scary at first, but it only appears that way. There is a lot of us splashing around and having a great time in the singular pool — more of us every day. We’re here to support you and to cheer you on. You’ll find the water is just fine and before you know it, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t decide to jump in sooner.
Copyright © 2015 Kim Calvert/Singular Communications, LLC
Kim Calvert is the editor of Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.