In some ways, divorce or separation can take more of a toll than if your ex-partner had died. This is because, with divorce and separation, there is seldom a simple closure. In bereavement, the loss is permanent without any prospect of you ever seeing that person again, therefore you learn to accept it sooner.
It is estimated that divorce is more traumatic than bereavement for this reason.
My mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in August 01. She died 11 weeks later. Anyone who has ever lost anyone to cancer will know how shite this time was.
You are right. Watching my mother battle cancer, and crying every step of the way with her and eventually losing her - though the loss was profound and all consuming - it does not compare to divorce. Her death was "easy" in emotional comparative terms. Why? because you fight cancer with love. You fight it with positivity and EVERYONE pulls together. Death is closure, and in the case of my mother - a blessed peace. You are so right. You can move on, remembering the person for who they were. Someone who dies doesnt choose to leave you. With divorce - the person you lose becomes your enemy. You fight against them while still loving them. Having to come to terms with betrayal/bad behaviour/and hurtful words and actions, while learning to unlove them. It's a death without an ending. You grieve for what you had and the person you knew, but you can never have the closure of a funeral, because the other person is probably at your door every other weekend to collect your kids. I can only think it is easier if you have no kids because you have no reason to see the person again.
I was married for 20yrs. Divorce or losing my mum? Divorce has definitely, without question, taken the biggest emotional toll.
I agree completely.
I hadn't worked out why it hurts so much when love dies, rather than the person, but Onelife you really summed it up when you said that the pain of bereavement is felt from a position of love.
I was fairly lucky. When I discovered my husband was having an affair all the love I felt for him died in my chest instantly. It never came back and so I never wavered from divorcing him. I guess if it had happened any other way I'd have suffered more and for longer. Mine was a "quick death" in terms of love.
But I still grieve for what we had (or what I thought we had), and I think I probably always will. Death without closure - that's exactly it.
Sorry to hear about your mum, what a horrid thing to happen.