Grieving: life after love ends

SHE DARES TO WRITE: We all believe we will do it differently to our parents, figure out how not to fail in a ‘marriage’ but when the unthinkable happens, how we cope really defines who we are as an adult women! SD X’.

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By Maryjay l’mour

When my ex left the house I felt elated. Like I was relieved from a very heavy backpack. Energy was flowing again through my body and I was suddenly able to move. I felt light, burden-free, as if I had awakened from a lengthy lethargy. I was ready to start with my new life and it was going to rock!

Or at least that is what I thought. 

I decided to start anew with some changes in the house. So I bought new mattresses and new bed linen, I changed the curtains, occupied the whole closet with my things and move some furniture around. I treated myself to some new underwear and new clothes. I performed an energy-cleansing ritual of the house. 

Then the kids came back from their summer holidays, school started again and autumn took away the sunny days of the summer. And then… then real life as a divorced mother of two started. And things began to feel heavy: the logistics and the shifting days; the rushed mornings to bring the kids to school and try to be at work on time; the hectic evenings; the agreements and disagreements with my ex. As well as the absence of emotional support and physical contact. And then of course all those kid-less weekends with no plans and no agenda. That weird feeling of forced freedom was so foreign to me that I honestly didn’t know what to do with all those empty hours. I must confess that my house never looked more clean and tidy!

Then winter arrived and the last crumbs of my initial euphoria abandoned me, leaving me weak and desolate. I started weeping at every occasion. I felt enormously tired and was not able to stop sleeping. I had no motivation, no energy, no will to go forward. 


What was happening to me? I wondered. How is this possible? How can I move from the top of happiness to the bottom of disgrace in just six months? How can I feel so blue, so sad and miserable?  Where is all this unhappiness and fear coming from?

And then it hit me. 

I was grieving and all those mixed emotions and feelings were part of it. I was grieving the death of my relationship, the loss of my love. I was grieving for the end of the family life I imagined I was going to have. I was grieving and there was nothing I could do to stop the process. 

So I decided to let it happen. And boy…did it come on hard.

I think I felt it all:

fear, anger, resentment, sadness, confusion, blame and guilt. Disappointment and pain. Lots of pain! Like the pain you have when every inch of your body is terribly aching and your mind is just about to give up the fight.

Luckily my mind held on. Not because of the bright future that might have been waiting for me or the possibility to finally find love or because I was a fighter never bending to the heaviness of life. My mind held on only because of the kids.

Those little time and energy suckers really saved me from sinking in my own misery.

Cause up to that point I was able to quit everything, to hide from the world under my blankets and disappear but I was not able to stop being a mother and to fulfil my motherhood responsibilities to the best of my abilities.

So I went on, like an automaton, doing all those things that were part of our daily routine: getting up early, getting dressed, making their lunches, having breakfast, going to school. Once out and dressed I had no excuse not to go to my work so I did that too. Then picking them up, making dinner, reading a book, kissing good night and going to bed. Cleaning the house, making shopping’s, going to the park…

I am honestly not able to recall any of those repetitive days and activities. They are all blurry and grey in my head. I am pretty sure that I was not the most funny, cheerful or active mom. But I went on and five months later I woke up one morning and for the first time in ages I didn’t feel like sobbing an ocean. And more important, the pain was gone.

I barely could believe it!  I examined myself everywhere, looking for signs. Everything was in its right place. I went to the bathroom and had a long look at myself and my naked body.

I looked terrible! I was white as death and I had lost five kilos. My ribs were sticking out of my almost transparent body and I had big ugly raccoon eyes. I was a zombie! 

But I could not complain. I was alive, grief-free, and just like the recently arrived spring, I too was ready to bloom again.


With love from She Dares writing group. This is one of our many blogs written by group members, if you feel inspired to contribute…. don’t be shy, write with us.

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