Serving the widowed, separated and divorced



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About Grief

Grief is a normal reaction to a loss.  In these articles, you will find information about what grief is, sources of help to deal with your own grief, and how to help those you know and love deal with the grief experience.

Why do I just want to be alone?

Divorced and widowed ministry resource person

by Fr. Dick Mevissen, CSsR
Spiritual Director
Beginning Experience International Ministry, Inc.

Many people in the devastating aftermath of the end of their marriage, either through death or divorce, wonder why they just want to be alone now.  There are a couple of reasons for this (perhaps intense) desire.
The basic reason is that people who are grieving the end of their marriage find themselves feeling quite wounded amid the ruins of their couple-life which they had hoped would be “happily ever after."  At a time like this, all the attempts at sympathy or advice by family members, friends, or even strangers, however well-meaning, can all be just too much!  There is the natural desire, like a wounded animal, to withdraw back into one’s den to lick one’s wounds.

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Parting is all we know of heaven,

And all we need of hell.

—Emily Dickinson

How you can help someone who is grieving

When someone you know has experienced the loss of a spouse, you may experience a great deal of certainty.  While we may wish to be helpful, we may not know what to do or what to say to be of comfort to the grieving person.  Here are some suggestions:


I'm sorry.

I care about you very much.

Trust yourself.

It's okay to cry or be angry.

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Reacting to loss

The end of a marital relationship is one of the most traumatic losses a person will ever experience. The normal, natural reaction to such a loss is grief. You need to go through the grief to heal.

Grief is much more than a feeling, although feelings are a part of it. Feelings of grief may include, among others:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Helplessness
  • Shock
  • Relief
  • Bitterness
  • Guilt
  • Loneliness

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