What Happens When Life Throws You a Curve Ball — and What Does Grief Look Like?

lone chair on the beach, blue sky, plants in sandOver the past year, I’ve connected with a special woman and devoted mother I’ve grown to respect and admire. We met initially when I appeared on a radio show she co-hosts – and then again when she invited me to appear on another show to help people understand what grief looks like. Last week she sent me an article she wrote and asked me if I had seen it. I hadn’t – yet I’m so glad she shared it with me.

This article is the first guest post I’ve included on my blog. When I read it, I knew it belonged here!

Often people do not recognize grief when it’s connected to losses unrelated to death. They don’t realize that unresolved grief can be extremely harmful. Sandra Beck has written a powerful, sensitive and transparent article about grief related to deep losses other than death. What she has to say is critical—and that’s why I wanted to share her article with you.

Here’s an introduction – and I hope you’ll take a few minutes to click on the link and read all of it. You’ll be glad you did!

“I recently read this great book on Grief by Judy Brizendine and though her marriage ended because her husband died, mine ended because my husband had an affair and left. Very different endings, but both included many of the same elements of the grieving process…Grief is like carrying around this big, heavy ball of lead in your heart that makes your brain go fuzzy and saps your energy. It’s chaotic. It’s overwhelming. It’s frightening and it’s utterly exhausting.

“I wanted to write about grief from a lost marriage because most people only think about grief when someone dies. But to some of us, a marriage is a valued, cherished and vital part of our being that needs to be grieved when it is lost…

“Loss is loss. There are a lot of losses associated with getting divorced – especially after a long time marriage. When you are ready, it’s worth learning about grief. It can help you put a label on what’s happening so you don’t feel crazy or like you are going crazy.”

Bouncing with Style: What Does Grief Look Like

© Photo courtesy of fotofrenze



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2 Responses to “What Happens When Life Throws You a Curve Ball — and What Does Grief Look Like?”

  1. Wonderful that you posted this, Judy. An excellent article by Sandra Beck (I didn’t find a comment place at her site so I could say so).

    While my husband was dying with incurable cancer, one of my best friends was experiencing something harder and more corrosive. By a strange mistake, she discovered her husband was involved with a long affair. Once exposed, he was unwilling to try to save the marriage.

    During my husband’s chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, and the breakdown of his unusually healthy body, our love was supported our loss. We pulled closer together and leaned into each other. I still had my husband’s love while my friend was abandoned and battered by betrayal. After my husband’s death, my mourning was simpler than the complicated mess she found herself in. Yes, sometimes death reveals betrayals and leaves awful messes, but in my case, I didn’t have to give up love or trust and never had to face rejection. I only had to learn to how to grieve and thrive at the same time.

    • admin says:

      I thought Sandra’s article was excellent, too, Elaine – and she so clearly wrote about extremely painful losses that are unrelated to death. Sometimes we tend to forget, or pay less attention to, losses such as Sandra described—but just like your friend experienced, other losses can be just as painful if not more so in some respects.

      I do believe some things that happen are actually worse than death. Yes, both you and I grieved the devastating losses of our husbands to death, but I agree with you that your friend’s loss would be more difficult and painful to grieve. Both you and I had the love, trust and support of our husbands as long as they lived. Your friend not only grieved the loss of her husband, but betrayal, rejection and other painful feelings related to her loss.

      Thanks so much for reading the post and sharing your thoughts, Elaine.