When you’re divorced and your Ex dies, the rituals of grief can be awkward.
If you’re the person married for a long time and the parent of the children, the situation is sticky because you know your Ex’s family well, and you want to support your children through this first loss of a parent. If you were only married a short while and share no children, but the Ex has married again, your role in the grieving is uncharted territory. The current spouse of your Ex gets to decide the details of the rituals; this may mean you’re asked not to participate.You want to be there for your children, but your children may want you to avoid creating any more drama than the grief they’re already feeling. Your kids will probably not be able to give you much support through this time because they’re overwhelmed with their own loss. Yield to the current spouse and the will of your Ex’s extended family. There will be plenty of years to comfort your children. The situation feels unfair and messy; indeed, it is.
Dr. Jankovich has been working as a psychologist since 1974. She works with a range of areas, including relationships, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, grief, trauma, and struggles with life transitions.
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