What better month to write about grief than during November.
November 1 is All Saints’ Day, also called All Hallows’ Day,
or Feast of All Saints in the Christian Church, a day commemorating
all the saints of the church, both known and unknown, who have
November 2 is All Souls’ Day, also known as the Commemoration
of All the Faithful Departed and the Day of the Dead. It is a day of
prayer and remembrance for the faithful departed.
November 1-2 is also celebrated in Mexico as the Day of the Dead,
when all the souls of the dead are believed to return to the world
of the living. Families make offerings to honor their departed, and
there is often a humorous tone of celebration about it all.
Then there is Veterans Day on November 11, a day meant to honor U.S.
veterans, past and present.
Since the collective unconscious is focused on loss, I thought
it appropriate to discuss the grief we feel when going through
Some would call this complicated grief. It’s complex because
we most likely feel a myriad of emotions along with the grief,
and some of them seemingly contradictory.
We can feel happy to be leaving a difficult situation, sad to
be giving up the dream of what could have been with the
relationship, excited about the possibility of what lies ahead,
fearful of financial instability and how it might affect our kids,
if we have kids, lonely, etc.
Even if you wanted the divorce and are choosing this, it’s normal
and perfectly acceptable to be grieving the end of this chapter
of your life. Give yourself permission to honor that.
If you are into traditions and commemorating transitions, feel
free to light a candle, burn some incense, share a glass of wine,
make a toast to the ending and to the new beginning. This type of
ritual has a way of anchoring us, grounding us to something
As I write this on November 22, I am aware that this evening my
husband, Steve, and I will do a shot of tequila to honor Steve’s
dad’s, Joe Monko, passing on 11/22/14. This is one of our traditions
to honor the ones we love who are no longer with us. Here’s to you,
Joe! We love and miss your silly sense of humor.
When we divorce, our lives are turned upside down. If we have
children, it’s even more dramatic and noticeable.
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you probably
know my story of giving my ex custody of my daughter, Maddie,
when she was 2. It’s a decision I will always regret.
During the 11 years that she lived with her dad, I’d return her home
on Sunday evening by 6pm after our weekend visit. I would start feeling
a drop in my energy Sunday afternoon and begin to feel anxious. I’d mind-
lessly snack on chips and cookies to fill the empty hole in my heart.
I knew what was coming. On our one hour drive to her home, I’d fill
in the time by telling her stories, made up on the fly. All sorts of stories
of monsters and strange happenings (as was her wish) would make
her all wide-eyed and smiley, eager for the suspenseful conclusion.
I’d hug her bye, and emotionally brace myself for the next long
12 days until I’d see her again. As I drove down my ex’s lane, I’d often
cry, feeling so sad and forlorn.
I grieved like this every single time I took Maddie home. This might
be part of your divorce experience too, and if it is, I’m sorry. I know
how much it hurts.
I said the long goodbye to Maddie on 10/26/18 when she passed at
22 years old with cystic fibrosis.
I am here to support you through your grief of divorce and loss.
I am offering two free, monthly events. Simply register with the
Confidently Navigate Divorce & Keep Your Kids out of the Middle
(zoom event on 12/7 at 5pm CT)—specific topic is “The Greatest Gift…you can give your kids”
Women’s Empowerment Through Loss (in-person event on 12/15 at 5pm CT)
Much love to you. May you deeply value the precious time you
have with your loved ones this week as we in the U.S. celebrate
Angie Monko, Owner, Harmony Harbor Coaching
Guiding women to a brighter future after divorce or loss