Breaking up with or losing a person who started off as a soul mate, can never be easy. Whatever the reason for the break up, there is no way anyone can sail through it without acute heartbreak and pain. When people go through this situation, they feel that is the end! There will be no more happiness, no more partnership and no companion can ever take the place of the one they have lost.Staying stuck at home and trying to pretend that the sadness or grief will disappear by itself, will only postpone it. The pain will actually be always under the surface and the slightest scratch will spill all of it out! Unexpressed emotions can be a hotbed of psychosomatic issues, later on in life. It can halt the process of normalization, and stop the flow of natural healing- popularly called moving on.
But as all things in life, time moves on and the heart heals. The pain never goes away, it just becomes a part of the life and ...well, life moves on.
Some people find another mate, perhaps happiness, and in some cases, much better companionship and compatibility in a second chance. Everyone realises time will pass, the pain will lessen, but even that doesn’t lessen the grief and shock, a numb pain- in the initial few weeks and months.
A big part is played by the social stigma that still is the reality of the human society in a way it looks at newly single, widowed or divorced individuals. In many cases, single - again people find it difficult to socialize because seemingly happy couples don’t necessarily want to hangout with them, and singles don’t want to have the pain spill over in their independent lives. This mild but painful situation adds another layer of grief to an already sad situation.
When one loses a partner to death, the pain seems to run deep, very deep. They feel they will never be able to recover, but that’s not how nature works. With time, it lessens, numbs and a crust forms on the wound. While friends can help by just being there, family can be a pillar of strength, the biggest healer at this sensitive time is just venting. Experts put it above all sorts of healing activities- taking about the pain, expressing deeply painful emotions, and in a way, cauterizing the wound.
Most people find it hard to carry on with old acquaintances and friends. In many cases, after a family breaks through a divorce, friends are forced to take sides of either partner- which is a very tricky ground that most people like to avoid. Under the new circumstances, it is difficult to find a sympathetic ear.
Individual friends often fill the gap- a woman can go back to her girlfriends to talk of her pain, and try to move on. Men may socialise a bit more after a breakup, down a couple more pints and lighten their burden on a well-meaning friend. But this cannot be the permanent solution- everyone has a limit of patience. No one can do with sob stories for an infinite period of time.
Perhaps its time to look for a group that shares experiences. Not exactly a divorcees or widows or widowers anonymous, but at least a group of people with similar pain- who can share their experiences, giving support to each other. In fact groups that encourage these conversations are a good place for divorcees to come out of their isolation and share their pain.
Having someone, or some people to talk to, will allow them to find their way back into the normal social circuit, without feeling like an alien in a world of love and marriage. Brene Brown, researcher and the professor who talks of ‘ The power of vulnerability and ‘Courage is contagious’, says in her TED talk, "In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen." That’s the strength that will make the situation better. Vulnerability is natural, but with well meaning ears for support, talking to someone at this raw time, can be the biggest strength.
This sense of isolation has brought out many empathetic souls to start talking groups where participants can bask in anonymity or talk about themselves- and share their experiences. It is often the only healing process required.
At this vulnerable time, friends with only the best interests at heart, who are willing to listen, can be the biggest healers. A sympathetic ear, an understanding heart…and perhaps a pizza- could be the balm on a torn soul.