Grief is normal for one going through a divorce in Connecticut, especially a bitter divorce. Once the person has truly accepted in his or her mind that the divorce is imminent, the process of dealing with the grief can begin. It isn’t an easy process — there are many stages, and each needs to be experienced and processed individually — sometimes being revisited again later on. With the right approach and self-awareness, the process doesn’t have to be crippling and can actually lead to self-improvement and a happier life.

Anger is a normal emotion. It provides energy and motivation to act and shields one from fully experiencing some more difficult emotions like sadness or loneliness. If left unchecked, however, anger can be destructive. The trick to anger is to reap its benefits without letting it get out of control. Experience it, use it and then move on.

Once anger subsides, one can begin to look more subjectively at the situation and begin to consider his or her own contribution to the divorce. Rarely is divorce really one-sided. Accepting one’s own faults and shortcomings will allow him or her to move to the next stage of the grief process: compassion and gratitude for the other spouse. It may seem impossible or even ridiculous at first, but once this stage is reached, empathy and understanding can help to see the other spouse in a different light. Realizing that he or she is also dealing with loneliness, sadness and grief can help one move to a stage of compassion for the other spouse and gratitude for the life and experiences that have been shared.

Outside support is imperative for navigating these stages of overcoming grief. A trained therapist can provide an unbiased view of the situation and advice on a healthy approach to each stage of the process. A support group can provide camaraderie and help with the loneliness that divorce produces. An experienced divorce attorney will provide guidance in navigating the Connecticut legal system and will help keep the focus on productivity and moving forward. With the right attitude and support system one can navigate through the stages of grief and on to a happier, healthier life.