April 12, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

How Does an Ex-Spouse Grieve?

There is no Hallmark card for a divorced husband when everyone is sitting shiva for his deceased former wife.

I was married for 45 years to a wonderful woman. We had wonderful times together and have wonderful children and eight beautiful grandchildren. We also had some rough times in the last few years and unfortunately went through a divorce. I gave her a get and we went on with our lives.

Unfortunately she got very sick, which took her life very quickly. She passed on the first day of November 2023.

Do I sit shiva? No, I wasn’t married anymore. Do I say Kaddish? No, I wasn’t married anymore.

So there I was sitting in the back of the room where my kids were sitting shiva. Did anyone come over to me and say sorry? Very few people. Even my so-called friends who knew us both absolutely ignored me.

Did anyone realize I was suffering also? Yes, things were difficult in the last years but there certainly were some strong feelings still inside. I felt terrible that she suffered so much at the end and I truly could not do anything that could help me get over the feelings I had.

Unfortunately, people take sides and ignore the other person who is hurting also. It was truly sad and gave me a true perspective on how people act.

I was told that people “didn’t know how to act toward me.” That is no excuse. I know that I would have acted differently if I ever was put into that situation. People should have realized that if I didn’t care, I would not have been there.

So yes, there were no Hallmark cards for me, which I truly felt sorry about.

DS
Teaneck
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