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Global Guide to Divorce Available at your local bookstore,  amazon US, amazon UK
Jack Jack the Cat

How to Get Closure After Divorce

There are rituals surrounding transitions in life – except for divorce. My sons even had a graduation ceremony between nursery and primary school. There may be a party to announce an engagement followed by a bridal shower and later a hen night. The fellows have their stag party. The wedding is marked by a reception, whether it is a quiet affair with family, or a big gala at a five star hotel. This is closure for the single life and a celebration to send the newlyweds on their merry way in life. When there is a death in the family, a funeral service is held followed by a wake. People mourn together, reminisce and have closure.

What happens after the divorce is finalized? Nothing. No ritual and no particular closing ceremony. When my husband and I signed our papers for divorce in my solicitor’s office, I commented that champagne would have been nice. Although our divorce would not be finalized by the judge for several weeks, I felt like there should have been something afterwards. Think I stumbled into a coffee shop for a latte on my way back to the car.

On the day the judge was to issue our divorce decree, my sons gave me flowers and chocolate. My mother took us all out to lunch, more because the ordeal was over than anything else. For the next few years they gave me more flowers and chocolates to mark “our” (their words) divorce anniversary. Friends took me out for a few weeks following my divorce which was a nice gesture. I did not have any specific closing ceremony.

In interviewing people – some said that they had a closure activity involving their wedding rings. One said she threw her gold wedding band into a roaring river and it soon was swept away. Another had her wedding band melted into a pendant. One woman waited until she had collected two wedding bands to have them made into another piece of jewellery. Some swapped out the diamond for a coloured stone. I sold my engagement ring on e-bay.