I wrote today on the chateau seven blog about hospice and compassionate end of life care. I was thinking about how, in my society, we're beginning to let go of the sense that everyone MUST be kept alive as long as possible. With the new perspective that values quality over length of life, we're designing beautiful, peaceful, humane ways with which to say goodbye to our beloveds, such as palliative care and hospice, and grief counseling.
Why isn't there a way to let go of relationships that is similarly compassionate, beautiful and peaceful? I don't know about you, but every break-up I've ever been through was full of acrimony and bitterness, anger and bad behavior, before, during and even afterwards. When a relationship is over, there's a sense that it should never have taken place, that the whole thing was rotten from beginning to end. The newly single often wonder why they couldn't see it was going nowhere, they sink into guilt, remorse or blaming. Just because we all must die, should we never have lived? Well?
Therapists can help couples stay together, sometimes, but once it's clear there's no fixing whatever went wrong, that's about all the help people get. Individuals can continue working through the shock and grief of breakups on their own, but couples don't ordinarily continue in counseling. Do they?
Why aren't there people whose job it is to gently encourage us to let go of relationships that have passed their expiration date? It's interesting to think about.
Divorce is almost always considered a failure. Even well meaning friends will continue to stoke up the bad feelings after a breakup. They say things like You're better off without him! What a jerk! He had issues - it's good that you're out of that rotten relationship ... etc. I know I've said those things. In my mind I was being supportive. But was I? You tell me.
I don't think I've ever heard anyone say, Oh it was such a beautiful coupling. How sad that it's now finished, but nothing lasts forever.