I just read an excellent article by Cheryl Richardson about moving on and healing after a break up. She states that next to the death of a loved one, dealing with the end of a relationship is one of the most painful things in life that we will endure. Thinking about this statement makes me conclude that the death of a loved one is in so many ways similar to a break up.
In both cases, the relationship is drastically different from what you are used to. With the death of a loved one, you can no longer physically be there with that person. Same with a break up. You miss the physicality of your past relationship … the hugs, the kisses, the lovemaking, the cuddling. No matter that the person is still living and breathing; that physical part of your relationship is dead, no matter how good it once was.
The good times you once had with the deceased can no longer be had. The situation is identical with a break up of a commitment or marriage. You can no longer look forward to the fun times that were once spent with your ex—holiday traditions, dinner with friends, parties, or even the seemingly mundane events like making breakfast together, or grocery shopping. (Can you tell I will mostly miss food related events that occurred with the ex?)
An emotional death of one you used to love can be argued to be just as painful, if not more, than the physical death of a loved one because of the lack of compassion and sympathy you receive from others. Ever know anyone who received casseroles and flower arrangements when their divorce became final? Maybe I should be the first to start this act of condolences … “So sorry you’re no longer married, so I brought you lasagna and some lilies.” That would make me feel better!
I do believe that just like mourning the death of a loved one, we should mourn the relationship that is now kaput. I recommend reading this article  to heal and move on from the difficult process of divorce and breakups. The article recommends to write in a journal, join a supportive community, and to use your loss as an opportunity to learn, and I feel, to grow stronger. Now put a smile on your face, and go do something good for yourself! Me, I’m going to go make myself some lasagna!