Intro: The sixth phase of grief for couples and families after divorce bring meaning and renewal.
By Hiram Rivera-Toro & Karen Shipley
Entering autumn is a time of goodbyes. Of saying farewell to summer and all the special memories the season brings: family get togethers, backyard Bar B Q’s, beach outings, and long road trips. September 22, 2020, however, marks the passage of a summer that never was: cancelled proms and graduation ceremonies, June weddings rescheduled, and sheltering at home instead of hanging out. COVID has rendered our lives unrecognizable as we come to realize there’s no going back to the way it was. The past is lost, and the future is uncertain.
Parents facing divorce is much like facing Autumn in the time of COVID. It produces “anticipatory anxiety”, that feeling of dread that accompanies unwelcome change. It is part of a painful divorce experience that, in many ways resembles the type of grief associated with tremendous trauma and loss. Professionals trained in the behavioral sciences identify this as the Grief Cycle (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, MD), which include five distinct emotions and thoughts: denial, anger, depression, bargaining (often experienced as wishful thinking, what if’s, and “only If I had . … Read More “Out of every ending, there is a new beginning”
Separation and divorce are crises for families. The COVID-19 pandemic adds another layer of crisis on co-parents and their children, who are already stressed. The virus is endangering lives world-wide. In record numbers, people are losing their jobs, their income, and their familial and social connections.
Those who still have their jobs are balancing working virtually from home, taking care of their non-school age children, helping their other children with online schooling, and worrying about the health and safety of their family, extended families, and friends.
If you and your co-parent have had a productive co-parenting relationship before the pandemic, you may be able to see an opportunity to work together and support each other and your children more than you have before. Bruce Fredenburg, one of my colleagues, says that the children are the real wealth of the family. With this in mind, you can become a more united team to preserve that wealth and ensure your children’s emotional and physical well-being.
A healthy co-parenting relationship is vital to your children’s physical and emotional health.
By Leslee Newman, Family Law Attorney, CDSOC Member
The pandemic of COVID-19 has swept us up and dramatically changed the way we live in just a matter of weeks. Our existence has become restricted, regulated, and different than we’ve ever known. We have all become isolated in our own homes. The freedom to come and go as we wish has been greatly altered. We cannot go to restaurants, to our offices and work sites, and to many public places. We cannot enter places of religious worship, attend lectures, professional meetings, go to the theater, to concerts, to movies, or even personally meet with friends. And our children cannot go to school. How traumatically sad for those students in the Class of 2020, graduating from high school and college.
With children now at home full-time, who cares for them, who teaches them, who keeps them busy, and prepares their meals? We are all prisoners of the Covid pandemic, isolating ourselves to avoid this terrible, and often deadly disease, especially for mature and older adults.
A recommended article written by Carol R. Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT, Child Specialist and Divorce Coach
The spread of the COVID-19 virus and the subsequent government shelter-at-home orders have upended “life as normal” for California co-parents and their families. Now more than ever is the time for co-parents to work together, support each other, and model effective problem-solving for their children.