I’m told that the three most stressful things you can do in life are: moving house, losing someone close to you (grief) and getting divorced. The one I’d place last is maybe moving house. Grief is grief – hard work that never ends but just becomes less frequent.
What is it Leonard Cohen says in that song? ‘Everybody’s broken, like their father or the dog just died’. I’ve been an orphan for many years now, but I still miss my folks. They are part of me and remain integral in my personality and my thoughts. That’s not to say I haven’t resolved those grief issues. If my mother was alive now she’s be over 100 years old, with one leg, blindness, dementia and a colostomy. Hell, I’d never wish that on anyone I have feelings for. I think grief is a pretty selfish thing – we are upset because we are denied that person.
Divorce, well what can I say? It depends mainly on the type of relationship you had and continue to maintain with your ex-partner. If you loved them when you split then it hurts for life. Karl Jung had a theory that in true, deep love there is an exchange of ‘self’ so that the other person becomes part of your psychological core. When you split, it leaves a ‘hole’ which we constantly seek to fill. I think the Jungian thesis is very logical from personal experience. But… And there is always a ‘but’.
Most splits end in rancour and the anger and frustration promulgated by the law and hungry solicitors (who, because they are on the breadline and need the money to feed their starving children) fan the flames and prolong the legal issues. Anger is a kind of self-defence against the pain of loss and most psychologists would suggest that it’s useful. It prevents the person from sinking deeper and deeper into the mire of depression. Maybe they’re right – I don’t know, but from personal experience maintaining a friendly relationship with someone who you used to love is hard. The stress goes on as long as you are in contact – so there can be an end to it, just accept the split.
Today, the packers are coming! Yes, I’m moving to a smaller house since there’s only my daughter and me left. Downsizing is a nightmare. Half the furniture is going to a charity and the only day they can pick up the stuff is the same day as the removal people are coming to move my stuff. I discovered I had 143 DVD’s, 100 vinyl albums and hundreds of CD’s. Sorting through one has to be vicious. I’m maybe a natural hoarder (my daughter tells me that anyway). I still have stuff to sort out and they’ll be here in half an hour. Stress, stress stress! But it will go in a week or two. I will be moved in, I will begin to relax and maybe even get back to writing.
There is always a silver lining if you look for it. Matt, my publisher is publishing Galdir IV. It should be out this week on Amazon, but I won’t have an internet connection until ten days’ time. Funny how life always seems an emotional rollercoaster isn’t it?