Saturday, February 26, 2011

Divorce Ritual / Ceremony - AKA -> A Healing & Transition Ceremony

  A nice lady named Jackie called me today.  She had picked up one of my business cards at the Christian book store. She told me that when she saw it she thought to herself that I was just what she has been looking for.  Jackie said she is engaged to be married but first she wants to have a 'divorce ceremony' with her ex-husband, their children, family and some close friends present.  She said that her friends think she's crazy for wanting to do such a thing and asked if I could help.  I responded that I never had, but that I was confident I could.   Immediately a scene from the movie "The Jerk" with Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters came into my mind...the part where he does the ritual and says, "  I break with thee, I break with thee, I break with thee!"   
  We spoke for a while and after we hung up I got to thinking...A couple that can come out of a marriage and remain friends especially when children are involved is a wonderful thing.  What if we can help our friends and family understand that they don't have to 'choose sides'...that we can all come out of this in a spirit of acceptance?  
   We have a ceremony for everything else why not divorce?   We have showers and ceremonies for the birth of a new child, graduation ceremonies, housewarmings for new homeowners, wedding ceremonies for couples that wish to be married, funerals for the dearly departed...why not a ceremony to bid a fond farewell and 'have a good life' to your ex and ‘that chapter’ of your life while looking forward to the next?  
   It seemed like a good idea to me.   Many divorced people have a difficult time realizing or accepting the fact that their relationship is dead.  The parties involved have nothing to lose and much to gain psychologically from such a ceremony.  
    Hopefully it will help ease some of the pain, devastation, guilt and failure that so often result from divorce; to create an awareness that can help mend...bless the past and move on with productive lives. 
   Think about it this way, by putting an end to your marriage you will give yourself a fresh start and give your life a sense of renewal. A divorce ceremony does not abandon the past; it reclaims it and should be a healing and transition ceremony that celebrates life.
   Perhaps, by participating in a divorce ceremony that recognizes the event of divorce with compassion and dignity, those who have experienced divorce personally or in the lives of their loved ones will recognize the importance of paying homage to this life transition.
   So, all this being said I now offer 'divorce ceremonies' mission is to create a ceremony that reflects your wishes, beliefs, cultural background and values - religious or non-religious to help couples celebrate their decision to separate. I believe that a ceremony of this kind with your friends and family gathered in the spirit of acceptance and love will welcome a new day with renewed commitments for growth and fulfillment.  
It can be done with 'just' the ex-wife  or ex-husband or both together.   More info at this NY Times article here