Free Webinar: Loving Your Life After Divorce | Join us February 27 at Noon EST |   REGISTER NOW

Ep. 74 – Grief

In the episode Doreen and Jeff discuss a recent personal tragedy that lead them to the topic of grief. Learn the 5 stages of grief. Whether it’s divorce or a loss of a pet, it’s important to know these stages to get through the healing process.


Doreen: Hey, my beautiful friends, and how are you? So today we’re gonna talk about something sad. We’re gonna talk about grief, and so if you are ready, let’s get started.

Are you ready to create a life that’s better than ever before? We are Doreen Yaffa and Jeff Wilson, and we are here to give you the strategies you need to create the life after divorce that you deserve and desire. As partners both in marriage and coaching, we use our expertise as well as our own personal experiences to help you make the next chapter of your life the best chapter.

Hey Jeff,

Jeff: How are you?

Doreen: I’m not doing so good.

Jeff: I know. I know.

Doreen: So unfortunately, one of our dogs, her name is Blue, she was five years old. She’s a Frenchie and she passed suddenly while we were on our boat, we had a trip planned down to the Keys and I had put her into the pen with her other dog. After we stopped and took her, and took both of them for a walk, you know, a little walk to do their business. And when we went to check on the dogs later in the day, unfortunately, blue was dead. She didn’t come out of the crate, so we’re not sure what happened. Of course I’m blaming myself because, you know, maybe I shouldn’t have put her in the crate.

Maybe she was too hot. When I say crate, it’s like a carrier, you know, we call it their home. Yeah. So that’s, that’s what I’m dealing with today and it’s, what we decided to do our topic on because I am obviously grieving. I know Jeff is as well. And, when you’re going through divorce and after the divorce, you are grieving on some level whether you know it or not, you’re grieving the marriage, you’re grieving the loss of the marriage, no matter how it was, could pattern indifferent, right? So that’s what we’re gonna talk about today is about grief and the different stages of grief and I don’t know. That’s it.

Jeff: Yeah. It’s a tough time we’re going through. I don’t know. What it’s gonna be like without Blue around, because she was such a big part of our family. She was your little baby.

Doreen: Yeah. I used to call or call her blue, blue baby.

Jeff: Or mommy’s baby.

Doreen: Mommy’s a baby. She was the most incredible Frenchy dog companion. And you know, the thing about dogs is they’re just, there’s if, for any of you who have dogs or had a dog or been around a dog, they are by far the most loving unconditional love.

They just want to please you. So when something happens to them, you feel really responsible. And so as you all know, we get inspired by things that are going on in our life. So I am grieving. I know that Jeff is too, but I think, you know, for me, I don’t know. I just had such a special bond with her.

Jeff: Yeah, you did. And but everybody’s grieving because everybody loved blue, so, you know. Anyway, let’s go on to the podcast or the episode on grieving after divorce.

Doreen: Well because like I said, grieving in any respect, whether it’s the death of some someone or some something that you love or when a marriage is over, you definitely grieve the marriage. So we thought it was a perfect subject.

Jeff: Absolutely.

Doreen: So how many stages of grief are there?

Jeff: There’s five stages of grief.

Doreen: Okay.

Jeff: And it’s very, very important that you understand these stages because it makes it a little bit not easier, but a little bit more of a process to make it through.

Doreen: Right. And I guess you’re gonna use me as an example.  I’m definitely grieving. I was, the first stage is denial. So I would say that with regard to blue, I am still in the denial stage. And I think, isn’t it true, Jeff, that these stages that we’re gonna talk about, which are five, right? Yes. That you don’t necessarily go through the stages in order.

Jeff: No, they definitely are not in any particular order, but it’s very important that you understand the stages so that the process can work for you.

Doreen: Right. But what I’m trying to say is that sometimes you might be in denial the next time you might be in anger, and then you might be in another stage, like it, it goes back and forth. So I definitely am in the denial stage because this morning I woke up and what did I say to you?

Jeff: Yeah, where’s blue?

Doreen: Like where’s blue? Like, why is she not here? Yeah. Like it’s just a big nightmare, you know? And so when you’re going through divorce, you’re losing a marriage and you likely are in denial, or at least could be in denial about that, that the marriage is over.

That it didn’t work out. It didn’t, it wasn’t as you envisioned it to be. And we all know that divorce is a, it’s a loss. It’s a loss emotionally, spiritually, financially and physically. You’re, you have, you know, distance, obviously, you’re not seeing your spouse, your other person. And sometimes when you’re in denial, it can look like hope because people in divorce sometimes have this thought.

Maybe things will work out. Maybe he or she really will realize that they’re making a mistake and come back into the marriage. And that can be part of the hope can be part of the denial itself. So you have to be really careful with that. If you are in a stage where you’re thinking, well, let’s see if maybe he turn, you know, changes his mind or she changes her mind that’s probably part of the denial. So what’s the, anything more on denial?

Jeff: No, that’s it. Let’s go into number two, anger. Anger is very important cuz it kind of helps us to have that defensive mode when we’re going through a tough time. And the issue is you wanna make sure that the, your anger isn’t eating away at you and your directing in a negative way to somebody else.

Doreen: Yeah. So in other words, when you are in the anger stage of grief, that’s just part of the process as well. You could be angry at yourself, which I definitely am feeling that anger at myself for putting her in her pen. Anger for myself, for bringing her on the boat. Anger at you for you know, getting a little bit lost on our journey.

So that we were on the boat longer than we should have probably been, you know, anger. the world for taking blue, right? So when you’re going through divorce, you’re probably angry at a lot of people. It’s just part of the grieving process, right?

Jeff: Yes, it is.

Doreen: What’s the next one?

Jeff: The next one is bargaining. And that’s when a person begins to think of everything they can do to save the marriage or save the relationship.

Doreen: Or save the situation. Right?

Jeff: Right.

Doreen: Because we’re talking about grief, right? So, It, part of it you’re saying is bargaining with the person or bargaining with the situation.

Jeff: Yeah. It’s a negotiation stage, so to speak.

Doreen: So what might that look like in divorce?

Jeff: Well, in divorce it might be, you know, maybe he cheated on her and, and he promises he won’t do it again. He promises he’ll go seek help or something like that, as long as she doesn’t leave the marrige.

Doreen: Right. So, trying to get the other person back by bargaining with them.

Jeff: Right? Yes.

Doreen: That makes sense. I’m not sure how I would relate that to blue and that type of grief.

Jeff: Yeah, I think the bargaining stage is more for grief after divorce or during, when you’re going through a divorce process. .

Doreen: Okay. What’s the next one?

Jeff: Depression.

Doreen: Oh, boy.

Jeff: Yes.

Doreen: Certainly sad, but depression is different than just being sad, but I think sadness is part of depression, right?

Jeff: It is. And I think there’s a fine line between depression and sadness. . And this is the stage where really what kind of the reality sets in that and the pain can be unbearable. The reality of your definitely going through a divorce.

Doreen: In other words, that realization that it’s definitely over.

Jeff: Yes.

Doreen: And with that, you know, comes the depression. That’s when you really most likely have to seek help potentially. I mean, it being depressed is part of the grieving process. We, it’s normal. It’s expected and it’s actually helpful, I think to be somewhat depressed. Like just you’re absolutely.

For example, with us, with Blue. We were on our boat and we were supposed to be going to the Keys to celebrate New Year’s and to celebrate your birthday. Hhow would we possibly do that? We turned around and came back home like our dog died, you know, on the boat. So, part of the depression is I didn’t wanna be in an environment where everybody’s having a good time and celebrating.

I want to just kind of stay home and lay low and just kind of be kind of mopy and depressed. And I think that when you’re going through divorce, that’s part of it too.

Jeff: Yeah. this is kind of the stage where reality is finally sinks in and the pain can be unbearable. and it’s important to stay in this stage as long as you feel you need to cry as often as you want to.

And it’s okay to be sad, you know, there’s a big difference between depression and sadness.

Doreen: Yeah. And I want to talk about that because you can be sad and you can be depressed. And I think depression is much deeper. It’s more involved. Right?

Jeff: Absolutely.

Doreen: So what might be some symptoms of depression that people might wanna say, Hey listen, am I sad or am I depressed? That kind of things that will tell you you’re probably, you’re more towards the depressed, you know, being depressed.

Jeff: Right. Well, one of, is if you’re struggling to get out of bed in the morning.

Doreen: You know, just don’t want to face the day. Right. Yeah.

Jeff: Definitely that’s something you wanna watch out for if you no longer have interest in hobbies that you used to be involved in.

Doreen: Right. You just don’t wanna do it. Right.

Jeff: You don’t wanna do anything really, you know, you’re isolating yourself. For an example also.

Doreen: Appetite, I think is another one, right?

Jeff: Appetite and sleep. You know, you’re kind of, your biological clock kind of changes your schedule, your appetite and thoughts of even harming yourself. You know, these are all things that you have to watch out for.

Doreen: Well, we, what we wanna say also is that if you are in depression, and being or being said, you know, how long are you gonna stay there, number one and number two, do you need some help? This is where you might need to go talk to a therapist, especially if you are not able to function. And that’s serious. Right. So definitely get the help that you need if you need it.

Jeff: Right, right.

Doreen: What’s the next one?

Jeff: The next one, number five is acceptance. You know, eventually, you know, time heals all wounds, of course. And eventually the, the feelings of sadness and depression go, kind of fade away.

Doreen: And anger.

Jeff: And anger

Doreen: And bargaining.

Jeff: And bargaining.

Doreen: And what was the first one again?

Jeff: The denial.

Doreen: Denial.

Jeff: Yeah. It’s more of an, you know, again, it’s acceptance and you start rebuilding a life that your new life. You’re in a, you know, in a new situation and you start reconstructing it and cleaning out the ex-spouses clothes or whatever you do. You’re getting rid of stuff and you’re just making a new life for yourself. You start thinking more futuristic than in the past.

Doreen: And the acceptance stage is the stage that we as coaches like to find our clients if we had a perfect situation because when they’re still grieving the divorce and they’re in the other stages it’s hard to work on yourself.

And in fact, as we said, you want to grieve, you got to, you have to let yourself get through that process, right? A lot of people, they don’t permit themselves to grieve the divorce and they buffer instead, which means buffering is doing something to avoid the pain, the thoughts that you don’t want to deal with.

So buffering might be overeating over drinking, over surfing the net, you know, like watching Netflix, even like binge watching tv. It could be anything that you’re doing not to deal with the pain, right? So you wanna be really, really careful about that because if you’re not processing the grief from the divorce, eventually that will catch up with you, and you don’t wanna do that.

You wanna make sure that you get through those stages and then get to the acceptance part of it. That’s where you start to change your life. That’s where you start to accept the fact that the divorce is happening or it’s over. The marriage is over, and now I’m ready to rebuild my life. I’m ready to, like you said, clean out the closet, clean out the signs of the other person. Look at structuring your new life, maybe getting a new career, moving into a new home, those types of things.

Jeff: Yeah. For an example, I know that some of the friends that they share might be from the marriage and they may need to find a new set of friends,

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: Yeah. So they’re, you know, things are changing and all for the better.

Doreen: Right. Well, right. That’s it. So anyhow, with regard to me, I am not in the acceptance stage right now.

Jeff: Not yet.

Doreen: I am in the, I would say, depressed, sad, say stage, and I’m getting past the denial stage. Anyhow, so.

Jeff: And remember, these stages don’t necessarily go in any order, right? So you might be accepting it, but still sad and still  going through a depression. So, we’ll get there. We’ll get you through.

Doreen: Yeah. All right, everybody. And what about you? I’m sure you’re sad too.

Jeff: I am. But as, you know, the men try to fix things. I’m trying to take care of you and take care of the house and, you know, keep my mind on other things, I guess.

Doreen: Well then you’re in the denial stage.

Jeff: I’m probably not the denial stage. I’m probably more in the I’d say bargaining stage where I’m trying to bargain with myself to keep my mind on something else. I don’t have to focus in on it.

Doreen: Thinking about blue. All right, everybody, so I’m sorry it’s a sad topic, but it’s a unnecessary topic.

Going through divorce is hard. Grieving a marriage, the loss of a marriage is challenging, but you can get through it. I know that I’m going to have great memories of blue and eventually when I think about her, it won’t be all sadness. It’ll be good memories. So there is that to look forward to, I guess.

Jeff: Right. A lot of good memories.

Doreen: All right, everybody. So listen, have an amazing day, love yourself. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself and you can, I promise you have an amazing life after divorce. We’ll talk to you next week.

Jeff: Have a great day. And by the way, Happy New Year.

Doreen: Happy almost New Year.

Jeff: Yes, let’s make it a great year. How about that?

Doreen: All right, everybody, and you do the same. . Okay. Have a good one.

Jeff: Bye-Bye

Doreen: Bye.

Jeff: You have the vision of what you want your life to look like after divorce, but maybe you just don’t know how to get there. So if you’re ready to take control of your life and want to find out more about our coaching, visit us at That’s L A D as in life after divorce dash

Doreen: Until next time, have an amazing rest of your day. And remember, yes, you can have an amazing life after divorce.

Start creating your best life after divorce and book your complimentary Discovery Call