With divorce comes loss. The act of divorce within itself is a loss. A tremendous loss felt on a deep level. With it comes loss of a plethora of various pieces of your life, one of those being traditions. It's not often talked about, people tend to shy away from talking about the hard subjects. For fear of embarrassment maybe, perhaps because it is too emotionally hard to discuss, but we all feel it, we all acknowledge the changes as difficult as they may be. The loss of traditions is one most don't hear of because it's hard to place words to that loss.
Traditions are yearly events that take place by a certain group of people. Most often this group is family but sometimes it is friends or even groups organizing events for charity. Traditions are a belief or behaviour passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance. For the past 6 years Bee and I have had our own traditions. This will be the first year traditions for us will need to change. It's a hard thing to accept, 6 years is a long time to have set traditions but new traditions or alternative traditions will need to be made.
For traditions that are not on a particular day, they can still happen on alternative weekends but for traditions on certain days, we will have to figure out how they will look going forward. At the same time, I have had to accept that there are simply some traditions we won't be able to do every year anymore. Some traditions will only be every few years because special events only happen one weekend a year and depending on when my weekend falls, it simply will not line up. Even then, the ideas or significant meaning of those events can in some capacity happen in a smaller forum.
Bees birthday, for the past 6 years every day on Bee's actual birthday she has had a Bee day. When she was in school, I have taken her out for the day to have her day. It's a day where she gets to make all the choices (with minimal limitations). She picks where we go to eat for all three meals, she picks the activities we get to do and she picks out a few small gifts. Bee's birthday is a big celebration, she is afterall a miracle, so I celebrate big for her birthday. There will come a year when I will not have her on her actual birthday. This event is one that can still happen, it will just need to be on a different day. I've explained to Bee that it's her birth that's so significant, sure her actual birth date is of importance but she's ultimately the reason I celebrate so having a me day on a different day close to her birthday will work.
Christmas, first day of school, last day of school. peach fest, scarecrow fest, apple fest, doors open, ghost tours etc, all these yearly events that take place on a certain weekend will need to be adapted. Perhaps we find an alternative location to celebrate if our typical ones are on a weekend I do not have her. Perhaps there is another location with the same type of event when I do have her that we can explore and if not, then we make our own. Some of those "fest" things tend to be too busy anyways! We can take what we do at those fests and have a weekend of our own fest.
When you are facing changes in tradition for whatever reason, try to find alternate solutions. You don't have to miss out on every tradition, yes some you will depending on when they fall and some aren't able to be recreated somewhere else on a different weekend, but create a new tradition then for those years you can't attend your usual events. Take it as an opportunity to explore new places and find new traditions so you have a few to choose from.
Another hard struggle with traditions is what to do on the weekends you aren't able to attend a tradition and you are left with a weekend alone. When you lose traditions and you lose your partner of these traditions, when these events take place, it can be hard to not sit at home and feel sad. The first year or two all you may be able to manage is sitting at home, eating, online shopping. The firsts are always the hardest so take the time you need for you and do what you need to do to make it through. You can think of ways to celebrate in another year or two.
Traditions may not go how they use to but it doesn't mean they have to stop all together. Losing traditions is inevitable after a divorce, I'm giving you a heads up so you don't feel so alone in your struggle. Perhaps finding a good friend, making new friends in your situation so you can do things together on the hard days, there are so many ways to cherish the old and make new. You may lose but you also gain, it just takes some work.
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All Of My Children
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