Nearly 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce, experts say. Despite being commonplace, divorce remains a traumatic life event—one often filled with regret, shame, anger, and sadness. Regardless of the circumstances, a divorce or separation is the end of a much hoped-for dream of family life.
To the extent that contemporary society marks this important transition, it is usually done with frivolity or, one might argue, vengeance aimed at the former spouse.
As a Celebrant, I offer a deeply meaningful alternative for spouses parting ways—a particularly significant healing ceremony should children be involved in the situation. Although customized to the requirements of the individual, couple, or family, the intention is the same—to recognize that love once existed, everyone is suffering, and a community exists to bolster those impacted by the divorce. A time for family and friends to gather around divorcing individuals and couples, such a ritual creates a poignant moment to remind affected children that they are loved and supported despite this profound life change. The goal of such a ritual is to provide some closure and sense of optimism about how the future will unfold.