Navigating Divorce Grief: A Conversation with Olivia HowellFeb 11, 2024
Last week, Grieve Leave founder, Rebecca Feinglos, sat down with Olivia Howell, Co-Founder and CEO of Fresh Starts Registry, for a discussion on the Grieve Leave Instagram. Olivia shared her journey through divorce, the inspiration behind launching Fresh Starts Registry, and insights into supporting others going through divorce.
You can watch the full interview HERE and read three of our favorite takeaways below:
"Culturally we are shamed into staying in marriages. There's nothing shameful about wanting to transition your marriage to a divorce. It’s just moving to a different state of your relationship"
Navigating the complexities of divorce can feel incredibly isolating but divorce is just another chapter in the story of our lives, one that deserves compassion and understanding rather than harsh judgment.
Grieving the loss of shared dreams and aspirations for the future we envisioned is a natural part of this process. By normalizing and taking the shame away from these conversations, we create a space for the full spectrum of emotions that come with divorce.
"You have to remember, sometimes people are not going to be able to show up for you in the way that you want them to. And that's okay but, stick with the people that can hold that space for you"
While going through a divorce, not everyone will have the capacity to truly hold space for our grief, despite good intentions.
Major life transitions like divorce can feel messy, confusing, and all-consuming at times. Our closest family and friends may struggle to relate or know what to say to help ease the pain. Rather than forcing relationships or expecting too much, gravitate towards those who can sit with us in our darkest moments without judgment or the need to "fix" things.
What is the best way to support someone in their grief? “Honestly, just constantly checking in on them, a text saying 'I'm here, I love you."
Intense grief often breeds isolation as we internalize pain. That's why routinely reaching out, even with micro-gestures like a text can provide a message grievers desperately need - you're seen and supported.
Our conversation with Olivia reminds us that divorce grief deserves time, space, and empathy. By breaking down stigma and opening up about our human experiences, we can feel less alone. A huge thank you to Olivia for her vulnerability and for the vital work she's doing!
To connect with Olivia and learn more about Fresh Starts Registry's mission of supporting major life changes, head over to @freshstartsregistry on Instagram or their website.
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