Woman blowing up heart balloon
Photo: Thinkstock/Elizabeth Hachem
We often think of weddings and birthdays as the best times to celebrate. Yet many cultures believe with destruction comes new life. Karen Salmansohn has a few ideas about how to turn that divorce or heartbreak into a brand new beginning—starting with throwing a party.
The word shiva has two different meanings—in two entirely different cultures—yet the meanings share the same underlying message. In Hinduism, Shiva is a deity who represents transformation. Through destruction and restoration, Shiva reminds us that endings are beginnings, and that our world is constantly undergoing a cycle of birth, death and rebirth.

In Judaism, shiva is the post-funeral ceremony when family and friends gather to share happy memories of the departed. Shiva is an uplifting time, reminding the living to appreciate the abundance in this world, and to seize the day (and kugel!) while you can.

I appreciate how both versions of shiva remind us there's a beneficial—even beautiful—alchemy of emotions that occur when you're faced with an ending. A healthful shiva perspective can help you view what seems like the worst of times as an opportunity for better times. For example, the death of an unsatisfying love relationship can be viewed as a chance to begin a highly fulfilling love relationship—one that will thrive, thanks to all your freshly gained wisdom.

Keeping both these shiva perspectives in mind, how about celebrating the death of a marriage or any relationship breakup by holding a ritualistic breakup ceremony!

In The Bounce Back Book, I explain that losing a love relationship takes you through the same stages of grief associated with death—denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Acknowledging your loss with a ritualistic ceremony will make you better able to transition through these difficult stages. You'll be giving yourself the opportunity to bury the darkness of your past, so you can move forward to a brighter future. And that's not just my opinion—divorce ceremonies have become a highly popular trend all around the world!

Start planning with these fun and creative ideas


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