I'm Honey!

As a woman who has lived through many passages and learned through my larger than life experiences (positive and negative), I’ve discovered how to take a big empowering bite out of life.

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How to Heal After a Divorce or Great Loss

This blog was originally posted on itsovereasy.com. As well, listen to the podcast I did with the wonderful celebrity divorce attorney, Laura Wasser. We talk about all of these topics and more. Click Here to Listen!

How to Heal After a Divorce or Great Loss

How to Heal After a Divorce or Great Loss

Darling, I don’t have a ‘gist’ ( Psychologist,) ‘trist’ (Psychiatrist) or ‘pist’ (Therapist) after my name. Just like you, I have experienced the bitter and the sweet, tremendous joys and great sorrows. I am a wife, mother, daughter, mother-in-law, girlfriend, and grandmother to several grandchildren, who affectionately call me Honey. I am a woman over 50 who believes age is just a number. So, I became an author, a blogger, and an influencer in my sixties! The site I created is, of course, Honeygood.com. I am a fierce voice for women over 50. My goal is uplifting women by showing them how to take a big positive bite out of life with style.

As many of you know, I have endured financial hardship, the heartbreak of widowhood in my forties, the joy of remarriage, the horrors of suicide in our family, the unknowns of Cancer, the challenge of building a blended family and that is just for starters. Throughout my ordeals, I have never allowed myself to have low horizons. I have never let fear stop me from starting. I have, through my experiences, earned a degree behind my name… a Ph.D. in Life!

Loss Comes in Many Forms

Did you know the divorce rate for women over 50 has doubled since the 1990s? Unhappiness came out of the woodwork without shame and many couples who had been unhappy for years decided to take a new path called… divorce.

Though I have not experienced divorce, I know the feeling of loss. I went through the sudden and debilitating experience of losing my late husband, Michael when we were in our forties. Our home was in the Hawaiian Islands. We lived on the Island of Oahu in Honolulu. Michael was on the Mainland on business. On a lovely sunny Hawaiian day as I was just about to leave for the market, the telephone rang, and it was my brother-in-law calling to tell me Michael passed away instantly from a sudden heart attack. The message was riveting. My life and the lives of our children took an instantaneous turn.

I can feel the pain you experienced when your husband came home from work and told you, “I am very unhappy, and I want a divorce.” Or, one day you had just had it and told your husband, “I can no longer live with you.”  You never expected that to happen when you walked down the aisle 25 years or more ago. Divorce is a loss and no matter the role one must grieve their loss in order to reenter the world with a positive attitude.

How I Survived

I believe the route I took to survive the loss of my husband you can use to survive the loss of your marriage.

I chose my path of healing by listening to my heart; my innate instincts. After all, no one knew me better than I knew myself. My personal journey to recovery took a few years even though I had met and remarried a fellow widower. I traveled through the five stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Through my shock, anger, sadness, and despair. I managed to recover. I want to share my journey with you because I also perceive divorce as a great loss, even when you may have been the one who wanted ‘out.’ You are on your own for the first time in years. Your first courageous act will be to decide the method you want to take to heal. There is bound to be shock or numbness with the breakup of your family.

Then, there is the phase of a variety of feelings: anger, sadness, anxiety, confusion, emptiness, and the question, “Did I make the right call, or did my spouse make the right call that created this loss?” Despair sets in when your loss becomes reality. You may feel hopeless and want to withdraw and disengage from family, activities, and friends for a time. A divorce is like a death. Mourning or grief is essential as you travel your personal journey to its ultimate destination… a healthy positive attitude about your life. Your goal, J’ AIME LA VIE! Meaning, I love life!

The Start of a Journey 

Before you can concentrate on healing you have to educate yourself on how divorce works. Put your finances in order, chose a competent attorney or mediator, actively participate in the negotiations even if you want to pretend they are not happening. Visit with only a professional Positive Psychologist (it is a profession), because you don’t know how you are really feeling. Do you feel self-loathing? Do you feel the loss of your best friend? Or do you know the importance of taking the high road for the sake of your children, no matter their ages?

As I said earlier, the divorce rate for women over 50 has almost doubled since the 1990s. Hopefully, you are able to go through the above processes successfully so you can begin self-healing by taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

The Art of Being Alone

Please stay cognizant of the fact that your life is far from over. You are in a period of transition and it is scary. You must take your time to emotionally heal so you can transition into a new passage of life. I found the best method to heal was to spend time alone with my thoughts. This gave me permission to think about my life. Trust me, it works.

Your loss is monumental but different. You owe it to yourself to heal whether you wanted out or your ex-spouse wanted out. My advice is to take a year out of your life to just be. In other words, be alone. You should work through your feelings. You should rediscover a side of yourself that has been lying dormant. A side that was always there but has been left unnourished. So, take my advice and don’t get caught up in a whirlwind or rush into anything.

Your Environment

I recognized my environment was essential to my healing. Our home with our children was in Honolulu. Life in the Islands was very family-oriented, health-driven, and peaceful. It was considered rude to honk your horn on Highway 1; the only highway on the Island! Life was easy. When invited to a friend’s home if you rang the doorbell or knocker on time you were ill-mannered. Ten minutes late was the norm!

The smell of the salt air rolling off the sea surf combined with the softly blowing trade winds… The fragrance of the plumeria, orchid, and the beauty of other varieties combined with the slow pace of life on the Island was the perfect environment to just be and heal from my loss.

I moved from our large home into a condo on the sea. Friends said, “Don’t move out of your home for a year. Take your time.” I did not listen to what people said. I listened to what my heart told me and it told me to take my memories and move into a smaller space that would wrap its arms around me. And, I was right.

After your divorce is final, rethink your environment. Ask yourself if you are happy in your home. It was very important to me to feel uplifted where I hung my hat. Feeling happy at home affected my attitude and was a very positive tonic. The more content you are within your environment the easier it is to concentrate on healing.

You must listen to your heart after your divorce and not to what others tell you to do. If you stay in your original home, toss out the old! Bring in the new! No one knows you better than you know yourself. If you do move, don’t settle until you find a place that puts a smile on your face.

Your goal is to free yourself from your past so you can move into a new passage of life.

Walking is Therapeutic Medicine

I walked alone every day for four miles in the early morning and four miles at sunset with my pooch, Mahalo. I cried and cried and I remember I could not remember one incident that Michael ever did to upset me. Walking was very therapeutic, healing, and restorative. Walking relieved my stress; therefore, very beneficial to my physical health. Walking allowed me to simply be.

When you are unable to walk outdoors, join a health club, or purchase a treadmill or bike for your home. Put on a headset and play soft music or sounds of softly blowing trade winds or soft waves rolling into the shoreline.

A Major Life Change Can Transform You

You are feeling better emotionally. You have let bitterness and blame go. And, you have accepted what you cannot control and are reframing your thoughts. You are getting to know yourself again and are looking forward to new adventures.

I know you may be filled with trepidation and fear but remember: Fear stops you from starting. So, take a deep breath and plunge. Be fierce in your pursuit of happiness.

If you want to reenter life in a big way, I suggest starting with a camaraderie of women or a mixed group of new acquaintances. Join a group or groups that interest you. Cards, wine, cooking, movie, travel, health, sport, crafts, gardening, or multigenerational. Women need women. People need people. Your new acquaintances will help you breathe stimulation back into your life. If one group does not tickle your fancy, try another group. Don’t stop trying.

Another idea is to go back to college or apply for a job. This will energize you and provide you with self-worth. Or, plan a business you have always desired and when COVID-19 has passed, finger’s crossed, you will be ready.

Every Woman Has her Style

It is time to nurture the inner you. Your style is your biography. 80% of how others perceive you comes from your inner beauty. It is part of a woman’s charm to make others feel the joy of life. So, put on your winning smile, use your wit, and show your warmth. Walk tall with twinkling eyes and have a look about you filled with curiosity. And, remember to be interesting, you have to be interested. If you do the above, you will be the most beautiful woman in the room. You will feel visible and vibrant.

A woman’s outer beauty is 20% of her style. It is important to take time for self-care. Get your rest, your massages and facials, relax with Yoga and meditation, do your ample exercise, and eat a healthy diet. This takes a great amount of discipline and self-love. In other words, show kindness to yourself.

Go shopping in small shops where you can get professional advice. Not everything you wear has to be pricey. Mix a J. Crew t-shirt with a pair of jeans and buy a shoe or bag or broach to uplift it and give it style.

This all takes hard work. But this work is for you. You deserve it. Make yourself interesting and irresistible. 


Family first. Always. Revel in your family. It is your turn to allow yourself to lean on them. You gave them their roots and their wings and their values. So, reach out to them, not as the babysitter, but as their multigenerational friend. Share with them stories about their great grandparents including your growing up years. Enjoy.

Life Plays Tricks

Life plays all kinds of tricks on us. Divorce was never supposed to be in your cards nor was Michael’s death supposed to be in my cards. New passages face us, and we are forced to find out who we really are. When we work without fear on whatever comes our way with a positive attitude, find out so much about ourselves, and isn’t that so special?


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December 29, 2020

Passages After 50, Relationships

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  1. Diana Banks says:

    Thanks, Honey! I needed this today. Between the grief process of the death of my husband of almost forty years and the pandemic…I have felt stuck and “dreamless”. I would love to dream again…to have new social connections…to be convinced that the best is not behind me…but before me. Just needed to vent.
    Thank you for sharing your heart, experiences, dreams and love. You are a blessing. Happy New Year! ❤️

    • HG Guest says:

      Dear Diane, You have so much grief on your plate.I understand.It takes a long time to heal from the loss of a love and the loss never vanishes and neither does happiness. Listen to your heart…it knows what you should do because you get a feeling.Set a happiness goal for yourself in 2021. Ask yourself what would bring you joy and go after it. You want social connections and to get unstuck. Consider joining a virtual group that has an activity that will bring you pleasure made up of either all women or a mixed group. Take up one new hobby or renew a hobby or reconnect with old friends. I know you can have a sweet New Year. Warmly, Honey

      • Lee says:

        Yes the article on divorce after 50 has many salient and proven to be effective ways to heal. However and I have gone to the best of the best what do you do when your adult children also is strange from you the mother and you cannot reach out to them and you cannot see your grandchildren and I do not want to be part of your life. You are not the adulterer you did everything right you were a teacher still are you set the values you led by example. My daughters have my values they are faithful, they moved back to the school district which is in the top 100 in the country and they’re raising their children my life those children those grandchildren my family is my life. I cooked for the multitudes my husband and I that is we both did.. he well he didn’t it’s hard to say but it’s all pretty obvious that I’m struggling here he got caught in his lovely affair. He began humiliation and everything he did he did really under the public influence of alcohol. He has never once or he had never once in his life turned any of these traits that I saw in him towards others he never used them against me ever. Sadly my granddaughters and my beautiful grandchildren moves like I said back here they live exactly 3 miles away from me and beautiful homes and they want nothing to do with me. They are the most faithful girls they don’t miss their Church services, they teach their children proper values, and like I said I led by example I’ve always known who I was I value me but right now there is just seemingly no hope. They don’t want me in their lives. A new baby’s expected in May I can’t tell you how many doctors I’ve seen and I believe in to me the counseling might have been the nail in the coffin. We all tried it and they’re not of that yoke they cannot emote well. I did take the high road it failed.. I left them alone it failed. I don’t forget my grandchildren on birthday Christmas but it’s been years and I am probably worse than I have ever been in my life. I’ve done studies clinical studies with Johns Hopkins and even Johns Hopkins have said to me the day have never ran a database and found a zero match because they don’t know anybody whose family not one person in the immediate family aligning with my former spouse and treating me to the point where it is now considered borderline elder abuse and the department of Aging has been contacted. I am a lively vivacious wonderful intelligent active teacher of 40-plus years in a district that I have been so blessed by so yes I count my blessings I’m not a fool. But trust me when I tell you, I will never end my life because I value my life and I’m in the fight of my life to live. But unfortunately I do believe I will be living and carrying this horrible burden with me if I choose to go anywhere which isolation is definitely part of the deal. People don’t always isolate because they’re afraid to go out it’s just that without being conceited I am a very good teacher I’ve been here 47 years I’ve taught their parents these people come back to my home with their children to introduce their families to me and my daughters hate that my husband hated that. I didn’t know this at the time of course but I learned. And finally when did they said they just agreed they had a little meeting and they felt that I wasn’t a very good mother okay. I don’t know where the checklist is on that but trust me I passed with flying colors. The doctor’s laughed but then their anger became apparent after surgery they would come out in the waiting room and nobody would be there for me and I just told them I I tried to tell you that but I laughed to myself and there’s no way I can ever get used to this so please don’t tell me I can’t there’s just no way everyday is PTSD and as we all know there is no cure for PTSD now if you would have told me this 10 years ago I would laugh about this now I’m not laugh but I would believe that PTSD only belonged with the military was absolutely does not! Any trauma that interferes with your life, and your vivacious personality, any activity that you enjoyed all your friendships etc and it stops you as well as interfering trust me is a trauma. Sadly I am treatment resistant to 102 medications and I’ve never in my life thank the good Lord experience such a devastation where it’s My Life. This is now my life even though I keep trying everyday I try everyday. I do not have clinical depression because I’m not clinically depressed I am very witty I like to make people laugh however I don’t want people around me maybe three or four people off my friends that’s it a couple friends that I trust that I have talked to priests, the rabbis, pastors, I have talked to counselors I think at number 17 different counselors seven Doctors medical doctors I never knew clinical trials I’m telling you it’s killing me I will never kill myself and never ever ever take it to the bank every doctor knows that because you see when you live in the community like I do.. you know these doctors you teach their kids they know you and well I’m never going to. I have following cabinets filled with positive letters and I finally learned that my daughters and my husband said that I only taught school for attention. Please excuse all my errors I can’t proofre cuz I’m crying. Thank you for listening to me ramble

        • Susan Good says:

          I am struggling with the same situation. I am sad but I have found peace because I honor the type of mother and person I am. And,I have come to accept that I have no control over other’s poor actions.I hope my words help you.Amen. Warmly, Honey

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