+
upworthy
Family

Dad writes heartbreaking message after the death of his son

"Hug your kids. Don’t work too late. "

Dad writes heartbreaking message after the death of his son
via LinkedIn

A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.


In an open letter on LinkedIn, which has so far garnered over 26,000 likes and 2,700 comments, Storment explains that his son, Wiley, passed away during his sleep as a result of complications from his mild epilepsy. He then goes on to blast himself for not spending enough time with his son, and encourages other parents to take more time off work.

Widowed father with his family

J.R. Storment and his family

via Facebook

Storment starts by explaining that the day his son passed away started like any other:

"Eight years ago, during the same month, I had twin boys and co-founded Cloudability. About three months ago Cloudability was acquired. About three weeks ago we lost one of our boys."

"When I got the call I was sitting in a conference room with 12 people at our Portland office talking about PTO policies. Minutes earlier, I had admitted to the group that in the last 8 years I'd not taken more than a contiguous week off."

That's when Storment received a call from his distraught wife.

"My wife and I have an agreement that when one of us calls, the other answers. So when the phone rang I stood up and walked to the conference room door immediately."

"I was still walking through the door when I answered with 'Hey, what's up?'"

"Her reply was icy and immediate: 'J.R., Wiley is dead.'"

"'What?' I responded incredulously."

"'Wiley has died.' she reiterated."

"'What?! No.' I yelled out, 'No!'"

"'I'm so sorry, I have to call 911.'"

Storment goes on to explain the chaos that happened next.

"That was the entire conversation. The next thing I know I'm sprinting out the front door of the office with my car keys in hand, running ferociously across the street and muttering 'oh F**k. oh F**k. oh F**k.' Half way down the block I realize I don't have the opener to my parking garage. Running back into the lobby, I all but shout "Someone drive me! Somebody drive me!" Thankfully, a helpful colleague did."

Storment made it home, but not yet knowing the cause of death, police were treating the house as a possible crime scene. The heartbroken father was unable to see his son for two and a half hours.

"When the medical examiner finally finished his work, we were allowed in the room. An eerie calm came over me. I laid down next to him in the bed that he loved, held his hand and kept repeating, 'What happened, buddy? What happened?'"

"We stayed next to him for maybe 30 minutes and stroked his hair before they returned with a gurney to take him away. I walked him out, holding his hand and his forehead through the body bag as he was wheeled down our driveway. Then all the cars drove away. The last one to leave was the black minivan with Wiley in it."

Storment goes on to explain his son's dreams and aspirations, and the difficulty he had signing his son's death certificate.

"Wiley was obsessed with starting a business. One day it was a smoothie stand, the next it would be a gallery, then a VR headset company, then a 'coder', then a spaceship building company. In each of these scenarios he was the boss. His brother (and sometimes us) were invited to work for—not with— him and were each assigned jobs. In the gallery scenario, Wiley informed Oliver that he would be manning the cash register."

"Around 5 years old, Wiley decided he was going to get married as an adult. By 6 he had identified the girl, holding her hand at recess on the first day of kindergarten. Over the next two years as we moved from Portland to London to Hawaii, he kept in touch with her by handwritten letter. Not long before we moved back to Portland, the two agreed (by letter) to marry. She beat him to the punch and asked him. He accepted. Happily, he got to see her twice after we moved back to Portland in June."

"One of the countless difficult moments of this month was signing his death certificate. Seeing his name written on the top of it was hard. However, two fields further down the form crushed me. The first said: 'Occupation: Never worked' and the next: 'Marital Status: Never married.' He wanted so badly to do both of those things. I feel both fortunate and guilty to have had success in each."

Storment then criticises himself for spending too much time at work. And while it sounds that Wiley got to live an amazing life, Storment only wishes he could have done more with him.

"Over the last three weeks I have come up with an endless stream of things I regret. They tend to fall into two categories: things I wish I had done differently and things I'm sad not to see him do. My wife is constantly reminding me of all the things he did do: Wiley went to 10 countries, drove a car on a farm road in Hawaii, hiked in Greece, snorkeled in Fiji, wore a suit to a fantastic British prep school every day for two years, got rescued from a shark on a jet ski, kissed multiple girls, got good enough at chess to beat me twice in a row, wrote short stories and drew comics obsessively."

Storment hadn't checked on the boys the morning of the tragedy because he had to get up early for meetings, a decision he seems to regret.

"Around 5:40am, the next morning I woke up for a series of back to back meetings. I did a Peloton ride, took an analyst call from my home office, one with a colleague on the drive to work, then the rest at the office. None seem that important now. I left that morning without saying goodbye or checking on the boys."

Via Facebook

Storment has a simple message for parents:

"Many have asked what they can do to help. Hug your kids. Don't work too late. A lot of the things you are likely spending your time on you'll regret once you no longer have the time. I'm guessing you have 1:1 meetings on the books with a lot of people you work with. Do you have them regularly scheduled with your kids? If there's any lesson to take away from this, it's to remind others (and myself) not to miss out on the things that matter."

"The big question is how to return to work in a way that won't leave me again with the regrets I have now. To be honest, I've considered not going back. But I believe in the words of Kahlil Gibran who said, 'Work is love made visible.' To me, that line is a testament to how much we gain, grow and offer through the work we do. But that work needs to have a balance that I have rarely lived. It's a balance that lets us offer our gifts to the world but not at the cost of self and family."

"While I sat writing this post, my living son, Oliver, came in to ask for screen time. Instead of saying the usual 'no', I stopped writing and asked if I could play with him. He was happily surprised by my answer and we connected in a way I would have formerly missed out on. Small things matter. One silver lining from this tragedy is the improving relationship I have with him."

"Our family has gone from having two units of two (the parents and the twins) to now being a triangle of three. That's a big adjustment for a family that has always been four. Oliver's brilliant reply when we discussed the shape of our new family: 'But Papa, the triangle is the strongest shape.' By some sad and beautiful irony, Oliver has met three sets of 8-year-old twins in our new neighborhood since Wiley passed."

"I've learned to stop waiting to do the things the kids ask for. When we sold the business I gave each of the boys a $100 dollar bill. They decided to pool their money to buy a tent for camping. But we didn't make it happen before Wiley died. Another regret. So, after the first round of family visits after his death, I took Jessica and Oliver to REI to get gear and we left town quickly to camp near Mt. St. Helens."

"Somehow, we got to the wilderness without enough cash to cover the campground fee and had a slight panic. Jessica then realized that Wiley's $100 bill was still in his seat pocket. He got to spend his money on camping after all. Collectively, the family said a big, 'Thanks, buddy' out-loud to him. It was one of many bittersweet moments we will experience for the rest of our lives. Each happy time brings with it the sadness that he doesn't get to experience it."

"One of Wiley's happy times was listening to music and dancing. Damn, could that kid dance. He loved the Oregon Country Fair and the year before we left for London, we listened to a band there play a version of 'Enjoy yourself (It's later than you think)'. The words stuck with me that day three years ago and painfully so now:"


"You work and work for years and years, you're always on the go

You never take a minute off, too busy makin' dough

Someday, you say, you'll have your fun, when you're a millionaire

Imagine all the fun you'll have in your old rockin' chair

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think

Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink

The years go by, as quickly as a wink

Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it's later than you think"


This article originally appeared on 07.10.21

Sandhya with other members at a home meet-up

South Asian women across the country are finding social support in a thriving Facebook group devoted to them.

The Little Brown Diary has over 40,000 members, primarily between the ages of 20 and 40, and 100 subgroups devoted to niche topics. Some of these include mental health, entrepreneurship, career advice, and more.

Members of the group can discuss their experiences as South Asians, inner conflicts they face, and even bond over their favorite hobbies. The Facebook group has become a safe place for many of its members to find support in the most transformative periods of their lives. These include:

  • Supporting women in domestic violence and sexual assault circumstances
  • Sharing mental health and suicide resources
  • Connecting members to support each other through grief and loss
  • Helping members find the strength to get a divorce or defend their decision to be childfree
  • Helping them navigate career changes
  • Helping to find friends in a new city
  • Finding a community of other neurodivergent people in their shoes

“I joined the online community because I was looking for that sense of belonging and connection with others who shared similar experiences and backgrounds,” expressed Sandhya Simhan, one of the group admins.

“At the time, I was pregnant and eager to find other desi moms who could offer support, advice, and friendship during this significant life transition,” she says.

Another group admin, Henna Wadhwa, who works in Diversity and Inclusion in Washington, D.C., even uses the group to inspire new areas of research, including a study on ethnic-racial identity at work.

“I was surprised and excited for a group that brought together South Asian/brown women. I wanted to meet other women with similar research interests and who wanted to conduct academic research on South Asian American women,” Wadhwa says.


While social media isn’t always the best place to spend our time, studies show that the sense of community people get from joining online groups can be valuable to our mental health.

“The presence of LBD has allowed so many South Asian women to truly feel safe in their identity. The community we have built encourages each person to authentically and freely be themselves. It is a powerful sight to witness these South Asian women be vulnerable, break barriers, and support each other in their journeys,” says Wadhwa.

Hena and Neesha

According to an article in Psychology Today, a study on college students looked at whether social media could serve as a source of social support in times of stress. Turns out, these students were more likely to turn to their social media network rather than parents or mental health professionals for connection. The anonymity of virtual communities was also seen as appealing to those experiencing depression.

“The social support received in the online group promotes a sense of well-being and was associated with positive relationships and personal growth,” the article states.

This is why finding a community of like-minded individuals online can have such a positive impact in your life.

“There are almost half a million women in our target audience (millennial South Asians in North America) and about 10% of them are part of LBD. It’s been a game-changer for our community. LBD is all about embracing your true self and living your most authentic life. It's amazing to see how the members support, relate, learn, and lift each other,” says Wadhwa and Simhan.

Woman shares 'immaculate' new way men hit on women

Relationships are as old as time itself. And nearly all of them have awkward beginnings. For men, there is often the expectation of taking action. You can't go too far without crossing ethical boundaries but if you're not assertive enough, good luck waiting to be swept off your feet. And for women, well, let's not even get started. As simple as love and attraction may appear on the surface, in practice they are anything but.

If it's a man approaching a woman, oftentimes the woman is unsure how the interaction will end should she not be interested. There are all sorts of reasons for apprehension on the woman's part that some men looking to court may not fully understand. But one woman has taken to social media to share her excitement over a "new way of hitting on women," which may help ease concerns. The woman goes by the name Tee Rex on Instagram and eagerly tells viewers from her car about an experience she just had.


"I just got hit on and I hate getting hit on but the way that this person hit on me was immaculate and I want to share because I feel like men are doing a tough, there's a lot of hate going towards men who are literally just trying to find love," the woman says.

She explains that he did "the normal thing" when men hit on women but immediately after asking for her phone number, the man says, "I am safe to reject."

"Just taking the extra steps to make a woman feel safe and respected goes a long way (sadly) so I’m glad you had this experience vs the far too common unsafe experience," one commenter said in response.

"Wow impressive and I would be even more impressed because he’s also demonstrating he has self worth enough not to lose it if he is rejected. Good quality," another woman praises.

"I thought this was going to be another bullsh*t tip… but I’m definitely adding this to my arsenal," one man writes.

Some men took the time to explain the concept to other men who are skeptical.

"Fellas if you haven't heard numbers of stories about how dudes be aggressive and retaliatory when getting rejected, you're living under a rock. A woman was recently murdered for this (not the first). The problem is we take this personally and it might seem ludicrous because some of us ourselves know that we're not like that. That still doesn't dismiss the fact that it happens A LOT to the point women have to plot ways of avoiding it. But this is social media, we gotta be contrary lol," one man explains.

"Crazy the number of dudes who see this as self-deprecating vs a reflection of both his social awareness and self-confidence. And for those who see this as defeatist - is it really a win if she’s only not saying no because she’s AFRAID," another man asks.

While saying the exact phrase, "I am safe to reject" may not be everyone's ideal line, if a man knows he wouldn't pose a risk to women after being rejected, it wouldn't hurt to put that out front.

Several men in the comments shared that they say things like, "It's cool if you say no" or "No pressure to say yes." These small phrases give women who may be feeling afraid from past experiences a sense of relief and the room to give an honest answer.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Family

Woman gentle parented by her parents praises the benefits of the method

“My parents' voices became my inner voice, and because they were so kind to me, my inner voice is kind.”

Woman gentle parented as child praises the benefits of the method.

The term "gentle parenting" popped onto the scene in the past few years. Many people still view it as a new style of parenting, but it's been around for a long time—there just didn't used to be a pop culture name attached to it. Gentle parenting is generally when a parent considers how to speak and interact with their children, with the emphasis on them being a full person who is learning to navigate the world.

Parents who use this method attempt to hear their children out, offering options and not using harsh tones or language, focusing on age-appropriate development in their approach. Some people view this style of parenting as permissive and can't imagine how a child will develop into a functioning member of society without punishments and rewards for behaviors.

One woman has the answer to that question, taking it to social media so others can see. Noor Elanss created a video sharing that she was gentle parented as a child, and some of her revelations may surprise a few people.


The woman starts the video explaining, "I'm an immigrant child who was gentle parented and as an adult, I'm vibing. I'm so happy to be alive. If there's one thing that I think really distinguished my parents is that they were kind. They were so kind to me."

Noor credits her parents' gentle parenting style with her confidence today, "Never once have I walked into a room thinking, 'do I deserve to be here' cause growing up my parents always told me how proud they were of me and that I could accomplish anything that I wanted to."

She goes on to list other examples of how she was parented showing up in her daily life, but one of the biggest takeaways from her video has to do with her self talk. Noor says that because her parents were so kind to her while shaping her inner voice that she speaks to herself kindly. Commenters were taken aback by the video writing messages of hope as well as disbelief.

@noor.elanss

so blessed to have learned kindness at a young age 💕

♬ original sound - Noor El ✨

"This is refreshing to see. I see a lot of people's take on gentle parenting and they assume their children will grow up entitled. I gentle parent," one person writes.

"Is this a skit??" I've never heard someone actually say this before. This is all I wish for my daughter and children in the future Mashalla [God has willed it]," another says.

"Like I technically knew this existed...but I still cannot BELIEVE that this is some people's real life," someone reveals.

Three woman walking down city streets.

A forensics student named Alex recently shared vital information on TikTok that all women should know. She detailed the specific signs male predators are looking for when they choose a victim.

Her video is based on a 2013 study entitled “Psychopathy and Victim Selection: The Use of Gait as a Cue to Vulnerability.” For the study, researchers interviewed violent criminals in prison and asked them the type of women they’d be most likely to victimize.

The study found that the criminals all agreed that how the woman walked was a deciding factor.


“What the selected women all had in common was the way that they walked and how they generally held themselves in public,” Alex says in the video she later deleted but has been shared broadly across the platform.

@gatita_bunee

How to walk for your safety! #women #safety #tips #walking #kidnapping #murder #attacks #fyp

“The selected women all had a similar ‘awkwardness’ to the way that they walked and carried themselves,” she continued. “The first part of the woman had a gait that was a little bit too small for their body, which resulted in smaller steps, slower speed and their arms more typically to their sides, or crossed, as well as their heads being down and not really taking in their general surroundings, which indicated three different things to these potential attackers.”

The woman’s body language signaled to attackers that she was fearful and anxious and because her head was down, she'd be easier to surprise. Alex then described the second type of woman the criminals said they’d target.

“On the other hand, the other part of the women that were selected had a gait that seemed a bit too big for their body and their arms tended to flail to the sides and seemed just overly awkward,” Alex continued.

The woman with the bigger gait signaled to potential attackers that she may be clumsy and won’t put up a good fight. “Because their arms were out and flailing to the side, it left the lower body open to, again, come around and grab them,” she said.

woman walking, predators, crime

Two women walking down the street.

via Mâide Arslan/Pexels

The video was helpful because Alex also discussed the types of women the attackers wouldn’t pursue. Alex says these women “walked with a gait that tended to be more natural to their body.” She adds they moved at the same pace as those in the immediate area, with their shoulders back and chins up and asserting a general sense of confidence.

“Essentially, the women that were not selected gave off an energy that said, ‘Don’t mess with me. I will put up a good fight.’ And that’s why they weren’t selected,” Alex said. “I know that it sounds silly, but something as simple as the way you walk or the way that you carry yourself in public could determine the likelihood that you become a target of a predator.”

Alex concluded her video by sharing an acronym that can help prevent women from being victimized while in public: STAAR.

S(tride) — Walk with a natural stride to your body and not too far apart or short.

T(all) — Stand tall. Keep your shoulders back and your chin up. Assert a natural confidence and dominance to those around you.

A(rms)—Swing your arms naturally by your sides, avoiding keeping them too close to your body or flailing out of your natural range of motion.

A(wareness) — Stay aware of your surroundings. Take notice if something feels or looks off.

R(elax): Stay cool, calm, and collected and don’t indicate to a potential attacker that you feel or see something is wrong.







Taryn Charles blew everyone away with her BGT audition.

For nearly two decades, people have been enjoying "Got Talent" competitions all over the world, inspired by the first "America's Got Talent" in 2006. And thanks to social media and YouTube, we can enjoy the most memorable auditions over and over again.

For instance, this one from Taryn Charles on the 2024 season of "Britain's Got Talent."

Charles is a music teacher who works with special needs kids. She even brought one of her students and her parent to be part of the audience during her audition. When the judges asked why she wanted to be on "Britain's Got Talent," Charles said, "I love to make people smile and I think my voice is alright."

Talk about an understatement.


As she stands waiting for the music to start, she shakes her hand by her side a few times, clearly getting some nerves out. But as soon as she starts to sing the first line, "Looking out on the morning rain, I used to feel so uninspired…" it's clear from her rich, raspy voice and easy stage presence that she's got something special.

And it only gets better from there. "(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman" was written by singer-songwriter Carole King, then famously covered by Aretha Franklin, which is a hard act to follow. But Charles knocked it out of the park, blowing away the audience and judges alike. In fact, the performance earned her not one but two standing ovations and inspired judge Bruno Tonioli to smash the Golden Buzzer button before the judges even began to offer their feedback.

Watch:

What makes this performance especially memorable is how humble and unassuming Charles is before and after her knock-out performance. If you didn't watch til the very end, you may have missed her hilariously real, "I think I've wet myself," which only makes her even more endearing.

"WOW I was blown away with her angelic and powerful voice," wrote one commenter. "And yet she is so humble and has a beautiful soul. Plus, I have never in my life seen a double standing ovation, she so deserves a golden buzzer, wishing her the best success."

"This is how you do an audition, stunning tone to her voice.....if anyone deserves a chance it's this lady......BOOM!!" wrote another.

"This was so inspirational. Taryn I am in tears," shared another. "I know what it feels like to struggle with self-worth. You are a mirror to show me that that those people are not always right. You are phenomenally gifted and you have an amazing career as a professional singer ahead of you! Blessings!"

Talent competition judges often warn contestants about the challenge of singing songs done by big vocal divas, and we've seen singers attempt to sing the likes of Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey and fall flat. It's not easy to sing an iconic song most people associate with Aretha Franklin—the Queen of Soul and Rolling Stone's #1 singer of all time—and have any hope of impressing people. And yet, Taryn Charles managed to make the song her own and wow everyone in the process with her unique voice.

We'll definitely be keeping an eye on this humble music teacher as she makes her way through the "Britain's Got Talent" gauntlet. Heck of a way to kick it off.

Family

Here are 13 of the 'most surprising' things people learned after getting divorced

"The person you married is not the same person you divorce."

A couple is having a hard time in therapy.

Studies show that after the death of a spouse, getting a divorce is the second most stressful life event a person can have. It’s even worse than going to jail or losing one’s job.

Going through a divorce can be incredibly stressful because it involves significant changes in nearly every aspect of life. The process can feel overwhelming, from emotional upheaval and legal complexities to financial adjustments and parenting challenges. It often means redefining personal identity and future plans, which requires time, patience and support from loved ones to navigate successfully.

However, there can be many positive sides to getting a divorce, the biggest being able to get away from someone who is causing you grief. It can also be a means of escaping a tough financial situation or distancing yourself from toxic in-laws.


Getting divorced can also open the door for some much-needed personal change.

A Redditor who goes by BondEmilyBond asked divorced people on the AskReddit subforum, “What's the most surprising thing you learned from getting divorced?” Many people were happily surprised by some of the lessons they learned from getting divorced and the positive outcomes they never expected.

While the post could have easily turned dour, many shared that getting a divorce allowed them to grow in ways they never expected. The separation was also an opportunity for many of their spouses to grow as well.

Here are 13 of the “most surprising” things people learned from getting a divorce.

1. "The person you married is not the same person you divorce." — Royal_Arachnid_2295

"Very true! One thing I learned getting divorced fairly young (33) was that we only have one life, you have to make sure you’re happy. Marriage was not the partnership I expected, especially after having kids. I was doing the majority of the household work while also doing the majority of the childcare and working full time. I suddenly realized this couldn’t be the rest of my life. And things are so much better now." — Klopije

2. Sometimes, everyone needs to change

"How I DID need to change certain parts of myself and my life, but I was not the entire problem in our marriage." — Ughfinethisusername

3. "I expected to be heartbroken but mostly just felt relieved." — Oddwithoutend

"What is worst than being alone? Wishing you were alone." — AnnatoniaMac

"When the time came for me to spend my first night in my shi**y apartment, I unlocked the door, walked in, sat down on my couch, turned on my TV and then it hit me: No matter what I did that night, nobody was going to yell at me. And I felt so much relief in that moment, I was free and I didn't even realize that I hadn't been. I came to love that shitty apartment. My daughter and I lived there for three years (she's with me 50% of the time) and those were three of the happiest years of my life." — Spcoalpresense

4. You're never completely rid of your ex

"Not from my experience, but having children with your ex means you're not really rid of them, ever. They will always be around unless the children choose to remove themselves from their lives at some point. That includes the extended family, too, so it's a package deal at every event. It's not like they magically go away after the kids turn 18, though you do get to deal with them a little less." — Magicrowantree

"This is true, but I learned that it's much, much, much easier to be divorced with kids than it is to be unhappily married with kids." — Rusty0123

5. "I felt even more lonely when I was married." — bunbunzinlove

"First husband and I went to see 'The Misfits,' the 1961 Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable movie at the vintage movie house. At the very beginning, she's getting a Nevada divorce, and tells her husband: 'If I'm going to be alone, I want to be by myself.' He doesn't realize it, but that was a turning point in our marriage; that line floored me." — Flahdgal

6. Lawyers are expensive

"Sometimes you have to pay them to be able to communicate with someone you’re not able to communicate with." — Youngest_Syndrome_78

"Your lawyer is as expensive as your relationship was terrible/you or your ex is stubborn." — Youngest_Syndrome_78

7. Being alone is freedom

"How content I could be on my own. Never having to compromise throughout the mundane moments because you are living alone is very freeing." — Independent_Sunshine

"You know what I feel when I walk into my small divorce apartment? Peace! Blessed peace. No one's criticizing me. I'm not responsible for someone else's disappointing life choices. I am not his rage sponge, anymore. Goodbye, McMansion in the suburbs. Don't miss you." — Kit3399

8. The stress can be unbearable

"You can almost die from grief and disappointment." — HeartofGold48

"During one of our last fights, I fainted, fell backward on the concrete floor, and got a concussion and MRI. Apparently, stress can do that. The physical impact of divorce is something I never expected." — Haunting_Cattle2138

9. True love is awesome

"Pretty much how awesome life can be with a caring, kind, supportive spouse. I had no idea how bad I had it until the old one abandoned ship, and I met the true love of my life." — Relax-Enjoy

"This is so true. If you’ve been in an emotionally abusive relationship for a long time, experiencing real love is just astounding." — InactiveUser247

10. Unhealthy can be normalized

"You know, I remember at one point in my marriage thinking 'I guess this is just how it works.' After being unhappy for so long, it just seemed like the normal. But I've definitely found out that no, it's not how it works! A relationship can be happy and supportive, without you feeling like you have to do all the work!" — Anothercrockett

"Same. I put my emotional and physical needs on a shelf, just chalking it up as 'my lot'. The rest of my life was great (kids, family, friends, house, money, pool)... It wasn't until she dropped the D-word on me at the beginning of the year that I let my feelings of neglect out." — IBSeanB

11. You're more attractive than you thought

"How many men I knew that wanted to date me lol." — OK_Acanthistta5022

"My current partner also had this realization. The moment her separation became public then certain 'friends' were circling. She was still of the opinion that women can have truly platonic male friends, which they can, but the majority I believe have other motives." — LordBiscuits

12. Couples are great at putting on a facade

"When I got a divorce, it turns out it was the beginning of a spree of divorces in my neighborhood among my friends. In a 2 year period, 5 couples I knew in my neighborhood got divorces. All of them, to a tee, were couples that I thought were very happily married. It sparked a lot of frank and open conversations among me and my newly-divorced friends about marriage, relationships and goings-on that I had never had before. Turns out I was living a really dull and sheltered life. I was astonished at how much infidelity was going on, for example. There were shenanigans going on everywhere. ... So the takeaway for me was, couples can be very good at putting on a fake front of happiness." — framptal_tromwibbler

13. You can still be friends

"You can still be mates. It's not all 'burn your ex to the ground' sh**e. It is perfectly possible to get on with everyone (including in-laws). Sometimes marriages just do not work out." — CarpetGripperRod

"Plus, the new partner can actually be pretty ace! She’s wonderful to my kids and has always treated me with nothing but love and respect. My kids come first and I can’t see any downside to them having more love in their lives." — Substantial-Land-248