Re: When it's Death and Not Divorce...
I think (some of) the difference is, when a loved one dies, we tend to remember the good things about them and the times we shared with them. When we do happen to think about the not so good parts, we forgive more easily because there's nothing at that point that can be done to change them. Also, although the loss, whether sudden, or after a long illness, still hurts like hell, it's a cleaner break so to say. There's no chance that you're going to run into them on the street and have all the initial saddness from losing them come rushing back. I know we'll find pictures of the person, or a favorite article of clothing, etc...but that's not quite the same as seeing them somewhere, especially if it's an (ex)spouse with another love interest!!
But I do think there are similarities in the feeling of extreme loss in divorce. In fact, I think divorce is worse because it can be very long and drawn out and you still feel like you want to fix whatever it is that went wrong.
Does that make any sense?