WESTPORT, Conn. — When Sylvia Beckerman left her second ex-husband in 2015, she had her shoes, her clothes, some wine glasses and little else.
So — looking to her son and soon-to-be daughter-in-law for inspiration — she marched herself over to Bed, Bath & Beyond and set up a post-divorce gift registry.
“I thought, they’re starting new and I’m starting new, too,” said the Westport mother of two grown sons. “I’m registered and I’m going to throw myself a party. It’s not celebrating, but a new door is opening.”
It’s that kind of hopeful, outside-the-box thinking that has seen Beckerman through two marital splits and the start of her latest venture, Après Divorce, a growing community of women she formed to tackle the little things, the legal things and the life-empowering changes that come after a longtime relationship ends.
The group, which she founded last June, meets monthly, welcoming top experts to speak on timely topics, such as parenting issues, finances and getting back on the dating scene. Past evenings have tackled blended families that are no longer blended and prepping for the holidays.
The women, who come from all over Fairfield County and as far away as Westchester County and New York City, represent a wide range of ages and situations. But Beckerman said they often find they are going through the same feelings — from sadness and humiliation to hope and happiness.
Newly divorced in the 1990s, Beckerman said she had a hard time finding a support system after moving from Denver to Ridgefield.
“It was there, but it was hidden,” she said. “There’s no one to talk to.”
Après Divorce gives women that outlet through events, a blog, an e-newsletter and more.
“You go through all the emotions when you’re going through a trauma,” she said. “Not only are there commonalities, but you’re not alone.”
Early Après Divorce events have drawn about 35 women and Beckerman would welcome new faces.
On March 27, the group will meet from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Quartina Trattoria & Vineria, 120 Washington St., Norwalk, for “Prepare Yourself for a New Relationship.”
The speakers for the evening are Ellyn Shander, M.D., a nationally recognized inspirational speaker and psychiatrist who teaches “Be Magnificent” therapy, and mother-daughter matchmaking duo Janis and Carly Spindel, dubbed “the Rolls Royce of matchmaking.”
Tickets are $40 for the speakers, food and wine. Click here for tickets.
For more information on Après Divorce, visit www.apresdivorce.com .