Musings on Loneliness

I read something tonight that really made me think…this particular quote, specifically.

“Loneliness happens when we choose to lengthen grief beyond normal time expectations.”

As a widow, I am quite familiar with loneliness. In fact, it is something I struggle with daily. I know that I am not alone in this feeling, although feeling alone is the very basis of the emotion. Loneliness can eat away your spirit over time and transform you into a shadow of what you used to be. Caught up in the midst of feeling lonesome, it often feels like there is no way out. And specifically in the case of widows, it can feel like it is something that has been thrust upon you without being given any choice in the matter. I personally struggle with that idea, wondering just how much of my loneliness isĀ circumstantialĀ and how much is my own doing.

What are your thoughts on this quote? Do you feel like those all-too-familiar feelings of loneliness along your grief journey are just ‘par for the course’, or do you think they are created by our own choice to continue the cycle of grief? How do you combat loneliness?

Hugs to all, you are not alone. <3

Monica

Of course I have never been in the shoes of a Widow and cannot even comprehend what loniless is like as such. I wish there was an easy fix because what worries me is that “lonlieness” could lead to a despression that is so deep that we cannot find a solution for some people. It is my belief that when people feel this way they are worried what others might think if they have a “moment” of hapiness as if they arent entitled to it. Your blog brings some great thinking moments for me and I hope that others can really just ponder the quesitons and see about solutions. My wish is that people who are lonely, can find some moments of happiness and will eventually find a way out of lonlieness and into comfort. I know for me, my lonlieness is my own doing and only I can create my way out of it. thanks for helping me think about this. Love ya!!

Catherine

I, myself, struggle with this concept. Is my loneliness my own doing? Maybe to a degree, but I think this concept is also allowing others to step away from the responsibility of being a support for those who are dealing with the loss of a spouse. I think we live in a culture that doesn’t know how to deal with those who are grieving, so it is easier to blame those who are grieving for hanging on to their grief too long instead of recognizing that if we stepped out of our comfort zone and spent time with them that their grieving might be lessened or at least in some way made easier. I personally have had friends who I haven’t heard from since my husband’s funeral 2 years ago. I’ve had a church who has had elders offer to call me or take me to lunch and never follow through on those things. I go to church and sit alone. I call people who after the funeral said call if you need something and if they show up at all it is 6 months later. I went to a grief seminar that said to volunteer more, which I do happily. I still am never included in anything that doesn’t involve the actual volunteering. I know that people have their own lives to lead but when you reach out in loneliness and those overtures are not returned, what really is the choice? To stop grieving my husband is not going to make my friends actually be friends to me. I guess to me grieving and loneliness are to separate issues that I deal with that overlap and there are only so many things that I can do to make myself less lonely when I go to most things that I am invited to but still end up by myself through the whole thing.

I really don’t believe that loneliness is something we create. We have had something that is now gone; with someone that will never occur again. Of course we are lonely! That being said, filling it with things or people that are not healthy is not good overall. There’s a fine balance to everything, but loneliness is something that is, not something that we make.

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