Feeling lonely is very common for Widows and Widowers. Even with family, children, and friends around, it is common to feel lonely. Why? Why, when there are so many loving people around us, do we feel so lonely?
There is a difference between an intimate relationship and any other relationship. A child can not fulfill the same role as a spouse, neither can a parent, nor a friend. Each relationship is important and has value. However, a spouse fulfills us in a way that other’s can’t. In intimate relationships there is a physical, mental, and emotional connection. There has been compromise and respect, fights and hurt, love and sex. Your spouse made you feel safe and provided for you whether that was fixing the car or doing the dishes. You have become accustomed to being able to rely, or not rely in some cases (which isn’t a bad thing), on the person you love. Now that person is gone. Regardless, of how many people are around it is lonely.
I wish there was a quick fix to this loneliness. There isn’t. It is going to take time to adjust to being alone. People deal with this in many different ways. Some people drown in the emptiness, others fill it with people, others focus on rebuilding themselves. It is up to you. Which is the larger point I want to make. How you respond is up to you. When you respond is up to you.
There is no proper waiting period to let new people in your life. It is acceptable to ask someone to give you a hug or hold you because you need physical contact. It is acceptable to ask someone to spend the night or stay over at someone else’s simply because you want to know someone else is in the house. It is acceptable to have sex, simply to feel. It is acceptable to all of these things or none of them and it’s nobody else’s business. It is not scandalous to reach out for emotional or physical support. Taking care of yourself is the utmost importance. To do this you need to create your own timeline and simply do things when you are ready. Don’t wait for others approval or disapproval. This is about you and what you need.
For those that have felt this way. Please share in the comments how you have dealt with the feelings. What worked and what didn’t. The goal is to give ideas to others who are going through this now.