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Grief and Loneliness

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

Most of us understand loneliness but might not understand grief. Loneliness is undoubtedly a big part of grief and can be complicated. Most people define loneliness as being alone, which means “without other people.” Which I find in relationship to suffering is not an accurate definition of “lonely.” Loneliness is subjective; it can differ from person to person, like kids who feel misunderstood, an elderly person who may be living in a nursing home, or a person working in an environment where you “don't fit in socially.” Even though they are not “without other people,” they feel lonely. These people experience loneliness because these relationships don’t meet their personal needs.

In the case of an Individual grieving over the loss of a loved one, say a spouse, they may have a lot of loving family and great friends, but they long for someone they don’t have, an intimate partner. When you’re grieving, it seems that loneliness is unsolvable. It is unsolvable; the loneliness, the emptiness, is that what you want is your loved one, a likeness that no one else could ever fill.

I am sure that loneliness after the death of a loved one leaves you at a significant disadvantage in solving the problem because the person and feeling you desire is gone. You can't bring them back or recreate them. I am sure, as they say, “pieces of you became them, and pieces of them became you.” When they died, they took pieces of your shared life with them, and now you struggle to live a life with those pieces missing. So now you think, “I’m alone, on my own, so I have to be very careful living my life without those pieces,” so you may start to guard against the influences of others by pushing them away. And as a result, it increases your feelings of loneliness.

Loneliness caused by grief can be solved totally. You will never fill the void left by losing your loved one that can't replace those missing pieces. As I say in my book Balloon in a Box, you must find other ways to move forward with your life, bringing your loved one with you.

How do you do this? At this point in my journey of grief, you must try. It is important to open yourself up to the love of people in your life, holding on to your loved one while accepting the love and support of others and making new friends in the process. My experience has been that it is not easy, but in time, you can partially fill the hole left by your loved one.

“God uses all things for the good of those who love him, even our loneliness.”- unknown.

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