Grief and Loneliness
Most of us would say we understand loneliness but might not totally understand grief. Loneliness is surely a big part of grief and it can be complicated. Most people would define loneliness as being alone, which means “without other people”. Which I find in relationship to grief is not an accurate definition of “lonely”. Loneliness is subjective, it can be different from person to person, like kids who feel they are misunderstood, an elderly person who may be a 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 still 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, 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 its seems that loneliness is unsolvable. Basically, it is unsolvable, the loneliness, the emptiness is in fact 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 major disadvantage of 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 on my alone, on my own, so I have to be very careful living my life without those pieces” so you may start to guard against influences of others by pushing them away. And as a result, increase your feelings of loneliness.
Loneliness caused by grief can be solved totally. You will never fill the void left by the loss of your loved one, that simply can't replace those missing pieces. You must find other ways, as I say in my book, Balloon in a Box, 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 I am not exactly sure but you must try. I believe 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 maybe 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.”