Loneliness is a Challenge

Loneliness is the greatest challenge faced by survivors.  When it comes to accepting and dealing with loss, each day presents its own challenge.

A simple everyday task can trigger the loneliness of loss.  Loneliness is judged to be more difficult to endure than fatigue, anxiety and memory loss. 

Indeed, the intensity of loneliness can be so severe that widows and widowers may experience illusions and hallucinations of the deceased.  About a third tell their doctors they have seen, heard or even talked to their dead husband or wife.  These experiences do not in any way indicate mental illness as it’s just their way of dealing with the loss of their loved ones.

The oldest widows and widowers have the most consistent improvement in their loneliness over time – they do this by relying on friends.  I suspect that friends provide a respite from daily routines and an outlet for confiding thoughts and feelings.

People who can talk about their worries and fears with friends are better able to deal with the challenges of loneliness.

10 Responses

  1. Carman

    I’m so very overwhelmed with loneliness. I feel alone in the midst of a crowded living room filled with family and friends. This feeling eats at me on drives, at nights, and in the presence of other couples. Will this feeling ever let up?

  2. Mary Francis

    It may be hard to believe right now but the intense loneliness does ease up but it takes time. I suggest that you find some single friends to do things with as it helps to go outside your comfort zone and do something different than what you used to do with your loved one. Also, start keeping a journal and write your feeling out every night before you go to sleep.

  3. Ingrid Threet

    Loneliness is the hardest hurdle to overcome. I lost my husband September 29, 2014. It was an unexpected death. October 12th was our 18th anniversary. I dread when evening approaches. This was “our” time to visit and relax. Now the house is too quiet; too empty. I don’t want to run. I don’t want to burden my friends/relatives. So heart wrenching. I am thankful, though, for this sight.

  4. Mary Francis

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. The main issue always is the loneliness and the empty house. It takes time to grief but later it gets better and the healing begins. Take care of yourself. Mary Francis

  5. Gladys Zirk

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have the radio turned on before I get up and it plays till I go to sleep. then the house is never quiet. This I find helps.This is just one of my baby steps to become a survivor.

  6. Rich

    My life ended when my beloved wife died December 2nd. 12 years and no children. I am alone . I can’t bare living the rest of my life without my soul. We are both morbidly obese and she died before my yes in bed. God please take me so we can be together. I grow weaker each day and sicker.


  7. Mary Francis

    Dear Rich – I’m sorry about the loss of your beloved wife. It’s hard to lose a loved one and when it’s in December (the holiday month) it seems even harder. Every life has value, including yours and it’s a gift that needs to be cared for. Please go see your doctor and talk about your options for getting better both physically and mentally. It’s not an honor to our loved ones to throw away our lives, instead we need to honor them by living our life with meaning. Get healthy and do something for others in honor of your love for her. Grow stronger each day as you grieve and heal – it’s really your choice. You have value and are still here for a reason so please don’t give into your grief, but instead use it to honor her memory. Mary Francis

  8. Lois Bello

    I lost my husband 9 years ago.our marriage was 2years…until now i feel desperately lonely,am in the part of country where widowhood is seen as a cause the people who want to relate don’t have the time,others see you as nuisance,,men see you as only to satisfy their sexual urge…remarriage is a challenge you are seen as a bad omen …..families don’t accept you….i feel so unfortunate most times….

  9. Mary Francis

    Dear Lois. Being a widow does not mean you are a “victim” of life. Being a widow is part of your journey and you decide how to travel this journey. You need to focus on grieving and letting it have its time BUT then healing comes when you go after the positive things in your life and we all have them. Sometimes they get lost and we need to make an effort to look for them but they are there. Take control of your decisions and seek out positive people and things to do. It will help with your grieving so you can heal. Take care. Mary Francis

  10. Lois Bello

    Thank you so much,am feeling positive already….

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