You Gotta Have Friends!

You have likely already heard how important friendships are when you are grieving.  Recent studies show that lonely grievers are more likely to develop high blood pressure, sleep poorly and get sick more often.  On the other hand if you are well connected you are healthier and life is a little bit easier to take.

Friends are the lifesavers that you turn to when you are grieving and you need to vent.  But how many friends does it take to feel happy and loved?  Fewer than you might think! 

The happiest of people say they have positive, close friendships and that their friendships give them unconditional support as well as help with their stress.

As we grieve, we want fewer but more fulfilling friendships. We just don’t have the energy to put ourselves out there to keep in touch with a lot of different friends.  Not only do some of our friends leave us when we become widowed – we also choose to end some friendships.  As some friendships end, established connections become stronger, and their impact on us is felt more deeply.

When grieving we may lean towards being loner like. We all need close friends when life gets chaotic but right now we need to focus on grieving and we need to ease our anxiety about the future.  Treasure the people in your inner circle, clinging to them as your grieve and heal.  But don’t worry about those superficial people that have moved on or that you no longer want to spend time with. 

You may have no energy at this point to socialize but if you’re realistic about it, you’ll realize that you will have plenty of time to make new friends as you heal – and you will!

5 Responses

  1. Betty Barbour
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    I am a recently widowed woman after being happily married for 56 yrs to a wonderful man.
    I turned 75 in November, 2014.

  2. Mary Francis
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    Hello Betty – It is never easy to be without our loved ones but I would think that after 56 years it is especially hard to be living a single life again. Betty please know that you are loved and valued just as you are – please reach out to family and friends for support. I have to tell you that I love receiving messages from ladies in their seventies and eighties over the computer. You are part of the growing seniors that are taking control by learning how to use the internet to improve their lives. Take care and I wish you the best in 2015 as you find your balance in this new life. Mary Francis

  3. Gladys Zirk
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    Hello Betty
    I too am a widow after 58 yerars of marriage. If I keep my hands busy I am ok,but not so good when I am idle and I have time to think. But I am determond it will get better.

  4. Irene. carnahan
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    What if I have been a widow for 19 years and still grieve. My husband was sick for 10 years, and died when he was 47. I wondered how I could find friends which I desperately need. I have sons far away, and a big family, who are all over the US. I am legally blind, and do not drive. I don't know any people who are friends since moving here 9 years ago. There are very rare opportunities for me to meet many people. I try, but it is scary going out alone. I have a guide dog, and he is my best friend. Any ideas beside meetings, or church, or senior centers?

  5. Mary Francis
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    Most cities/towns have an organization for the legally blind – I would advise reaching out to that organization for support.  They usually have events and can also let you know what is going on in the area.  If they have meetings for the legally blind than they may also have transportation suggestions on how to get to them.  You will meet others that are legally blind and perhaps meet some new friends.   Take care, Mary Francis

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