Social Life of a Widow

There is nothing worse than having to leave a gathering of friends to go home alone to an empty house. After the death of a loved one, life is forever changed. You are now a single in a couple’s world.

Plan Ahead – The first time I went out to a movie without Donnie it was with a group of friends. It didn’t feel right and I couldn’t wait to leave. I had thought, “it will do me good to get out” but I wasn’t ready. As you think ahead to any activity or celebration, plan the timing so you are in control of when you want to leave.

Of course, friends will be kind and will try to include you in their activities, but the experience will not be the same. Now that you are single, the combination of old friends and good memories of other times makes for an empty feeling. It’s no wonder that we often feel uneasy in such circumstances.

We need to remember to be gentle with our friends, to try to understand that they are also feeling loss. It may be difficult for them to express their feelings properly. They may be unable to help, not because they are unfeeling but because they are fearful of saying or doing the wrong thing. Not all of us are able to express how we feel in words. Unfortunately, many couple friends leave when you are no longer part of a couple. Your old couple friends may have a party and you were not invited. You find out about it later, it hurts and makes you angry. The problem is made worse by your own feelings of withdrawal and emotional pain.

We often express bewilderment at the lack of understanding of the grieving process on the part of bothfriends and families. Time and time again I hear this refrain: … but they don’t understand. Perhaps as time goes by your relationship with old friends will change to suit your life as a single, but don’t be surprised if some old friends drift away.

Some friends just seem to be there. They don’t intrude, nor do they give advice or second guess the decisions we make. However, some friends are incapable of visiting or even making a simple phone call. “I don’t know what to say,” is their usual comment.

We mustn’t fall into the trap of expecting others to think the same way we do.

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