This is one of the most difficult and frequently discussed problem people face in the loss of their primary relationship and life partner. Almost everyone in the HOPE groups goes home and is alone. After years and often decades of living with other people, learning how to adjust to living alone takes time, practice, and coping skills. There is a big difference in how we experience being alone. It can feel very lonely and empty or the solitude can be quiet and peaceful. We need to learn how to be alone comfortably and how to balance this with our need for social and emotional connection. This is especially hard when we are grieving. People often in the beginning stages of loss keep very busy and active because being alone may trigger painful emotions. As time passes and grief work continues, it may become easier to face the space once shared. Some people find that leaving a light, TV, or music on makes a difference. Others find comfort in familiar rooms and objects and pictures of their spouse. Still others need to change the paint, furniture, decor or even move to a completely new environment. Fear and feelings of vulnerablity are common and there are ways to cope. Security alarms or buildings, neighbors with keys, friends who call to check on each other are examples. The important thing to remember is that living alone does get easier and better gradually and with effort and courage. We can learn to adjust and find happiness even though we thought it impossible.
Posted in: About Grief and Healing