It’s understandable to feel friendless and lonely after a loss.
Came across your blog and realized it is for women. Any recommendations for men?
I am 61, and got divorced five years ago after 27 years of marriage. I found my true soul mate shortly after that. I’ve been told that it was a match made in heaven and I truly believed that. However, she passed away six months ago to cancer. She was diagnosed May 4th and passed July 6th.
It’s just torn me apart. I know this doesn’t seem true but I have no friends whatsoever and my family lives in the UK. I have a 23-year-old-daughter here with me but she has college, work and her social life so I don’t see her very often.
Everyone tells me I need to get over it and move on. Easier said than done. I’m trying to talk to people but feel like no one is interested in anything I have to say. Any suggestions?
I’m so sorry for your tragic loss. For the past 30+ years you have been in two close relationships, so it’s not surprising you would feel very lonely after this loss.
Men often aren’t as good as women in maintaining friendships, and many couple friendships are made and nurtured by wives. In your case, I suspect you may have lost friendships with some couples (and individuals) after your divorce, which is quite common for both men and women, as friends take sides.
After a loss, it’s not surprising you feel lonely and friendless. I don’t know whether you work or not but you probably spent much of your discretionary time with your soul mate, especially after she was diagnosed. And as a close as we are to our adult children, they do have lives of their own – as they should.
Even if you aren’t ready to dip your toes into the dating waters, which would be understandable, it’s great you recognize you want to reach out to others. If you are still mourning this loss and feel depressed, your self-esteem may have taken a hit. This can make someone feel like no one is interested in what they have to say.
A few suggestions:
1) Give yourself time to mourn. Grieving never proceeds at the same pace or on the same timeline for different individuals. If you are still feeling “torn apart,” you might want to find out whether there are any bereavement or grief support groups in your area. Attending these meetings might help you achieve some closure after the death and find new friends who understand what you’re going through in the process.
2) Rather than focusing on finding friends, per se, are there any interests you would like to pursue that could bring you in contact with other people, from joining a gym to a community organization to volunteering. It is much easier and quicker to make acquaintances than friends but some of those casual relationships may develop into close friendships over time.
If you have any signs or symptoms of depression, you may want to consult a professional for short-term treatment to help you get over this loss.
Hope this helps a little and thanks for reaching out to me. While the large majority of readers of this blog are women, there are some men lurking and posting here, too! 🙂
Best wishes, Irene
Previously on The Friendship Blog:
- Complicated grief: Having a hard time getting over the death of a spouse
- Suddenly single: Female friendships after death
In the Huffington Post: