• Keeping Friends

Caregiving: Making friends after loss

Published: May 29, 2017 | By | 1 Reply Continue Reading
After a man cares for his mother for more than six years, she passes away. Lonely, he asks how to make friends after loss.


Dear Doctor,

I just lost my mother after caring for her for 6+ years. She passed away two days before her 96th birthday. Now I have nobody. What can I do to find others like me and make new friends?

Signed, Terry


Hi Terry,

I’m so very sorry for your loss. When a parent dies, whatever their age or health, it always comes as a shock because the loss is so profound and life altering.

If you were taking care of your mom and/or were living together, her passing has probably changed your day-to-day life routines markedly. You’ll no longer have responsibility for taking care of another person, which will leave you with many more unfilled hours.

Needless to say, this is a major life adjustment that takes time getting used to. The time needed varies for different individuals.

Participating in a bereavement support group will not only help you process the loss but may offer opportunities for you to meet new people in similar circumstances who can understand what you are going through. You can check with you local place of worship or hospital to find out about the location of bereavement groups in your community.

Again, my sincere condolences for your loss.

Best wishes, Irene

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  1. Sandra says:

    I’m sending my sympathies for your loss. I lost my mother a couple of years ago, after managing her care for 7 years, and it was quite a change when she died. Dr. Irene is so right when she tells you that it can take a lot of time to adjust to the changes and to go through the grieving process. Allow yourself to mourn the loss and take care of yourself as best you can.

    Along with a bereavement group, I would suggest you visit a local senior center and get involved in activities there. There are several senior centers around the community I live in. Many offer free physical fitness classes, which are a lot of fun and a great place to meet people, and they also serve daily lunches. There are field trips and bus trips to theater events as well. My mother-in-law has blossomed after getting involved in her nearby senior center — she goes there every day to exercise, eats lunch with a group of friends, and gets involved in a lot of other things with the new friends she has made. Many of them are also widowed.

    Wishing you healing and comfort as you grieve your loss.

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