It was a question that wasn’t easy to answer.
It came during a conversation with a woman who had lost her husband to cancer a couple years ago. She was a little younger than me and she talked about going through all the stages of grief. She called one of the stages her “straight jacket stage” because she said she was so grief stricken she could hardly breathe. All she wanted to do was cry and stay in bed and she didn’t want to see any one or do anything. That was her “straight jacket stage.” She’s moved through that part but now she’s trying to figure out a way to stop feeling so lonely.
Loneliness, she said is scary because she doesn’t see an end to it.
She goes out with friends. She travels a little too. She’s not locked in her house, afraid to go out, but she can’t shake the “missing him” part.
I told her I’m six years away from my loss and I still feel lonely. I still miss Leroy in so many ways. I told her it’s not an “every minute of the day” kind of missing, but there are times when I wish so hard, that he was a whisper away. There are still times when something happens in the day that only he would ‘get.’ He’d be the only one I could call or share it with and get a reaction. Now, I just cringe a little instead and move on.
I guess that’s how I handle the loneliness too.
That little pocket of “Leroy emotions” that I keep in a draw-string purse next to my heart, sometimes leaks a little too much loneliness and I have to deal with it like a grown up.
She told me where loneliness is concerned, she’s not ready to be a grown-up just yet.
So, she moved around the room asking the question, “How do you deal with loneliness?”