I remember when my stepfather died, my mother kept saying how lonely she was. She was living in a nice home in California and was active in the community and her church. I couldn’t understand how she could be lonely when she was so busy all the time. About a year after my stepfather died, she married her best friend’s brother. It was a big mistake, but it solved her loneliness. However, after three years of marriage to him, when he tried to kill her, she divorced him. She spent the next five years before she died alone, but she never complained of being lonely again.
Now I get it. My spouse died one and a half years ago of cancer. There was much to be done in the months after he died notifying all those agencies, changing his name to mine, sorting through his clothing, his things, his life, and deciding what went to where. It was exhausting but it kept me busy and not lonely.
I was fortunate that my adult daughter lived with me and shared things like doing the Sunday crossword puzzle, cooking, food shopping, and getting me to doctor’s appointments when I couldn’t drive for one reason or another. We try to always have dinner together, but lately, that hasn’t worked out so well.
Her best friend who used to live one block away has now moved seven miles away. She now spends a lot of time there and also with several other of his family members. I am happy that she is so involved and busy. But it leaves me alone for days at a time when she leaves early in the morning and comes home after I have gone to bed. I don’t think she is avoiding me, I just think she is living her life and that is a good thing.
The problem for me is that I am now finding myself lonely, Like my mother. My mother was sixty-six when she was widowed and she lived for another ten years. I was eighty-one when I was widowed and hope I will have that much time. What I do know is that I am not looking to get married again to solve my loneliness. And, I have plenty to keep me busy. I have a novel to complete, I am active in a bridge club, and my writer’s guild. I have plenty of doctor’s appointments, and I have lunch with friends on a regular basis.
So, why am I lonely. Who knows? I just pray that it is a fleeting feeling that will drift away with the wind and I’ll wake up one day with joy in my heart. Lonely no more.