After the death of a loved one, life is forever changed. You are now a single in a couple’s world. As you’ve discovered grief is quite painful and you need your friends more than ever. Unfortunately, many couple friends are lost when you are no longer part of a couple.
There is nothing worse than having to leave a gathering of friends to go home alone to an empty house. Most of us have experienced this feeling because we are now single again, and the rest of our friends are still paired off as couples. Old friends will be kind and will try to include you in their activities, but the experience will not be the same.
Your old couple friends may have a party and you are not invited. You find out about it later, it hurts and makes you angry. The problem is made worse by your own feelings of withdrawal and emotional pain. Social relationships may need to be rebuilt around new friends and hobbies. Try something new – I took up curling in a ladies league, made some new friends and had lots of fun.
It is worthwhile to work at keeping your old friends. All friendships take some commitment, but you may find that going out with couples just doesn’t appeal to you.
Perhaps as time goes by your relationship with old friends will change to suit your life as a single, but don’t be surprised if some old friends drift away.
It helps to share with others that have also suffered a loss. You will discover that you do not have to explain your feelings simply because your new friends understand. They will tell you about their experiences, listen to yours, and you will feel safe in sharing your feelings because you are not alone.
I cannot begin to tell you how important it is to get out of the house. After your husband dies life is just bleak and there is no joy. It is too easy to hide within yourself and not bother with anyone. You feel like they don’t understand and your life is completely different, meanwhile everyone else has gone back to their normal lives.
But you can’t do it – the longer you withdraw from others the harder it will be to get your balance back. You have to force yourself to get out and then force yourself to relax and eventually you will be able to find some joy again.
Please, please take my advice and get out because life isn’t so bad when you share it with friends. This is part of your grief journey – as you find your new path you will also find some great new friends.