The Loneliness of Grief

Grief manifests in many ways including loneliness and anxiety. Whether your loss is recent or not, you shouldn’t have to process it alone. If anything in this article sounds familiar to you, or you just need someone to listen to your own grief experience, let’s talk.


From Pyschology Today Author, Kenneth J. Doka Ph.D.:

…”“I never expected grief to be so lonely”.  That is how Marge reacted to the death of husband, Tony.  Marge shared that she had expected all sorts of feelings – the anger, the sadness, and the guilt.  She had felt these before when her parents had died.  She was, after all, no kid, no stranger to grief.

Some losses such as the loss of a spouse or a close companion bring that overwhelming sense of loneliness.  We live day by day with that person.  We share so much of life that there is an absence of that person’s presence in our life.  We feel it daily, even hourly. 

Sometimes the loneliness is the daily kind.  We miss the shared meals.  We long to wake up with the person or simply to watch television together.  We wish we could call as we once did.  We turn in the middle of a movie or newscast to share a moment or a memory.  No one, however, is there.

Moreover, once part of a couple, we now live as a single.  For some, friends and even families may have related as a couple.  Our loneliness can be compounded when others seem unready or unwilling to accommodate this change.  Marge, for example, began to feel excluded from some of the same circles that once welcomed both Tony and her.

Other times, it might be crisis loneliness.  We now have to face crises, whether big or small, alone.  We may long for the support or counsel of the person who died.  Here the loneliness may be laced with a sense of anxiety or even panic.  We simply do not know how we can face this crisis alone.  We are scared …” Continue Reading: