BW 093: The Solution to Loneliness in Grief

blog tips Apr 10, 2024
 

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The Transcript is below.


In this episode, we are going to discuss the solution to loneliness in grief. I will address the following topics:

Reasons for Social Circle Changes: I will explore why a widow's social circle may change, including factors such as the closeness of certain individuals to the deceased spouse, discomfort with the new dynamic, or personal struggles with grief.

Solution to Loneliness: I will provide actionable solutions for overcoming loneliness, addressing challenges such as being a homebody, introverted, disliking small talk, or struggling with social interaction.

However, I will also offer encouragement that overcoming these obstacles is possible. Understanding the Challenges of Grief and Loneliness: Throughout the episode, I will delve into the challenges of grief and loneliness, offering practical solutions to rebuild social connections. Additionally, I will emphasize the importance of taking proactive steps towards healing and recovery.

Quote: 

''We have changed a lot. And while the core of us is still the same, like we're still the same person, we're still the same person. We don't look at the world through the same lens anymore.

Our priorities are sharpened. Things that we now consider superficial used to be a big deal to us. And maybe we'll never be that same happy go lucky carefree person that we were before, which is totally fine. But for some people it's change. And as human beings, in most cases, we don't like change and it's hard to grasp and to reconcile who you are now as a widow.

And especially as they're comparing you to who you used to be as a person before. It doesn't mean that you're 100 percent different, but you can't unring this bell''.

 

 


The Brave Widow Community is a place where you can connect with other widows, find hope and healing, and begin to dream again for the future. Learn more at bravewidow.com.

Hey guys, I’m Emily Jones I was widowed at age 37, one month shy of our 20 year wedding anniversary. Nathan and I have four beautiful children together. My world was turned completely upside down when I lost him. With faith, community, and wisdom from others, I’ve been able to find hope, joy, and dream again for the future. I want to help others do the same, too!

FOLLOW me on SOCIAL:

Twitter | @brave_widow

Instagram | @brave_widow

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/bravewidow

YouTube | @bravewidow


Transcript: 

The Solution to Loneliness in Grief March 2024
===

Emily: [00:00:00] Hey, Hey, and welcome to episode number 93 of the brave widow show today. We're going to talk about the solution to loneliness and grief. And we're going to start by talking about why grief feels so lonely, what causes that. And then we're going to spend a good amount of time talking about how you solve for this feeling of loneliness.

And yes, even if you're a homebody, even if you're introvert, Even if you're shy, even if you hate small talk, even if connecting with other people is a huge struggle for you, I still have good, actionable, actionable advice that will be able to help you. So before we dive into today's episode, I am hosting a second cohort of the grief recovery method starting on April 30th.

It's an eight week session that runs two hours and it will run on Tuesdays [00:01:00] from 9 a. m. to 11 a. m. central time. They're hosted on zoom. I provide the book and the supplies that you need and I would love for you to be part of that cohort. Now, these cohorts are listed to eight people per online group session.

So if by the time you hear this, you are. It's past the day, like it's past April 30th, we've already moved forward. You can still go online and sign up for the wait list or join the next cohort group, or just learn more about the grief recovery method. You can go to BraveWidow. com slash grief, G R I E F.

And as I shared on last week's episode, the grief recovery method program is separate and distinct. From anything that we do with brave widow. So this isn't just for widows. This isn't just for people who have experienced that loss. [00:02:00] You don't become a part of brave widow or join the community by joining this grief recovery Method program.

So you are welcome to invite any of your family, friends, anyone, you know, who might benefit from this, you're welcome to join, ask them to join you or to recommend it to somebody who's really struggling with grief and loss. Now, one of the questions I received recently is it too soon to go through the grief recovery method program?

And the answer is no. If you have a traumatic incident, let's say you break your arm. Let's say you cut your foot and it's openly bleeding. When do you seek medical treatment? As soon as possible. So, sometimes in our minds, we get a little wrapped up in thinking that, Oh, it's been too soon. I'm not ready to start this healing and recovery process.

Like, I just, I'm not ready. And, It's fine for you to [00:03:00] feel that way and at the same time, the more that you delay your healing process, your grief journey, the more that you suppress those feelings that you wallow in them without taking any action, the longer you delay the start of your grief recovery. So again, I would love for you to join me in these cohorts.

At the time of this recording, we're working through cohort one to move through their weekly sessions. I'm having a great time getting to know those folks and watching them week after week with things that they're learning or things that they've really connected with. And I would love to work with you too.

So Again, the way to sign up to get on the wait list or to join the cohort is to go to BraveWidow. com slash grief, G R I E F. All right, let's talk about the solution [00:04:00] to loneliness in grief. Grief is such, can be such an isolating and lonely event for us. So when we lose our loved Most of the widows that I talk to, not all, many of the widows I talk to lose the majority of their social circle.

So friends that they once had, family members that used to be part of get togethers or who were there for them, co workers that they were close with, it just seems like they wake up one day and it's all crumbled and melted apart. And there are a few reasons for that, which I'll share with you, of why that happens, or why the social circle just dissolves.

But at the end of the day, it's really difficult, because now you're not only grieving for the person that you lost, and For all of the downstream impacts that that has had, but now you're also grieving the life that you had, [00:05:00] the life that you were going to have your unmet dreams, hopes, and expectations, the relationships with people that you had, and it really.

It creates a strong sense of betrayal and hurt. For example, it might cause someone to question, this person said they'd always be there for me and I've not heard from them. I never see them. They avoid me. Why is that? Or maybe there's a big rush of support for the first few weeks and then crickets. So some of the reasons why our social circle changes, it could be because that person was closer to our spouse than us.

For me, this was especially true Because I traveled so much for work and because I worked a lot and I interacted with people a lot, when I was home, I wanted to be home. I didn't really want to travel a whole bunch or have a bunch of social obligations or go out with friends or have people over.[00:06:00]

I just wanted to be home in my comfort zone and with my immediate family. So a lot of the people that we were friends with, or maybe some of the family we did a lot of things with, Oftentimes we're closer to Nathan than they were necessarily to me or to us as a couple. Sometimes for people, it just feels awkward.

So they're used to you being part of a couple and now you're flying solo. And so the dynamic of the group has changed and it just feels a little bit awkward. Sometimes maybe they're just sad. They just haven't dealt with their own grief and loss. And even though they weren't married to that person, They still have their own grief and loss and emotions that they need to process and reconcile.

So if they haven't done that, every time that they interact with you, it just feels like another reminder that they also lost someone that [00:07:00] they cared about and that it's difficult for them. It could be that they don't know how to show up. For you as a widow, they don't know what to do. They don't want to overstep.

They don't want to ask about your person because maybe that'll make you cry. It just is unfamiliar to them. And let's be honest. This isn't something that we learned about culturally about how to handle or what we should do. So it's not. all that uncommon that people would just be struggling a bit with how to show up for us.

It could also be the fact that in many cases, the world around us is built for couples going to the movies, going out to eat, uh, hanging out with friends. Um, especially as you've Kind of be in your 40s like me, you know, most of your friends may be married or in a relationship. And so there's a dynamic where you're used to [00:08:00] having couples, not necessarily a bunch of singles or several couples and a solo person.

And lastly, it could be because they feel like as a widow, as someone who's lost a loved one, that we've changed. Yeah, no joke. We have changed a lot. And while the core of us is still the same, like we're still the same person, we're still the same person. We don't look at the world through the same lens anymore.

Our priorities are sharpened. Things that we now consider superficial used to be a big deal to us. And maybe we'll never be that same happy go lucky carefree person that we were before, which is totally fine. But for some people it's change. And as human beings, in most cases, we don't like change and it's hard to grasp and to reconcile who you are now [00:09:00] as a widow.

And especially as they're comparing you to who you used to be as a person before. And for some people, they're just waiting for you to quote unquote, get back to normal, get back to your old self. And you and I know that that's not really going to happen. It doesn't mean that you're 100 percent different, but you can't unring this bell.

Losing your person means that you've lost your thought partner. So why this feels so lonely, this whole grief and being a widow is because you've lost the person that cared about all the things that happened throughout your day that helped you You, um, bounce ideas back and forth that weighed in on big decisions that helped you figure things out that just really help you think through things like they were a thought partner for you.[00:10:00]

And so now sometimes we can find ourselves feeling really insecure about. our ability to do these things on our own. We're unsure at times about what decisions to make, or maybe we want to talk things through with someone and we don't have that person there. And we can also be afraid to try new things or to do new things.

I know for myself, I've often felt like I, my kids now only have one parent. So if something happens to me, they have no one. Well, I mean, they have grandparents and they have people that care, but ultimately, as far as a parent, I'm the last one. So I have to stay safe. They have to stay safe. We have to do everything we can to make ourselves safe.

And that's a common response with widows and with losing their person and their thought partner. So what is the solution to this loneliness? [00:11:00] Well, as a widow, you must be proactive. You must rebuild your social circle.

And what I mean by you must be proactive is you must be the person who's taking action to do this. You can't expect to sit in your home every night, every weekend, hoping and praying that somebody's gonna check on you, that people are gonna wake up one day and remember what an amazing friend that you were, that somebody's just gonna show up and be your bestie, okay?

You have to take proactive action in rebuilding the social circle. And yes. that may feel like it really sucks. And in the beginning, it might feel very heavy, and it might be hard, and it might be nerve wracking, but I'm going to tell you that it [00:12:00] is a thousand percent worth the effort that you put in. So how in the world do you rebuild a social circle.

The first thing that I would do, and this is actually a course that I teach in the Brave Widow community called How to Meet People and Make Friends, which is intimidating. I think the older we get, like, how am I going to make new friends? What? But the first thing that I would do is I would look at the family and friends who already know you and they love you.

And you can be upfront and honest with them. So, maybe just start by having a few conversations like, Hey, I noticed that, you know, we don't really hang out like we used to. Or, hey, we haven't gone to dinner in a while. Are you up for going? Or, hey, it seems like you've kind of disappeared. I just. Wanted to check in on you and see if things are okay.

And as you start having some of these opening conversations, it gives you the [00:13:00] opportunity to see where their mind and heart is at and to help know whether this is an opportunity just for you to educate them about grief and what you're going through. And, you know, maybe they just thought you wanted to be left alone.

Maybe there's just some misunderstanding that you could clear up. And for some people, they'll find some of those friends and family. They'll have some of these very open conversations and the relationships are restored. The communication is back. Like they've gone through some of that initial awkward discussion about.

What to do or how they want to be treated or what's the right and wrong ways to talk to a widow and all of those good things. And it really helps restore some of those relationships. And for some of you, there may just be a few people that still want to show up for you, or there may be no people. But either way, family and friends is a good place to start because these people already know you and they already [00:14:00] love you and care about you.

The second group of people that I would look at in rebuilding your social circle are people who can relate to you. They've had similar circumstance. so as a widow, finding other widows or finding other people who have lost loved ones, maybe a child, maybe a parent or something that just really devastated them.

And the reason why it's important to find people that have gone through something similar is because you don't really have to spend a lot of time explaining. So, if you're a widow and you're talking to someone who's never been widowed, Many times you might find yourself having to explain, or having to give examples, or having to really educate people, and it's wonderful if you have people that want to learn, and they're curious, and they're, they want to desperately understand, so that they can show up and support you.

It's an amazing [00:15:00] blessing, and It's also really helpful to talk to people who already know what it means to be widowed. Well, they already know what it means to lose a loved one. Now, do they know exactly your situation? Can they understand your unique relationship and everything's just going to match up perfectly?

Of course not. But when I meet another widow, we don't even have to exchange words. It's a look and I know that person gets it and anything that I bring up around loss or grief or new relationships or the challenges that I have, it's just an immediate understanding and acceptance from that other person.

And it's really helpful to allow you to spend time talking about things, not having to explain them to [00:16:00] someone else.

There are people out there who can help you. I'll call these industry experts. This is the third group of people that I would look for. So as you've lost your thought partner, as you've lost the person that helps you make decisions, or maybe they knew about things more than you, maybe they were more financially savvy.

Maybe they were more handy around the house with doing stuff, more mechanically inclined. It could be a variety of things, but there are going to be areas that you're not as familiar with, and you may feel insecure about making decisions or something you just really don't know about. Well, my suggestion here is to connect with industry experts, and there are a lot of ways to do that.

Um, it could be as simple as, let's say you're interested in, or you don't know what to do with your retirement plan. Or maybe you're not sure if you should be investing or not. Well, find a financial coach or find a financial planner. Interview several different people [00:17:00] and get to have, Find someone where you can have a really close relationship with them as your coach and as your planner.

Make sure that their vision and values align with yours, that what they're suggesting to you makes sense, that they help educate you on why they're suggesting that and what some of the other alternatives are, and that this is someone with really over time you can build a lot of trust with. So, Let's say financial planning is one area.

Let's say maintaining your lawn and the flower beds is a whole nother area. Maybe you should develop a relationship with a landscaper or someone that does yard work or someone that's in a gardening club. And those people can become friends. You can have an expanded relationship or they can fill in the gap if you just need someone to almost be like a consultant, almost to be like someone who knows your story.

They understand where [00:18:00] you're trying to go and they're going to offer you the best options and advice that they have based on knowing what your goals are and what your background is. So that helps supplement some of these tougher decisions around having lost our thought partner and trying to navigate these murkier waters.

The fourth group of people that I would recommend you rebuild your social circle with are people who have shared similar interests, or if you're at the point where you're having dreams about your future, and you have goals, and you have things you're trying to achieve, they have those things too. So these are people that Maybe they're artists.

Maybe you like to draw or you like to use procreate on the iPad, or maybe you're interested in real estate. Maybe you're interested in dance or golf [00:19:00] or welding, or really a variety of things. There are lots of people out there that probably share your same interest. And so you can find them where people who do those things will be hanging out.

Maybe there's a local club that you could attend. Maybe there's a local class that you could go to. Maybe there's a conference that you could attend that has some networking in there. The point is to put yourself in those places where people that have the shared interests would go. This could even be a good spot for online groups, memberships, Facebook groups.

Um, Groups that meet virtually really could be a wide variety of things, but it's nice to have friends and people around you who have shared similar interests and, and, or shared visions and dreams for the future. Maybe you want to be debt free. And so you join a group with Dave Ramsey or with [00:20:00] financial coach or planner, and you're in a group of people that they're also trying to be debt free.

And that will, you know, give you things to talk about and help open a conversation and keep it going. That that's another way that you can find friends or people that you would like to do things with. And the fifth group of people here are people that you can help eventually. When you feel like it's time to start serving and to start giving back, this can be a great way to meet other people that you might really enjoy being around.

Maybe it's volunteering for a cause that you care a lot about. Maybe it's helping to host a grief share group. Maybe it's serving kids that are struggling with grief. Maybe it's being a parent. working at the animal shelter one day a week, whatever it is. But it's an environment where you are able to give back to others.

You are able to serve others. [00:21:00] And it's just another door that can open to lead you to all different kinds of connections. I've met and made friends and relationships in every one of these categories. So I hope these are helpful solutions for you in learning how to Really overcome. Loneliness and grief.

Unfortunately, it's not something that's magically going to change. It's something that we have to proactively Work on and build back up around us, but I guarantee you again It's a thousand percent worth it. Now. What about people who are homebodies? What about people that are introverts? What about people that hate small talk?

What about people that don't know what to say? Well, guess what? I'm one of those people. No, really. It's a big deal for me to be speaking into the camera and to hundreds of people that may be [00:22:00] watching this video or listening to this podcast. It's a big deal for this girl that's highly introverted and often not great at small talk.

So, I just want to encourage you if you are coming across some of those challenges, or you find those as objections that you have for yourself, that there is hope. Again, this is a course I teach in the Brave Widow community, and you can join us in the community and learn how to get out there, meet new people, make friends, find those connections, even if you struggle with all of those things.

All right, guys, I hope this was helpful and learning how to overcome loneliness and grief. And I hope you walked away with at least one idea of something that you could implement. today, this week, this month to help you overcome that loneliness and define connections with other people. I do just want to [00:23:00] remind you that we have the grief recovery method program.

The second cohort is going to be starting on April 30th. So if you want to get in there on that cohort group, or you want to be on the waiting list for a time that works best for you, you can sign up or learn at BraveWidow. com slash grief. G R I E F.

Are you a widow who feels disconnected? Do you feel like you're stuck or even going backwards in your grief? Widowhood can be lonely and isolating, but it doesn't have to be. Join us in the Brave Widow membership community and connect. We teach widows how to find hope, heal their heart, and dream again for the future.

Find your purpose and create a life you love today. Go to bravewidow. com to get started.

 

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