Aloneness and Loneliness

Down a pound, one measly pound! But maybe it’s the beginning of a downward trend. I have lost 165 pounds now. For that I am thankful. My patients are running so thin.

Several of my closest friends are going through losing parents or care taking them. Such a tough thing to go through. Yet, we all must go through that rite of passage. I was in my late 40s when I lost my folks, and just 50 when my husband died. It seems so long ago. I remember my head being a whirlwind, and lots of fear. I didn’t have anyone to morn with. And the responsibility of care taking and funeral planning was all on my shoulders. Walking my friends through this process brings back a lot of tough memories. I wasted so many years just spinning my wheels. I am so lonely today, and wonder if I will ever feel joy again in this lifetime.

There is a big difference between being alone and lonely. I do not mind being alone. But I have never felt so lonely in my entire existence. I miss day to day people in my life. Those people who bring rhythm to our lives. It’s something you don’t even think about until it’s taken from you. A tribe, a group of people who you have history with, who care about your mindless chatter, know your favorite color, what shows you watch on TV, and how you drink your coffee.

In the past, I use to latch onto a friend, or family that would sometimes call me family and include me in their lives. Their was always the best intentions, but over and over again, my neediness chased them away. I use to be the victim, blaming them for dumping me, or even my church for not caring for their widows. I see now family is not something you can choose, it has to be created organically.

I have been very critical, in my head about some of my friends who have been single, widowed, or divorced and recently found new romance in their lives. I thought at first it was jealously. I’m not so sure what is really is. I don’t think it’s all jealously. Because honestly, I have no desire to go on a dating website, or go looking for someone. It seems exhausting to get to know someone new all over again. Yet my heart is so weary. I just ache for family. I can’t stand seeing someone newly single jumping right back into a new relationship. To me it would be like getting a new dog, or having another child right away after you lose one. It seems to be a way to avoid the deep loneliness we all experience. But it only repairs the aloneness, not the lonelyness. I believe we all have to stare that monster in the face at some point in our lives eventually. And when we do, that is when the change happens. It is too much to expect anyone to carry our loneliness. It is a hole, only God can fill.

I am fighting every day to do the right thing, to create a purpose to get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes when I wake, I just lay there begging God to let me sleep the day away so I don’t have to fake it one more day. I have always felt too flawed to be loved. That is my deepest issue, and it is connected to my loneliness, my eating, my relationships, finance, and everything else in my life gone wrong. I do not believe I am lovable.

I remember my Aunt Lindy experiencing this. Her husband died, she had no kids, and came up from Florida to live near us, (my Mom, Dad and me) in Nebraska. She started acting strange. She started losing her spark, then her memory. I use to go pick her up to go shopping with me, or just hang out. But I would catch her in these moments, where she seemed so distant and alone. When the Alzheimers started setting in, she would put her face in her hands, and close everyone off. In one of those moments, I asked her what was wrong, she said she didn’t know. I said, are you afraid of being alone? I’ll never forget the tears welling up in her eyes as she shook her head yes. I said, Lindy, as long as I live, you will never be alone, I will always be here for you. I wish I could comfort myself the way I comforted my aunt.

So if you are surrounded by a loving mate, and family all around, count your blessings. And please don’t get smug seeing someone like me and think “I’m glad it’s you and not me”. Because no matter how many people are around you, you will at some point have to look this monster in the face. People need people. We all receive as much mercy as we pour out. Blessings to all!


Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog. I am a Baby Boomer from Nebraska blogging my way to good health. I am single, with no children, I have a little white maltese dog named Lily. Follow my journey to lose 1 pound 300 times.

4 thoughts on “Aloneness and Loneliness

  1. Brenda

    My parents are both 86, and they have been married (to each other, as my dad likes to point out), since 1954. I dread the day that something happens to one of them—I do not know what I will do with the other one. I envy them because I will never know what it is like to have a life-long spouse, but I also am glad that I will never know the pain of losing a mate. (I was married and divorced in my 20’s and never remarried.) They grew up together and I envy their shared history. I will never have that in my life. Can you find a group of other widows in your age bracket at your church or somewhere? People who are in the same boat?

    • Kathleen

      Thanks Brenda. Your folks are blessed, for sure! I could very easily find a group. I don’t lack in friendships. Like I said, I don’t have a problem being alone. It’s the loneliness that is hard. Thanks for the sweet message!

  2. Tammy

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and find it to be encouraging. I am so impressed with your ability to be open and honest about loneliness. Much courage is required to write about your life in such a way. What you write about the “rhythm of life” and having people you are connected with really made an impression on me. So true. Those of us who are single face obstacles others don’t understand. Of course, I understand loneliness can affect anyone….single or not.
    Thank you for sharing so openly. I look forward to reading more from you!

    • Kathleen

      Thanks Tammy! There are so few who really get this. Maybe because not a lot of folks have experienced this kind of loneliness until they get very old and outlive all their loved ones. I have several friends who have been a little smug about this, saying, in their head, that they are glad they do not identify with my kind of loneliness, until, something happens to their loved ones, and they are alone. Then they become devastated when they find them self in it. I think sometimes we criticize people around us who are surviving something they are terrified of happening to us. Most people who do not get it, suggest I join various groups and events. I guess it’s human nature to be understood, but the sooner we realize what people think of us does not matter the sooner we can learn to deal with life.

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