Your Dilemmas: I'm facing into another lonely Christmas without my husband

In her weekly column, JOAN LONG, a Bishopstown psychologist and psychotherapist, answers readers’ queries
Your Dilemmas: I'm facing into another lonely Christmas without my husband

"I was widowed almost five years ago from the best husband any woman could wish for. He died suddenly and unexpectedly. I was 49 and our three children are now grown up and working." Picture: Stock, posed by model

Dear Joan,

Christmas is coming again. Another year of loneliness and being on my own. I hate this time of year more than any other as I miss my husband desperately.

I was widowed almost five years ago from the best husband any woman could wish for. He died suddenly and unexpectedly. I was 49 and our three children are now grown up and working.

I am financially secure. I am not wealthy but can manage fine. I work part time now so I’m out of the house three days per week. I have good friends but most are couples so I don’t go out socially with them as I feel the odd one out.

I find life very boring, lonely and sad without my soulmate. I talk to my late husband constantly and know he’s around me all the time, but god, do I miss him!

My kids have their own lives and relationships and I have two young grandchildren also. All of this is great, they’re great kids, but I am on my own. They go home to their lives and partners and families but I am alone.

I have a few siblings and family locally but again they all have their own lives to get on with. I don’t really know what I expect from you, I hope I’ve not bored you.

Dear Reader,

No, you’ve not bored me at all!

However, it is interesting that you end your letter with that question.

What you are going through is so common for so many people who love lost partners that they’ve loved so dearly and totally. It is grief and loss. Nothing ever replaces the person you have lost.

You are so fortunate to have had such a great life with him. So many people never get to have what you describe you had. So you need to be grateful and proud you had such a great partner and relationship.

But I feel it’s time now to move on. I think you know this yourself deep down. I think deep down you are bored with yourself and feeling this way. It is time — time to move on!

I am so glad you DID write the letter because I feel this may be the beginning of your next chapter. I think you are tired of yourself and the emptiness of your life. You do have so much going for you! You have kids, grandkids, home, extended family, friends, money and good health. You’re so fortunate to have all of this and you need now to look at what you do have — not at what you don’t have.

Your special man is gone and that’s irreversible but what would he say to you now, if he could? If he’s how you describe him, he’d no doubt say: cop on and live your life!

Yes, I may sound harsh but five years is a long time and you’re still a young woman. There’s loads of living left to be done, but only if you choose it! Please make a decision today, choose to live, not merely exist, like it sounds you’re doing! Grab life while you’re still young.

Your letter sounds tired, empty, lonely and boring for you! You can change that, but it’s up to you.

Ask people if they know of clubs, groups, anything that’s going on in the city where other single adults are. 

Re-engage with old friends. Go out socially, don’t hide at home. Go for it, stop feeling sorry for yourself and look at all you do have.

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