Three Ways to Combat Loneliness

Finding Companionship and Social Connection

“I miss having someone to come home to and share my day with,” shared my dear friend Elizabeth whose husband passed away several years earlier. Though I hadn’t felt that kind of loneliness in quite a while (There is hope!), hearing the pain in Elizabeth’s voice took me back to the early days after Reggie’s passing.

Loneliness - woman swinging/sitting next to an empty swing

What I missed, and continue to miss, most about Reggie was not his booming laugh that never failed to lift my spirits, the peace that always settled over my spirit whenever we were reunited even after the shortest separation, or the comfort of holding his hand. I do miss those things, but what I miss most is his companionship.

Will Your Circumstances Define You?

How Reggie’s Example Helped Me Answer That Question

This past January, I studied Naomi from the book of Ruth. When the story begins, Naomi is a wife and mother of two sons (Ruth 1:1-2). Two verses later, her husband and sons are dead. In the span of a few verses, Naomi goes from wife and mother to widow and what? There isn’t even a name for parents whose children have died—at least not in the English language. It gives new meaning to the phrase, “There are no words.” There literally isn’t a word.

Graphic of a woman with words describing her circumstances across her face

So, it is not surprising that by the end of the chapter Naomi experiences an identity crisis (v. 19-21). Naomi’s experience raises the question: “What are you going to call or say about yourself when tragedy strikes changing your life and shattering your plans forever?” 

Mary Jane It Up

Transform Your Negative Self-Talk

This is a guest post by Kristin Kimble. She is a writer who blogs about dating, relationships and the single life from a transparent Christian perspective. She lives in Maryland. You can read her blog, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

“Mary Jane it up if you have to,” she said.

Positive quotes on post it notes

She was referring to the main character of the BET series Being Mary Jane played by Gabrielle Union.  Union’s character, who I can relate to in more ways than one, places yellow sticky notes all over her house, particularly on her bed post, with positive affirmations and quotes that she reads every morning before going to work. Each show starts out with intriguing quotes from various people that foreshadow the shows theme.

It was my second session of counseling and I was truly enjoying the experience. The couch was amazing and my therapist was excellent. I felt comfortable and encouraged! 

An “Unexpected” Source of Help

The Women Who Helped Me The Most

Right after my husband Reggie passed, several widows in my church approached me to express their condolences. They shared their stories, and often their pain, in an effort to connect and show me that I was not alone. I appreciated the love they expressed in their efforts to comfort me. I know they were trying to help. Truth be told though, I wasn’t ready.

Women walking together, helping each other through life

Reggie died so suddenly that I wasn’t ready for the W-word (widow), at least not in association with me. Everything in my psyche screamed it was too soon. Reggie and I married just two years earlier. We were in baby mode—trying to conceive. My focus was on wife and mother. Wife was the W-word that I wanted to embrace. Widow just did not compute.

Consequently, as much as I appreciated their hearts, it didn’t help. I did not find solace or comfort in their words. Instead, the women who helped me most after Reggie died were a group with whom I shared a different tragedy. As I mentioned above, Reggie and I were in baby mode, trying to add to our happy family. Unfortunately, six months after our first anniversary, tragedy stuck in the form of our first miscarriage.