The Aloneness of Grief

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Preplanning Your Funeral
July 15, 2019
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August 5, 2019
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Part of the cremation services offered in Dayton, OH include a comprehensive array of grief resources that can offer support and help as bereaved people journey through the grieving process. It’s important to take advantage of these because they can connect you with other people who are on a similar path as you as they adjust to the loss of a loved one.

But don’t be surprised when, even with great support systems and being surrounded by family and friends, you discover that there is an aloneness associated with grief. This aloneness is often called loneliness, but most people describe loneliness in superficial terms that simply mean being without other – any other – people.

However, loneliness is different for each person, so it’s impossible to say it just means being alone. There are introverts who crave being alone after interacting with people and life for awhile so that they can recharge. However, those same introverts can be experiencing loneliness. Why?

Loneliness is defined in the Encyclopedia of Mental Health (1998) as “The subjective psychological discomfort people experience when their network of social relationships is significantly deficit in either quality or quantity.” This means that people feel loneliness when none of their social relationships meet their internal needs and desires.

The uniqueness of loneliness in each person, therefore, lies in the different between what they want and what they have. When a loved one dies, a want in our lives appears immediately. What we have when a loved one dies is a empty place inside that no one else can ever fill, at least in the same way.

When we are grieving inevitably feel loneliness, but it’s a loneliness that permeates every part of our lives. Our loved one is gone and is not coming back. That is a permanent loneliness that can’t be solved. Grief is the price of love, and when someone that we love and who loved us back dies, there are parts of us that die with them.

The things that we did with our loved one are gone. The companionship we shared with them is gone. The familiar patterns of our lives together are thrown up in the air and disrupted, leaving us to, in a sense, start over with no idea how to start over. A safety net of sorts is also gone: that one person that we could depend on being there for us, no matter what.

And that can be deeply unsettling and it can create, because of the loneliness, a mindset of, “there’s no one else I can depend on now but me.” That, in turn, can lead us to emotionally and physically distance ourselves from other people, whether they are friends and family or total strangers. And doing this makes the loneliness even worse.

In time, the loneliness of grief transitions to an acceptance of what is, but it never forgets what was. It simply realizes that what was is in the past, but life is happening in the present. This is not an easy place to get to when you’ve lost someone you love. Nor is it a speedy, overnight process.

Be gentle and kind to yourself along the way.

For more information about grief resources at cremation services in Dayton, OH, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Glickler Funeral Home & Cremation Service is here to assist you. You can visit our funeral home at 1849 Salem Ave., Dayton, OH 45406, or you can call us today at (937) 278-4287.

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