When I became a widow, I had to stop thinking as a wife and start thinking as a single person. This hit me in the gut the first time that I realized that no one was ever waiting for me to come home, wondering if my plane landed safely or how my day went. I was not the center of anyone’s life anymore. My sons, extended family and friends loved me but they had their own lives to lead. They could not be there for me in the same thousands of little ways and of course, in the big ways when I needed a shoulder to cry on or someone to share my thoughts. It was so comforting to have a strong, capable loving man with whom I could share everything in my life from the trivial to the serious. I had been very lucky.
I never understood loneliness. Now I do.
I have built a new life and for the most part I am happy. I have more compassion and more patience with others who are grieving that I did when I was younger. Yet, I know that everyone must walk through their pain in their own way and in their own time. I hope I can be a beacon to others who are healing.