In my 20s, I lived with roommates. Eventually, I got my own apartment and lived alone for two years before moving in with my husband. It was a great experience. But something about living alone after being widowed felt lonely. Despite lots of friends and a busy social life, I still came home to ‘alone.’ Before I was married, living alone was about independence; after I was widowed, living alone felt more like being left alone. Night lights and timers offered a sense of security; the constant companion of the TV and my new BFF, the DVR, kept the quiet from creeping in; new house projects ensured a cozy home. What do you do to fight feeling alone at home?
Happiness would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness, explained Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology. In the world of widowhood, does this ring true for those of us who have fallen in love again?
‘Do you have children?’
It’s typically the second question people who don’t know me well will ask when they hear I lost my husband. ‘No,’ I say – and rush the rest – ‘but I have a wonderful family and lots of close friends.’ When I just say ‘No,’ a dense silence hangs in the air, the other person doesn’t know how to respond. As a mourner, you become adept at making those who are trying to comfort you, comfortable. In my situation, a widow without kids, it’s an essential skill. Have any of you experienced this? How do you deal with it?