How to NOT be a Stay at Home, Lonely Widow.

MOVING FORWARD by dating or at least leaving the house after the death of a spouse. Lonely widows and widowers are looking for friends. How to cope with loneliness as a widow, deal with complicated grief and maybe even start dating.

Friends are all getting together on Friday night.  You are recently a widow and not part of a couple anymore.  You were invited so the question is, should you stay or should you go now?

If you stay home, it is safe.  You can be sad and watch a T.V. show.  Start a new binge watching marathon.  You could eat and drink and stay in your pajamas and cuddle a pet or a pillow.  You could think about your dead spouse and do some crying.  Or maybe some screaming.

But what if you go…

I know a lot of newly widowed people feel guilty going out and enjoying themselves.  They think they should continue to be mourning all the time.  Maybe they are worried about what others will think of them? What if it looks like you are happy and having fun. People will get the wrong idea.

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Week 4 – Ideas for Boredom and Loneliness

Ways to make the quarantine from COVID-19 better. Battle boredom and loneliness with suggestions for getting through tough days.

When it is cloudy and rainy I start to literally feel glum, but the sun is trying to shine today and I am trying to find ways to deal positively with this current situation we are all living.

I am not used to slowing down this much.  I am my mother’s daughter.  I can not imagine my dear beloved mom dealing with this quarantine – if she didn’t get to Marshall’s for some bargain shopping or out to the spa / pool for a swim or to church on Sunday or a couples date with friends – it would have been extremely difficult and I imagine depression may have set in.

So if mom were here, I would be here for her. We would talk on the phone and she would become good at Facetime so we could all see each others faces.

This past week I don’t have much to report.  We watched all of Schitt’s Creek and caught up with some Modern Family episodes so that we could watch the season finale.  I made brownies one night, another batch of chili, set up a gym downstairs, hung more pictures on the wall and even gave the dog a bath.

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How to Battle Loneliness During the Coronavirus Quarantine

How to battle loneliness during the coronavirus quarantine – 16 ideas to keep you busy and connected at home in self isolation.

I don’t usually give things up for lent, but this year I decided to take a break from alcohol. Relaxing with a glass of wine has become an expensive and unhealthy habit.  So I joined an online reset group and made the decision to just say no – this month.

That decision was made before the Coronavirus  hit New York and cancelled the school where I work for who knows how long.

The instant joy of knowing I have a free unexpected week off was reminiscent of 7 years ago when Hurricane Sandy closed down the area and I had two weeks at home with no work.  Of course, 11 of those days also meant I had no power in the house, so the wine bottles opened early, neighbors visited daily and the whole period is just a blur in my mind.

So this time I am preparing differently.  I have stocked the refrigerator and found a place to store my Costco size toilet paper package.  I have some cold medicine on hand and have been making daily “mocktails” with cranberry-pomegranate juice and Emergen-C packets.

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How I gained confidence by traveling after the loss of my husband

Solo traveling can be a way to help widows and widowers deal with loneliness. Gaining confidence after the loss of a spouse with travel can be fun.

After my husband died and the widow fog started to clear I began to feel anxious about doing just about everything. I wanted to get out and travel.  I wanted to not be a sad and lonely widow.  I just had a difficult time taking that first step.

I had always made the coffee in the morning but suddenly found the process overwhelming.  Did I make the pot for 8 cups or only 4 now?

Going to the grocery store while usually mundane became a mine field of memories and panic would set in.  What is it that I like to eat? I had been cooking for 4 and now it was just me.

One time when I decided to “be a good mom” and fill up the car with gas for my son’s trip back to college, I was surprised to discover both the inspection and registration were overdue, there was a nail in one tire causing a slow leak and the car needed an oil change too. Thankfully the station helped me take care of this but you can see how one begins to lose confidence in handling life after the death of a spouse.

The to do list had been ignored since I had  trouble thinking but slowly I started to do what needed to be done. I began simply by writing a list of only 3 things to do each day. I figured I could manage 3. Sometimes I would put walk the dog on the list. He liked that one and I did too.

Fear was a constant and I avoided being alone. I made an effort to accept invitations and visited with my neighbors on a daily basis.

But at night I had trouble sleeping.  I would relive that last day over and over and try to change the ending.  If only I had done this… or why didn’t I do that.  The guilt can be devastating.

The first holiday after my husband died was the worst.  I planned ahead to avoid being sucked into sadness. After realizing how difficult the holidays could be after the death of a spouse, I was bracing myself for the upcoming milestones.  There is the first birthday without him, our wedding anniversary date and of course the one year anniversary of his death.

For his birthday I planned a family reunion away from home to Cape Cod and New Hampshire.  We could drive there and spending the week in a different place surrounded by loved ones seemed to be a good idea.  It worked out well and other than the time when my mom decided to take photos of all the couples at the adults only dinner, the trip was good.

But I really started to get anxious about the one year anniversary.  I had plenty of time to be sad and cry.  I had been grieving just fine but I wanted to runaway.  I wanted to avoid the pain and do something totally different.  I would do it all by myself and have time for some soul searching.

So I planned a trip to Thailand.

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Widows Guide to Successful Online Dating

How do you start dating on line after being happily married all your life? Widows need some advice on how to start this journey, keep reading!

When is it time to try online dating?

That is a personal decision and depends on each individual.

Think about why you are interested and what you want to get out of joining an online dating site. Are you lonely? Do you want someone to talk to? Are you ready to meet someone in person? Do you miss having a partner to do things with? These are all valid reasons.

But are you ready?

Have you sorted out your finances after the death of your spouse? Are you planning any big life changes like moving? Are you still crying everyday and in need of some therapy and a bereavement group to help you cope with your grief?  Are you vulnerable and maybe not strong enough to do this yet?

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