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Grief is Lonely

It’s been 7.5 weeks since I lost my sister, Therese. Last week we had the Celebration of Life for her and since then the pain has been so much deeper. I still can’t believe she’s gone forever (at least from earth). I do believe she is here with me, but let’s face it, it’s not the same. I get some comfort in knowing that she and Keven are still with me in Spirit, but not a whole lot. I get some comfort in knowing they are together again, whole and alive in a beautiful new existence, but I feel left out - and left behind.

I am blessed beyond comprehension to have some incredible, real friends and they are here for me. I know this but again, let’s face it - grief is lonely. Very lonely. I even wrote a book to help people understand how they can support someone going through grief but have realized most people are too uncomfortable with death so they avoid talking about it. I don’t blame that on the individual, but on the way our culture deals with deaths. I know a lot of cultures and religions have beautiful traditions surrounding death, I wish there was more of that.

People keep asking if I am going to write another book. Without hesitation, my answer is “NO WAY!” If I did it would be called “Grief is Lonely”. Even though I have people that would answer their phone at any hour, would drive miles to be with me, that are willing to sit and listen to me go on and on about Keven and Therese - it still doesn’t lessen the pain. It helps a lot, don’t get me wrong! But the minute you’re alone again those sweet moments of comfort are gone.

For the first time in many years I have no one to take care of in some way or another. I have all the time in the world to do whatever I want. Maybe as time goes on I will figure out what that will be, but for now it's one day at a time of getting through each day.

For me, having a long to-do list helps. It gives me something to stay busy and a feeling of accomplishment when I check off a box. 

I have a close friend who is experiencing a similar loss right now which reminds me of this: Never assume that you understand the relationship between two people unless you KNOW what that relationship was like. Losing a sister doesn’t sound that horrible - it's part of life, right? But the people who knew our relationship know this is not a typical sisterly bond - it's much more intense because she was my “life partner and co-parent.” Same with my friend - maybe it was her ex-husband so people assume it doesn’t hurt as much, but after over 30 years together, raising 4 boys and losing their oldest,  and remaining extremely close after the divorce - it's devastating for her. 

So here we are, us grievers who have experienced devastating losses - the loss of a child, a life partner, a best friend. It sucks and there is really nothing anyone can do to make it feel better. But at this exact moment, I am okay. I am going to lunch with a sweet friend and her presence always brings comfort to my heart even if we don’t talk about Therese or Keven. Some people are just so easy to be around and she’s one of them.


Barbara, thank you for articulating so well and allowing us to see into your heart and through your heart into a world of lonely hearts.


Dec 29, 2023

Grief is the loneliest journey one can ever walk. I’m sorry my friend.. my heart is with yours!


Grief and sadness definitely are lonely. I agree that keeping busy is a good way to deal with it and in time you will definitely find something that fills that loneliness up and eve provides some happiness. I really would love for you to write another book. Maybe something fictional would be an interesting idea. I always love reading what you write.

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