Updated: Jul 6, 2022
My husband of 45 years passed away almost a year ago. I really miss him and don't know how to handle this loneliness. I still cry a lot. Sometimes I can hardly put one foot in front of the other. Some days I don't care if I get out of bed or do the laundry or clean the house. Why should I? My husband isn't here anymore to need me or to care either. Sometimes I go for a walk and just miss my husband. How can I get past the loneliness?
Your loss was great. I send my condolences and virtual hugs. 45 years is a long time. Congratulations on the long marriage. When our husbands pass into eternity, they just aren't here anymore, nor are they coming back. This life change is among the most monumental and painful that you will experience. It is common for women to feel the way you describe when they grieve the passing of their husband.
To let you know, grieving can take six months to three years as a general 'rule of thumb'. It is important to take time to grieve. Yet, though the change is indeed difficult, there are some things you can do to lessen its impact. One of the biggest is to shift your focus from concentrating on your pain and numbness to God--even though you miss your husband dearly.
As you are changing your focus from yourself and your sadness toward God, name the things you loved about your husband and tell God “thank You” for each of them. Even if you express gratitude to God through tears, tell Him. Even if you are grateful for the same things every day, thank Him again. Giving thanks to God acknowledges our dependence on Him and His work. It is also an act of obedience. (Among other places in the Bible, you will find it in 1 Thessalonians 5:18.)
"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
(1 Thessalonians 5:18)
God does still intend your life to continue on earth until He deems otherwise. This is actually a good thought. For you find that you do still have purpose. God's purpose for you is to live for Him and to glorify Him.
It will be helpful to not let your feelings rule your life. Doing so would take you up and down constantly and wear you out without direction. That being said, let's address the not caring if you get out of bed, for example. True your husband isn't there to care if you get out of bed, do the laundry, clean house or other things. You can feel free to decide to stay in bed longer and get more rest; rest helps to heal. When you awake, are you able to take time to pamper yourself and have breakfast in bed?
Breakfast in bed does not need to be elaborate. It can be as simple as cereal or a granola bar and an apple. It can be more depending on your preference. [Though I love breakfasts with orange juice and hot tea, fruit, scrambled eggs, toast, hash browns and a seared combo of sliced tomatoes, broccoli, and onions; I surely did not fix that every morning after my late husband passed away!] Take also your Bible to the bed and read it while eating. God is everywhere, so enjoy God's company along with the food for your soul as well as food for your body. Give yourself permission to enjoy the time. If you want, you can make it a "Personal Soul-Care" pattern. As you do this or something similar you may well find yourself refreshed.
Also to help you get past the loneliness, again, intentionally focus on God. Each day read the Scriptures. It is amazing what God shows us in them and amazing the comfort He gives from them. Tell God about your concerns, then leave them with Him.
In addition, plan before you get out of bed in the morning. For instance, what's one thing you can, should, or would like to do in the day? Let's start with the laundry idea. Though your husband isn't there to care if you do the laundry, after a while or pretty soon, you will be the one to care. Maybe you could do a load—just for you.
Take care of yourself. The walking that you do is good. On the walks, again express thanks to God for your husband and ask God what His plan is for you now. Let me caution you to choose not to go on pity parties. That's getting your attention back on you and they will only take you down. Instead, make the effort to fill your thoughts with thanking the Lord God who gave you the blessing of years with your husband and the opportunities such as walking.
Sometimes people—especially us women—just need to talk things out when they are in pain. That can be a fairly extensive process. If you need that kind of assist, find a woman who follows Jesus to listen to you. A Biblical principle here: Women minister to women and men minister to men. So since you are a woman, stick with finding a woman to listen to you. GriefShare is also helpful to attend if there is such a gathering near you. Steven Ministries' Journeying through Grief booklets are another help. They can be ordered from https://www.stephenministries.org/On_Line_Store/viewitem.cfm?mnbjtg=1&ItemID=458.
If you are depressed, the gratefulness expressed toward God will help alleviate that. Note though, that you may need more assist. If you do, then please contact a clergy person, a counselor or therapist, or Christian Life Coach. [You may request a free thirty minute coaching session from me if you like, and we can talk further about this. See the “Request Life Coaching” page of this website.]
God bless you as you walk this journey!
Copyright by M.G. “Trudy” Granstrom Seward