I discovered loneliness for the first time when my husband was diagnosed with cancer.

That is when he was really taken from me.

The diagnosis removed him from our life in a very invisible way.

He went to a new world where he was not with us. But he was still alive.

The cancer years were very lonely years.

All 4 of them.

Of course I could not blame him….he was dying and he was only 35 years old.

The loneliness became even more expanded and more powerful when he died.



Loneliness was able to slow down time during the night.

The nights were so long and so very lonely.

Then she moved to the weekends.

And the weekends were the most lonely days.

Then she moved into my holidays, Christmas, New Years and of course the beautiful

summer days.

If I was able to put a label on my forehead… it would read “Lonely and sad.”

As the years went by and I left the lonely planet and walked into my second firsts

I discovered a different kind of loneliness.

This one was so much harder to see but oh so powerful.

She was dressed up looking like everyone else.

And you barely noticed that she was in your life.

The more different I became the more she walked towards me.

The more I discovered who I was as a woman the more the loneliness lady

approached me.

I was taken aback that discovering your true nature and identity brought in the

loneliness lady.

What’s up with that?

And as I worked with clients creating their new life they also became lonelier.

I had to stop and ask myself is discovering your true self  also means that you get to be lonely at first?

Does transformation arrive with the loneliness lady?

Wow what a discovery.

But here is what the problem is.

If you are going through a transformation and you feel lonely and sad you actually think that there is something wrong with you or that you are depressed.

You are not necessarily thinking that you are transforming into a butterfly.

You are not thinking that you are exactly where you need to be.

You think that there is something wrong with you and you better fix it soon.

No. No. No.

Don’t fix your loneliness.

Don’t run away from the loneliness that is approaching you.

She is making space for all the goodness in your life while you are stepping into your

true colors.

I had to experience loneliness when my husband was diagnosed.

I had to feel the vastness of the space around me when he died.

And I had to be approached by loneliness when I was jumping off the cliff and leaving my old identity and stepping into this one.

So if you feel the emptiness, the vastness and the loneliness lady is getting closer and closer know that you are transforming into the person you were meant to be.

Keep going. Keep changing. And keep feeling lonely.

Loneliness will walk away when she sees that your life is expanding through your transformation.

Today I get to have so many friends and people in my life that I crave loneliness and solitude back.

I have to go find her and ask her for a visit so I get to expand some more.

So don’t be afraid of loneliness coming towards you…she means good things

are on their way.

With solitude,


PS. REENTER with me…we start Tuesday. www.secondfirsts.com/reentry


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Christina Rasmussen is an author, speaker and social entrepreneur who believes that grief is an evolutionary experience required for launching a life of adventure and creative accomplishment.

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  • rosie says:

    Lovely post. But I think loneliness and solitude are too very different things. You can bask in solitude and crave it. It’s a desire. Loneliness feels never ending and sad. You’re only desire if for it to be over. You can feel lonely in a room full of people and you feel your spirit has left your body, whereas with solitude your spirit feels full and fulfilled.

    Just a thought! Rosie x

    • Very true Rosie. But Loneliness comes to us when we are changing our life. Many people drop off. I have personally converted loneliness to solitude.

      • Tamara says:

        Solitude and loneliness are two different things. In my loneliness, I have craved solitude at times, and I would dwell in the loneliness because even sometimes I could be in a group of people and still feel lonely, and I would desire to just be by myself. It’s like being in the wilderness all alone. That is where I would dwell on memories and long for what was gone, cry and cry and cry…pray and pray and pray.There is where I would find peace and comfort from the Lord. There is where I would gain strength to move forward, slowly become unstuck. It was like I had to feel the loneliness, feel the pain, accept it, release it one piece at a time. Ever so slowly, I noticed little shifts forward. That is the best way I can explain it, because it was like three steps forward, two steps back until at some point I realized I moved forward. I am getting better with coming out of grief and loss. I have had so much of it; losing my very life as I once knew it, lost myself with the loss of so many loved ones, a baby, relationships, homes,pets, jobs, almost every area of loss that can be had on this planet, I have experienced. Time doesn’t necessarily heal, it’s a process. We heal as we move, as we go. I learned time does not wait for us. Life goes on with or without our participation. I suppose the loneliness always is there, but it becomes different, we begin to not feel so much sadness, but cherish the memories fondly held within our hearts, we ever so slowly begin to evolve as we begin to find our new selves, with new experiences as we go about living life again, making new memories, and we slowly move forward one participating baby step at a time. May the Lord’s grace, peace and love be with us all each and every day of the rest of our lives. ~ Live, Laugh, Love! ~Tami

    • Joyce McIntyre says:

      Lonesiness is a awful feeling if you have never been there you can’t explain it. If you are not strong it will pull you way down . Friends and family can’t help you. The lose of my husband of 48 years and 45 days later the lose of our only child now that is hard to disgunish between grief and then lonely sets in. Only you can work out loneness in your on way and people mean well but they don’t have a clue and difficult to explan or talk to them. God where were you and we want him to speak to us and help however time helps some but loneliness very hard to express.

    • Tamara says:

      I agree with Rosie. Solitude and loneliness are two different things. In my loneliness, I have craved solitude at times, and I would dwell in the loneliness because like Rosie said, sometimes I could be in a group of people and still feel lonely, and I would desire to just be by myself. That is where I would cry and cry and cry…pray and pray and pray. There is where I would find peace and comfort from the Lord. There is where I would gain strength to move forward, slowly become unstuck. It was like I had to feel the pain, accept it, release it one piece at a time. Ever so slowly, I noticed little shifts forward. That is the best way I can explain it, because it was like three steps forward, two steps back until at some point I realized I moved forward. I am getting better with coming out of grief and loss. I have had so much of it in the past 10 years; loved ones, pets, jobs, relationships, homes, almost every area of loss that be had on this planet, I have experienced. Time doesn’t necessarily heal. We heal as we move, as we go. I learned time does not wait. Life goes on with or without our participation. I suppose the loneliness always is there, but it becomes different, and we slowly move forward one participating baby step at a time.

    • Cathy Volker says:

      True Rosie, a good way of explaining it.

  • Lesley says:

    September is a pretty rough time for us. Jessie passed at the age of 20, 50 yards from our house. She was involved with a collision with a school buss and a ATV. She will be gone 8 years, sometimes I think she going to come home… I’m very lonesome for her. and that hole will never be healed. Dealing with such a heart ach is not easy. I’m tearing up just writing about her. Full of life, beautiful young woman studying to be a nurse. The only think I could think of when the officer said she didn’t make it was, “she is a donor”
    Then it really hit me when I seem her lifeless body laying in the ditch, they would not let me go to her. I was not all there , it felt as if I was walking in slow motion, it was scary. The cleaned her up and them brought her to us. I was mortified. Why my baby girl, ny child,,,why? It took me a long times even to walk past her picture in the hallway.. or to go in her room. I have some things of hers that I will never let go, her letter jacket from high school, her pink fizzy robe, her Scooby do slippers. These are our memories. Being lonesome is not a bad thing. Letting it not over come you is the hard thing. They more I share with people, the better I feel. There are lots of people who are experiencing the same thoughts. Our heart goes out to them. Jessie was very strong willed as myself, never let things get her down–for to long She learned thing the hard way, witch was not always the right way, but she always found her way home,,to us.
    someday we will find our way to her. we love you Jessie!!!

    • Lesley I am so very very sorry for your loss. Jessie seems to be a beautiful and smart woman. I always use present tense as they never leave us. She is with you. I am so glad you found your way to here on this page!!!
      My love to you!

  • Erin McRaven says:

    Wow….WOW! There are not words strong enough for how perfect this is! I have been lonely for SOOOO long…. First before I met the man who is now my fiance…. and now, I feel lonely in my own so-called family, and my fiance has become the only family and friend I have!

    I could ramble on for HOURS on how this speaks to me, but I’ll spare you!

  • Mark says:

    I was married for 9 years, 125 days & 15 minutes.
    Being alone is so much easier than living with a woman
    filled with contempt (Proverbs 21:9 & 19, also 25:24)
    (Ecclesiastes 7:25-26). I think it is time to get a dog.

  • Tracy says:

    I am a Cancer Widow also I am very touched by this and it speaks volume of how I have felt and also the beautiful transformation of me and who I am becoming triumph from tragedy and making a difference because it matters

  • lisa thomson says:

    What a beautiful message. Loneliness gets a bad wrap so thank you for putting her into perspective. 🙂

  • Donna says:

    Thank you all for your posts as reading them helps me to know I am not alone.

  • elenagraziela says:

    For some reason, I did not get a chance to read this message last week, and I found it today. Thank you so much for this take on loneliness. I’ve been widowed for 14 months, and I always considered some degree of loneliness part and parcel of my grieving. Some moments the loneliness is more intense than others, but I never really saw it as a negative — or positive — thing. It just is. And I appreciate the perspective that the loneliness might just be one more tool in my arsenal to rebuild a life that is joyous and valuable. Thank you so much for all you share with us, Christina.

  • Melinda Willis Wagner says:

    Wow, agreed. This is powerful information. Completely changed my perspective on my own loneliness which sometimes can feel crippling if you think you are alone. I mean, I work at addressing issues, feel good about making some progress yet the lonliness continues. Knowing this is progress gives me hope. Thank you.

  • Yvonne Franks says:

    I lost my husband of 32 years to brain cancer, it was sudden. It was right after New Years 2012, I thought he had a stroke, but the nurse said sometimes older people when having fevers forget where or who they are, he was 15 years older than I, he always said he picked me young to mold me 🙂 his fever came down, he remembered me, he knew where he was but didn’t know why, the doctor came in and told us they found a tumor the size of a lemon on the side of his brain and needed to remove it right away, Bob was always straightforward and said let’s do it.. didn’t ask questions just told the do it.. the doctor said it had been growing for a year and couldn’t understand why he didn’t feel any pain. He had one headache and that was it, they removed 60% but 40% was on the brain stem, at this time the doctor told me he would have 6 months to a year, he lived two weeks past his 69th birthday, this has been the longest year ever, it will be a year 10/28. I move slowly, miss him dearly each day, the pain i feel no one in my family understands.. he was my life and now i am alone, we have two kids which they are in their late 20’s and have families of their own and are grieving in their own ways, which my daughter has gone to grief counseling and my son well he is like his dad and is stubborn and doesn’t believe in counseling, i wish i could help him, but he says he is doing ok has good days and bad days. My husband died at home where he wanted to be, i feel safety there but sad. Reading this blog has given me hope. thank you!

  • Beverly says:

    Oh how I know this lady! I have had such a hard time during the Holiday’s , once you spend a holiday with someone you know is sick and dying the best of holiday memories fade into those last holiday’s you spent with your loved one. How am I to embrace the New Year especially when the last memory is lying in bed next to you crying with you as downstairs all those people are laughing and yelling Happy New Year when ours is ending……….

  • You always give me a new perspective on my feelings and I can’t thank you enough for that. In the last eight years I have lost all of my immediate family and am so lonely. It does seem to get worse and it makes me feel so much better to think about it your way. I also suffer from an anxiety/panic disorder and that doesn’t help with the lonely feeling at all. If you have any advice on anxiety I sure wish you’d do a post on that. So many of us are suffering from it. Thanks, Christina for you wisdom, experience and sharing it with the world.

  • Cynthia helinski says:

    Looking forward to reading the book…, must say that for many psychic mediums are beyond helpful.,,with the grieving process.,, real messages from our really missed lived ones… Also meditation has helped me to stay present… Of course years after my husband died… All part of my transformation and working through; all part of a process .., and we are in charge of that process.,, thank you and looking forward to the great read!’ Thank you

  • Marci says:

    WoW! You put into words my experience with loneliness to a T! My husband walked away from our marriage with his BF’s wife 16 months ago, no closure. I filed for divorce and it was just finalized. I’m surrounded by wonderful family and friends, busy with a new job, getting back into shape with classes at gym, new hobbies, strong faith and becoming more involved with my church family….yet I feel I get lonelier and fight sadness the more I dive into my new life! Love your perspective on why The Loneliness Lady is hanging on & I hope you are right! I’m looking forward to shaking her from my life!

  • Caren Patterson says:

    May 27, 1995, was the day I lost my husband. We were in a horrific auto accident 1000 miles from home. Yes, we both survived but in different ways. I became the caretaker, he became my child. He was left paralyzed from the chest down and with traumatic head injuries. He fought hard the first year but after a stroke in the second year, he gave up. He was there in body only. I was bound determined to keep us involved socially and with family but each year became harder for him emotionally. The inability to walk was only secondary to the inability to communicate and be the personality he once was. He eventually quit trying even with our grandchildren.
    My heart breaks for him. Yes, I am lonely too but I can interact and move around; when I come back into our home and see him sitting in the recliner that is slowly wearing thin ( the 3rd one) I wonder what I can do to ease his loneliness.

    • steph says:

      Just being in the same room as him “on purpose” sends a message to him that he is valued and loved. Just being in the same room.

  • Kara says:

    Thx, been feeling loneliness for a long time. I think it has been w me even since I was at least 4 yrs old because I remember places, preschool, Sunday school, home, and then all through school and at home, I sense that I felt lonely in those places.

    Now working on emotional healing. Even w therapy, still feel so lonely. I sometimes like the loneliness, like to be left alone, like to be by myself, like the solitude. I think I don’t like to be alone with hurt and pain. I haven’t known how to cope w the lonely feeling – thanks for writing that it’s ok just to let it be.

  • lori says:

    months ago. After spending 32 years together I am at a loss how to keep myself from I I I have been feeling the loneliness lady & have been running from her. My husband died 18 months ago. After spending 32 years together I am at a loss how to keep myself from spiraling into depression. I thought the loneliness was something I should be getting over, but it sounds like what I am experiencing is “normal” and part of my grieving process. I have been desperately trying to heal. Keeping busy and forcing myself to be around people (yes, I feel lonely when I am in a crowd). OK so this is a step towards my transformation – even though loneliness is beating me down and making me sad I am hopeful the loneliness leads me to a better life.

  • LizzieGrace says:

    When your words bring tears to my eyes, then I know you have touched a chord that, perhaps, I hadn’t identified. Yes, loneliness is something I am experiencing now. I can be in a room full of friends and feel such a disconnect. It makes me feel guilty…after all…my friends have been my support during this grief time, how can I feel lonely with these people that I love and love me? Yet, many times I am counting the minutes until I can go home to where I can feel my husband’s spirit…where I can see the evidence of our life together. The first year I have tried to keep busy…keep moving so the truth of my new life doesn’t catch me. But, you have explained what I must do…I will slow down and accept this next step. Thank you.

  • Shelley Sedlacek-Graue says:

    Christina, I love this…
    My husband had his first heart attack 14 years ago, causing massive damage to his heart. With less than 1/3 function, the doctor gave him 5 years. In February, he passed away. Your words fit so well…
    After 14 years of taking care of my husband, in and out of the hospital, I have been trying hard to “find myself”, to take care of me. I have set goals, walking, running, losing weight… I have had people make rude comments… “Already looking for a new man, I see…”
    Anyway, I just wanted to say, thank you for your insightful words.

  • mandi says:

    being a person and transformation from the loss of myself I see things now that I never would have seen. Last 2 days my kids have been with their dad and all I wanted was silence which I used to be afraid of I was scared to sit and not have something to do I was scared to allow myself to just be in silence present and aware. But the last two days my body craved it my soul craved it and all I did was sit in silence in the breeze and write 21 pages of emotions thoughts feelings ideas and then when I got done the loneliness started the feelings wanting to go back into the silence and in my own thoughts because I was alive in my thoughts my soul was on fire because I was writing and getting it all out. I went to go hang out with some friends and I just couldn’t enjoy myself and I couldn’t figure out why. And then I read your entry and it all makes sense now. These types of things have been happening to me a lot lately I’ll do something say something I’ll hear something I think something and then shortly after there will be something that shows me the thoughts feelings and actions leading me down the right path from a blog I read on the internet to a conversation I’ve had with a friend. So thank you for giving me that insight. I will not fight the loneliness I will embrace it along with the change that is coming my way. Hope you all have a blessed day.

  • Imen says:

    I’m really grateful for this loneliness
    she is releasing me from the weight of ; peoples, things and ideas that I can no longer carry on my shoulders
    this loneliness is helping me in my rediscovery,
    I’m in my way to find the “true me”
    In this type of loneliness, I don’t feel the dependence to the presence and support of other
    I’m learning to feel happy and secure with myself
    I’m grateful to the people who are experiencing it and sharing their wisdom with us
    thanks for the share, it gives us power to keep walking with an open heart and a brightened soul on our beautiful trip

  • Michael says:

    Interesting. I have been stuck in loneliness for almost 6 years now. Even at home with my son and my parents. I have lived it since my fiancée died. I felt it was from the loss of her and the grieving. Wanting to try going out and maybe dating. But that loneliness would come with feelings of guilt, that I was shaming my fiancee, lessening her. Sounds like I am 180° out of real. I will spend this evening with me, about me, and try to start a new chapter.

  • Jennifer says:

    I just read your article and I cried. I was relieved that someone else felt like that. The day my husband was diagnosed with cancer was the day I lost him and all the dreams I had. I am now rebuilding me.

  • Fran Maxwell says:

    I lost my husband, didn’t have time to breath, or grieve because I was 24/7 caregiver to my mom who was 96 blind partially deaf, dementia- my youngest came home to live and help me late December. Mom passed 1 week after her 97th birthday in February son got new job 50 miles south the travel time and gas prices were killing him, so he and his gf got an apartment down there, at first I was excited for them Now I hurt I am so lonely , he stopped by on Friday after he picked up his twins (21 months old) for his weekend and they have been here for the past 7 months every other weekend for 4 days each time -I couldn’t bear to watch them leave the silence here is deafening I go out as much as I can so , having a hard time dealing with it all.

  • Jane says:

    I have been embracing loneliness or being alone this Summer more than ever! After my husband passed away from cancer 2 years ago, I got busy “getting better”, but then I realized I had not taken the brave step of facing my feelings head on and just being in them. I have no regrets, as I believe life was taking care of me in each step that I chose to be. I needed every moment to be as it was…just as now I need every moment to be as it is! I am just more conscience of the moment and learning to pay attention to what I am feeling and the changes I am going through. This Message in the Bottle really resonated with me and the words jumped off the page and I felt Me melt into them and sing Yes! Yes, that is what I am feeling and I Love It!! I Love myself, I Love being with Myself, I Love the unfolding of myself!! I have realized that you don’t have to have the person you miss sitting right beside you to be in their presence. The essence of a person is always a part of you. Every person that comes into my life is there for a grand purpose and can never really leave me…the relationship is just always changing in the desire for a Return to Love!

  • Lyn Kienholz says:

    I can relate to your loneliness when your husband got cancer, because that is exactly how I felt too when Mike was diagnosed. I spent a lot of time alone or alone with him and I felt him slipping away months before he actually was gone. I believe that this “time” really helped me go through my grief journey and get out of the “waiting room” sooner than I even expected. Love your new series and will continue to share it with my MWC chapter – we are going to start reading or rereading in my case Second Firsts this month because I know how much it can change our lives.
    Much love to you Christina! Enjoy your solitude time as I know that I will today after the kids go to bed – I believe a dip in the lake a sundown is just what my soul needs.

  • Jayne says:

    Thank you so much for this fresh prospective on
    Loneliness . Your words have given me something
    touching and dare I say hopeful to consider.
    My journey has been exhausting and maybe
    I needed this in order to slow down.
    When all I hear is people doubting and questioning
    Me with their only suggestions of “go on meds”,
    Or the classic “forget about it”, your post has provided
    A possibility. Thank you. With love x

  • Jen says:

    I am not sure what to think of this. I am so lonely I don’t know what to do. My husband of 32 years committed suicide 9 years ago, 4 years after he lost his job of 22 years with Motorola. I watched him begin to die the day he lost his job. Within the same year of his death my mother and both of my brothers-in-law died, one of whom was my husband’s only sibling. My only sister died in 2001. I began taking care of my dying mother and my brother-in-law, who died 4 weeks to the day apart, just weeks after my husband’s death. After that, I was left with nothing. Both of my adult children blame me for their dad’s suicide. My maternal grandfather committed suicide 6 months after my grandmother died. Two years ago I brought my mother-in-law to live with me. She had outlived 2 husbands and her only two children. I was all she had left. She suffered from severe dementia. I was in the process of trying to get help for her when she also committed suicide in October. 2012.
    I spent my life taking care of people, including my husband and children. I’m 59 years old and I have nothing left. I spend holidays alone. The only family I have left are cousins who live in the Chicago area, thousands of miles away. I have a niece and nephew, and a sister-in-law who live about 50 miles from me. I see them maybe once a year, but years have gone by where I haven’t seen them at all. My sister-in-law has developed some serious health problems.
    My husband and I once had an active social life. After his death all of out friends slowly went away. One of my life-long friends un-friended me via email a couple of years ago because I didn’t live up to her expectations. A cousin in Wisconsin un-friended me on Facebook and rejected my emails because I couldn’t get on a plane, due to my anxiety, to go visit her.
    I was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety disorder and depression.
    I have pets, but I spend my days in my bedroom watching old TV shows.
    I don’t want this life, but how do you re-build a life after all of this? I want a relationship with my children and my grandchild, but they will have nothing to do with me. I have nothing left. I once had a close relationship with my children, but every dream I ever had died with my husband.

    • Connie says:

      How are you?

    • Alice says:

      Dear Jen, what terrible pain. I’m so sorry. I live in a deep grief vacuum too. I don’t have any advice, just wanted to express that I wish you well and I hope small steps to action have ripple effects in time, and that love comes back into your life. Lighting a candle for you here.

  • Paige says:

    This is an incredible message and one I am willing to adjust to and embrace. My loneliness is definitely something I try to escape…it’s deep and dark. Thinking that it is there for my transformation makes it less permanent. Thank you for the hope and inspiring words to keep us here and with the living.. xo

  • Mir Mosaddequer Rahman says:

    “Don’t run away from the loneliness that is approaching you” but Don’t walk hand in hand with loneliness either , I know ,eventually every body would be lonely one day ,but don’t allow it to devour you , destroy you ……..

  • Mysty says:

    OMG Wow what perfect timing for me to read this message. I am feeling so lonely, so sad and I was thinking maybe I am depressed, maybe I need help… I feel like I will never get over the pain I feel. This is such a perfect reminder that I am in transformation and that I am in the chrysalis. From the outside it looks as if the I may be may just be resting or wasting time not moving forward, but the inside is where all of the action is. Inside of the chrysalis, is where my growth is taking place it is where I am rapidly changing. I have to remember to be gentle on myself as I discover my true nature, my identity…as I create my new life.

  • George Monroe says:

    I get the lonely thing, can you explain the transformation thing. I am just stuck.

  • Debbie Brandon says:

    I’ve been receiving the 30 days and the message in the bottle, but I’m just now beginning to get to a point where I can take action. Today I read the loneliness lady. Which I’ve been for some time. But with this reading I see I need to look at being lonely in a different way. I’m in the beginning of starting my business and need the time for creative reflection. So thank you for kick starting my next thirty days.

  • Denise says:

    I have come to accept loneliness after lots of it. I think I may have transformed some of my lonely times into times of finding inner treasures. I agree wholeheartedly that transformation takes place within the loneliness because in my experience, it made me BE with myself, look at myself and my life, to witness all of the pain and acquire compassion for myself and love for myself, that had I not allowed myself the loneliness, I may not have experienced self love and compassion. It is a blessing in disguise. It is one of the most difficult experiences to come out of. But those inner treasures, that become shared gifts to the world are truly worth the ride.

  • Cindy says:

    Hi,,, I’m a Caregiver for the Elderly best job I ever had. I have been to hell and back a few times coming out a stronger woman. Four yrs ago I started taking care of both parents, Alzheimer’s/Dementia both. Only sibling basically, , lol. Dad is in Hospices now. Im trying to hold my mom together, ,, my son,, my dad helped raised him. What scares me,, who’s going to hold me together, , losing both parents, my mom will go soon after dad,, married 65 yrs. This I feel all alone.

  • Evelyn says:

    I am not a widow, my husband started a project working out of the country about 7 weeks ago. I never thought it was going to be so hard… I feel like I am missing a part of me, I can’t sleep, I cry everyday. I am missing him like crazy. I realize I am so depended of his presence, his touch, his words, that I feel very lonely. Of course we keep in touch, but its not like I would like to. He will be home for Christmas, and it seems so far, in the meantime I am trying to keep myself busy with work, the kids, going to the gym. Reading your messages I came to realize that if I ever lose my husband, I wouldn’t know what to do, how to continue with my life. My story is nothing compare to what I have read in all the testimonies, but I still feel so lonely and sad. I miss him so much! we have been together since we were 14 years old, we are both 42 now, we have, like you said in one of your stories “an almost perfect family”. Right now, I try not to show my emotions when I speak or write to him. He needs to finish his contract and I don’t want him to worry for me but I feel seriously in trouble. I even get a pressure in my chest that hurts when I think of him. Am I silly at 42 feeling this way?

  • Mufy says:

    30 days of firsts – Loneliness

    Never had I thought that loneliness could be a good thing. I always worried about being alone and often associated it with negative emotions. I recently stumbled on a new site – Second Firsts and for some reason what I read impacted me in a way I had never thought possible before. Chrisitna has a 30 day program that she calls 30 days of firsts. I read the mail for the day and my homework for today is to feel lonely.
    Loneliness is solitude it brings sanity and allows our inner voice to speak loud and clear, but because we don’t know how to handle our inner “noise” – we often discipline it by ignoring it and shoving it to the side. We binge eat, watch endless youtube videos, read junk articles and look for company in our ever so connected technical lifestyles through chatting, commenting or passively liking other people’s posts.
    As I sit here thinking about feeling lonely, I am going through an internal struggle – to connect to facebook and reply to people who have asked me questions or started a conversations with me or to sit here and work on immersing into my loneliness?
    It’s almost like we are afraid of loneliness, we treat it like it’s some kind of monster that we do not want to meet. Like as though if we allow ourselves to wallow in it we will be lost in a deep dark tunnel and not know our way back to the world.
    Loneliness, darkness and solitude are times when our bodies replenish. We need to get into the dark world of sleep alone in order to wake up the next morning feeling fresh and ready to go on. We – as human beings – are in need of alone time.

  • Kat says:

    I discovered you at 3m this morning and this post has hit me where it counts…right in the heart. My husband passed from lung cancer Jan 3, 2013.We were married 35 years. He was ill for nine years. I recently sold “our dream house” where we raised three kids and ten grandchildren. I currently live in a very trendy artist’s loft downtown. I’m fine financially. I have two great careers (fine artist & jazz singer), tons of friends, family…and yet I feel so lost! This really helps. (So sorry for everyone’s losses) Thanks. ~Kat

  • Dana Pledger says:

    Hi. I have been officially widowed for about 5 months now. My husband died in May 2014. I have been lonely for much longer. My husband was in soe form of Law Enforcemnet most of his life. I was never deluded that he would be anything else. I knew what and who he was when I married him. Waht I didn’t realize was how much of him it would consume in the end. After a 20+ year career in Federal Law Enforcement he retired to be a small city police chief in 2009. After all his years in law enforcement and all we’d been through together, he was fine….until that job. That little town tore him down and left him with PTSD from an event that was so far out of his control that he would never be the same. Even with a MS in Psychology I had never seen anything quite like his PTSD response. It took us over a year to even realize what was happening to him. He lost his position there and with it all his pride and, in his own mind, his identity. We fought that beast (PTSD) and all its issues for 5 long years. It tore our family asunder in many ways. He was isolated from me and our 2 kids (18 and 14 at the time it happened) now 24 and 20. He barely knew his son and was not getting to know his daughter. When his heart stopped in May we were at his Mother’s house for Mother’s Day and our sone wasn’t even with us. BOth kids have been hit very hard by this. Kevan has his own form of PTSD because he was at home alone when he had to be notified and Kayli was always a Daddy’s girl…or at least wanted to be. I feel so lost and angry…..angry that I have so many things left to take care of because he never listened to me about what needed to be done those last 5 years; angry that he didn’t take better care of himself; angry that I am now the 3rd woman in my family to be widowed in my early 50’s; angry that I’ve discoverd so many lies left for me here at the end….just angry. People keep telling me that I am one of the strongest people that they know, and I know I’m pretty strong, but now there is no one to talk this stuff out with. Now there is only me….no chance for resolution. For the first 2 months I had so much to do to get our government survivor benefits set up that I didn’t even have a chance to grieve properly. Now, I’m not sure when it will stop blind siding me unexpectedly. Like you said, I look “normal”, but I don’t feel it. I’m trying to exercise more and push myself forward. But things just keep falling apart and all I want to do is hide. I know I can’t, but I still want to. I’m so glad I found a group of people with similar experiences that I can share with.

  • Gary says:

    My wife died of cancer about 2 years ago, she still haunts my every moment, I have a good life, love my job, have good friends, a nice home, I pay my bills, but I still feel lost with out her, she was the love of my life for 18 years, now she’s gone, and I feel like I’m more waiting than living.

  • Terese says:

    I find it amazing that I just found this in my email tonight, as I said to myself a few hours ago that I’ve been alone a long time but this is the first time I feel very lonely. My heart has been squashed and I’ve been stabbed in the back by everybody I know I truly lost everyone. Every day I do minute by minute, I can’t believe what my life is like now. I can’t even begin to explain the pain…. It’s just too much. For too many years too many. I’m sorry this is big but it’s all I’ve got right now, I can’t speak

  • Gill says:

    As I sit silently, listening, in the company of my loved ones and they talk about the future , my future, a different future that I am orchestrating, that I have forced upon them, a future that they did not want, I feel so very lonely.

  • Karla says:

    I am sitting here sobbing…..the loneliness lady has been visiting me, and I didn’t understand until now why…..I am trying to become a butterfly if I just let myself transform….if I let myself continue to feel….Thank you for making sense of something that has been so senseless the last few days….

  • Ros Elghaly says:

    Though provoking outlook on loneliness but I agree with Rosie, big difference between it and solitude. One is sought after and the other obviously not. I think that you over simplify the negative effects of loneliness on the mental and physical well being especially for those who are not in a position or situation like you are/ were to transform your loneliness. Not everyone who is experiencing this guy wrenching, never ending pain of loneliness and grief has the social skills, confidence, ability or money to expand their life and open the door to new experiences.

  • Teresa says:

    I am spending my second Christmas as a divorced woman and my first Christmas without my daddy. He. Passed on April 29 this year. I miss having masculine affection in my life even if I am not interested in dating yet. This is a very sad time for my family and for me.

  • YAN says:


  • Sandy says:

    I am struggling with being myself, I feel invisible and lost in my own world. I have felt this way for years, not knowing my purpose. I have been divorced for 4 years and I don’t know if I have dealt with it properly and honestly I am not sure if I know how to deal with it. My ex-husband broke my heart by cheating on me and I haven’t been in a relationship since. It is hard to trust most people and I am extremely afraid of having my heart broken again. I want to put myself out there and be happy but I am terrified to do so. I forgave him for what he did or at least I think I did, but I don’t know if I have forgiven myself and I am not sure how to even start. I want to feel free again, I want to be open and receive all the wonderful things this world has to offer but I am scared to let people in. Thank you for your book and page, hopefully it can help me move on and be the person I was meant to be, I have so much to offer this world, if only I could believe it wholeheartedly.

  • Claire says:

    This is my first day of 30 Days of Firsts. My husband died of pancreatic cancer in March 2013. I’m happy to say I am doing well but Christina’s book and website landed in my lap quite by accident and at just the right time. I had read so many ‘widow’ books and blogs and so over everyone bemoaning, and shriveling from life. I knew from the beginning that I had to grieve but I also had to live. It has been a challenging and tough year but just in the past week it hit me that I can love my husband, have wonderful memories, AND live a happy, joyous, challenging life. He would want it and he would be proud.

    What hit me about this post is that I just realized that I also lost my husband twice…the day he was diagnosed and they day he died. Wow, that was such a revelation! Thank you and looking forward to more.

    And yes, I agree that loneliness and solitude are two completely different places to be. I have gotten used to and really enjoy my solitude!
    Happy New Year! May 2015 bring us all good things and joy!

    • KLMN says:

      Claire, I’m just now reading this blog. I don’t know if you’ll ever see this, but my heart ached with yours and wondered how you’re doing now that it’s 2017. My wonderful husband of 44 years passed away from pancreatic cancer on July 4, 2016, at 63 years of age. He complained of an ache in March, and was gone 3 and a half months later. I’m facing the first anniversary of his death on July 4th, this year. I don’t know how to live in this new life I didn’t want. My faith in God holds me steady I guess. I’m still here, trying to look for hope and joy in the future. I feel like I’m dying inside, but I’m determined to celebrate with my family here on July 4th. I always said he was like the “Fireworks Guy” and I did the routine and regular stuff. He knew how to have fun, love people, and look for the best in everything. I’m surviving day by day, watching for a direction to start life over. I hope you have found a path that led to peace. I hope I do, also. I also want to celebrate life instead of death. May God continue to watch over us widows walking in this shadow of death every day. May He give us hope for a joyful future.

  • MAGGIE says:

    After living in Alzheimer’s Land for 8 years with my husband and his diagnosis, I thought his death would be easy for me to come to grips with – boy, was I wrong! This post helped me so much as I have been more lonely than ever before in my life. I am also now retired from a life-long nursing career, moved back to my home town and was widowed all at the same time. I have been blaming myself for not being able to cope. I intend to stop the blame game and I will attempt to embrace the loneliness metamorphosis. I am so glad to have found this sight, Thanks you. Maggie

  • sharon says:

    This is all so new to me. I just lost both of my parents to cancer. Dad went on January 9 and Mom followed him on January 28. My dad was my best friend. He lived far away from me but I could always anticipate a phone call him every 2 or 3 days. Without fail he would call. We talked about everything. Sports, news, family, everything. I miss the sound of his voice so much, it’s like a knife in my heart. Every time the phone rings I think it is him. My mom and I didn’t see eye to eye on much but when my dad died (they were divorced for over 30 years.) mom knew that his passing was going to hit me hard and it did. She was helping me thru it. 18 days. That’s how much time she had to help me. It was nearly long enough. I begged her not to leave me.

    They were both sick at the same time from cancer. Dad with renal cancer, mom with breast cancer. Dad was briefly cured and even had a “Thank God I’m not going to die” party last year. Mom got 3 doses of chemo before the doctors discovered that they had all but destroyed her lungs. She was on oxygen and steroids for well over a year.

    My dad had cancer wrapped around his stomach and was given 6 weeks to live. I saw it coming. It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t a surprise. Mom, mom, helping me deal with my dad’s death, develops gangrene of the bowels. I was told she was going to be ok. Wait till tomorrow to come see her. She died and I got the phone call the next morning when I was dressing to see her. I was telling myself that I can’t wear black because she will think she is dying when I received that call.

    It’s all really too much. The silence, the memories, the guilt because I didn’t get along well with my mom until the end…. almost too late. I didn’t get to see either of them. I didn’t get to say goodbye. Neither of them wanted funerals so I’m staring into and abyss with no closure.

    I just keep crying out for my mom. “Please come back to me. I still need you.”

    I’m just so sad.

  • Teri says:

    Loneliness is going to eat me alive yet I crave being home alone. I’ve been thinking I’m depressed but I want to believe something big is happening and I will be at peace. I keep trying to rush this loneliness along only making it worse. I am ok. I am so deeply saddened by the loss of my sister a year and 2 months ago. We were supposed to grow old together. My heart hurts.

  • Mary H says:

    I think I have felt alone all my life. I was the lost child always looking for validation. In the process I have made poor relationship choices throughout my life that have only led me back to the loneliness, the emptiness, the sadness. I never knew my grandparents, and my mother died when I was 21. (followed by my father a few years later) I have read several of the posts and I know we have all experienced loss in some way. I just want to say thank you Christina for having this forum and to all of you that posted, sharing your experience, strength and hope.

  • Thanks for always baring your soul with your words. They really hit home with me especially when you said your husband had cancer. That right there is what I dealt with for almost 4 years too, but with our 2o year old daughter. It was a nightmare and the loneliest time in my life, since I was the one with my daughter 90% of the time. I knew it didn’t look good for her when they told us she was between stage 3 and stage 4. She had colorectal cancer which is rare for a 20 year old to get. She had everything going for her: beauty, intelligence and a wonderful guy that actually married her just 56 days before she passed. She has been gone 4 years now and would be turning 28 this September. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and some memory. I belong to a grief support group and also one online. That helps me tremendously! I may be a romantic but I feel the need to write and talk about her always. On my FB page, I never tire of sharing pictures, stories and memories of her. People probably get tired of hearing me, so thats why I’ve resorted to my other websites where I can chat with others who REALLY do know and understand about grief. (especially a child – which is the most devastating loss). Thank you for listening to me ramble on and thanks again for all your encouraging words Christina!

  • Dawn says:

    I lost my 17 year old son 8 years ago he was a passenger in his friends car on their way to school. The boy pulled out in front of a semi. My son Travis was my best friend we did so much together. I miss him so much.I have 3 older sons who have all seemed to have scattered or grown up into lives of their own. I keep pushing forward cause I k ow that is what Travis would want me to do. But my heart is broken into so many tiny pieces and I feel lonely and lost.

  • Mara says:

    Dear Christina, thanks for this very nice and sensitve Text. Since my partner left me after 15 years together, the pain is still there and sometimes I feel how the loneliness press me down. To understand that this feeling is a good thing that is preparing me to receive good days that are coming, is a great help. Thanks for it.

  • Hey Christina

    Lovely point of view. In my opinion, loneliness is sad, depressing and unwanting, but at the same time relieving and comes along with a life changing perspective. I had such a moment in my life wherein I was undergoing a complete transformation in my personal and professional lives and that was accompanied by a long period of loneliness and uncertainity. What I realised was that as long as it lasted, it gave me some mind blowing insights into me which helped me a big way in that phase.

    Yes! Loneliness is important. Don’t be scared of it or ridicule it. It is there for a reason and it will pass before you know it!

  • Dee H says:

    Someone on a grief site reposted something of yours and it led me to your site and the sign ups for assorted offerings you have.
    You speak with knowledge, kindness, and ultimately, optimism.
    My husband was a 2 time survivor of cancer 2y years ago when he was diagnosed once again with another more aggressive form of cancer. He survived 18 months rather than the 2-6 he was told. I have been a widow for 4 months the now. Loneliness has been part of my life for many years. I am not sure there is a way out of it for me after all this time. And I have learned over the years to put on a front for the world. But I am willing to keep reading your messages and keep trying for real peace and a modicum of true happiness.
    Thank you for your truths.

  • Edie says:

    Thank you so much. I found this googling after chickening out on going to a movie alone I’m so tired of being alone after my husband died of cancer in 2015. I get up put on makeup and nice clothes go out socializing feeling ignored. Going out to dinner alone feeling desperate. I’ve been smart enough not to get involved with any men because I’m a target doing ok financially and own my own place in a popular city so, no male visitors at my home for now.

    Some of my husband’s friends and family turned on me during my husband’s cancer and started to act so odd that my husband cut them out of his will because if they were going to be mean to me while he’s alive they’d be giving me pure hell after his death but I talked him into giving some of the family smaller amount of money better than the zero he wanted to give them, so I wouldn’t look like a gold digger, funny, since we were together decades.

    Now, my in laws don’t talk to me period because they didn’t even come to the funeral and didn’t ask me what his last words were or anything it was the hardest thing and I’m still getting over it.

    Death brings out the worst in people. I should be grateful I don’t have to worry about paying my rent right now and have nice things but I have learned material things never replace the love of your life.

  • Roseann says:

    Love this
    Got your book thankyou
    I have a deep dark palpable loneliness for my husband that has made me want to join him.
    I know it’s not going to happen now but it is good to hear you say that getting comfortable with the sadness and loneliness is important.
    I have tried to push it down through my tears.
    People cannot feel it unless they have felt it.
    They cannot imagine it, there is no such thing,
    It’s the feeling that has me in its grip.
    I remain hopeful.
    I’m going to try and sell the house he built me. A huge love nest. But without him it’s walls.

  • Therese says:

    This made me cry so much. I am a young widow, no children, no family. My husband died three years ago after a long battle with prostate cancer. The loneliness is horrible and it does feel like depression. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to lose my mind. I walk through the world and no one “sees” me, they don’t understand.

  • khloe says:

    My marriage was a blessing to me and my husband and kids until my husband ex asked my husband to divorce me so that they can get married. Guess what happened, My husband actually filled for a divorce but I refuse to sign it, He is asking for our kids too. The most painful thing is that I am 2 months pregnant, I would cry my eyes out day in day out, I cannot believe my marriage is coming to an end just like that. My mother showed me to a Buddhist spiritualist who came my rescue on this tragic situation that almost took my life because I was helpless. The Buddhist priest name is Priest Mika, He did a supernatural spell that brought my husband back to me that same day I met the priest Mika. Now my husband is pleading for us to get back. I need advice on this marital issue. Should I take him back? I do not want my kids to grow without their dad. I guess I will have to do this for my kids. Priest Mika said my husband is my soulmate, His spell works faster than anything I have ever imagined. My mom said the reason my dad never left us was because priest mika did a bonding spell that would keep them together forever. anyone with marital issues should please meet with him for help on (supernaturalspellcast@ outlook. com) I am thankful the situation is well handled.
    Can anyone advice me on this?

  • Pamela says:

    I look for time alone at this time on my early grief (5 month) and it just feel so right. I am not afraid of it but instead I look for holidays even if this means pain.. But truth is that its the time and space to feel with freedom and time to pray or just be still. I miss my baby Santiago and I grieve the life we were expected to live. I am trying to hug again the love for life and trust because I still dream having a baby in my arm, with us.

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