We all experience grief and loss. It’s part of life. It gives birth to loneliness at times. There is a big difference in being alone and being lonely. The isolation and loss, the feeling of helplessness and the boredom are all potential long term outgrowths of being alone. Some people mediate those outcomes and actually thrive on being alone, but most of us are social creatures that don’t do well with that kind of isolation. Sadly, we live in a society where loneliness, and the depression that comes with it, is a growing problem.
We have isolated ourselves with our devices. We text rather than talk, we watch movies and TV rather than interact, we thrill seek in whitewater or other environments, and sadly we medicate ourselves with a host of substances that are not good for us even if they are prescribed by a physician. We never make the conscious choice to move forward.
I’ve been listening to some CDs on loneliness and grief and a couple things really have stood out to me. The first is the phrase that everyone uses: “Why do I have to go through this?” The operative word that is often missed is “through.” There is and end point that you are supposed to come out of instead of continuing to wallow in sadness. The other point that seems really important is that for a period you must not ignore your sadness. If you suffer you may need to cry or experience other emotional outlets. One of those outlets is talking it out with a professional counselor (though studies show that caring, insightful friends and family can work just as well most of the time.) In Japan, where isolation and loneliness is rampant, they have Anti-Loneliness Cafes...they supply you with a giant stuffed hippo-like animal called a Moomin to eat with. They'll even send one on vacation and have it send pictures back to you. Not sure I follow the theraputic logic, so I don't know that I recommend that as therapy.
But at some point all the “why me” stuff needs to get packed away and you move on. God does not want us to just sit and spin our wheels. Eventually you need to pick yourself up and go out there and take control of your life. One of the best ways to fight loneliness and grief is to look for others to help who are having similar difficulties. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself far from lonely.
"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-29)