I Will Survive

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Loneliness is one of the hardest aspects of being a widow.  As a suddenly single individual, we feel isolated and saddened at our new status of being solo.  We feel completely and utterly bereft of the loss of the partnership we shared, and are weirdly shocked at the realization that we are no longer a couple.  We feel precipitously aware that the world is marching two by two and we are now traipsing a path alone.  We find that we are often socially ignored as a lone participant and take umbrage in that sad detail of our life.

Loneliness in a pandemic, skyrockets the isolation factor to the nth degree.  We have no one to touch or hold, or worse, be touched and be held. We have no one to weather out the storm of angst.  We cannot be hugged by friends because we are stuck in our houses alone under quarantine, further aggravating our grief and loss.  The physical lack of touch is palpably heartbreaking. 

Being in a pandemic is similar to being in intense grief.  You have to learn to be in the present and not look down the road, in abject fear, at the possible longtime quarantine.  You have to take one day at a time and survive each day not looking at the angst that lies ahead.  You have to endure each day and give yourself a pat on the back knowing that you have achieved even the smallest of steps going forward. I miss my husband especially in these insanely nerve-wracking times.  I so wish I could have ridden this out with Peter by my side,  He would have helped me to  navigate the waters of the pandemic, or at least made me laugh at the amount of toilet paper I was allowing him to use! We all want and need to be held and touched and caressed, especially in times of intense stress. 

I am using Zoom and Face Time to visit friends and get my nurturing on line.  Virtual hugging is better than no hugging at all.  My friends and family are here for me and they comfort me with laughter.  My friends buoy me up and help the loneliness dissipate a bit.  With that and some CBD gummy bears for sleep, I will make it through this crisis.  Loneliness is a killer for all of us.  Widows feel it more in a pandemic without human contact.  

To quote Gloria Gaynor:

“I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
And I’ll survive
I will survive”

October 15, 2019, Los Angeles, CA – Cookbook author and television chef Laurie Burrows Grad, 75, sits down to a roasted chicken dinner in her Los Angeles home. Grad’s husband of 47 years, Peter Grad, died four years ago. To cope with her grief, Grad has written extensively about grief and grieving, and her new book, “The Joke’s Over, You Can Come Back Now,” navigates her first years of widowhood, and includes nine recipes with advice about cooking for one. (Sally Ryan for The New York Times)
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