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3 Ideas for Coping With Loneliness After Losing Your Husband

The days are long and lonely after you lose your husband – and the weekends and nights are longer and lonelier. These three ways to cope with loneliness after the loss of your husband won’t erase your grief, but they may ease the pain.

I’m writing this article for women who lost their husbands, but I was inspired by men who lost their wives. My She Blossoms readers are primarily women who are walking into an unexpected, often unwanted new season of life. But, I also have many male readers who are coping with loneliness and grief after the loss of their wives — as you’ll see in the husband’s comment below.

“I’m not only grieving the loss of the love of my life — my wife, such a beautiful, warm, happy, loving, fun, spirited woman,” writes James in How to Recover From Loss and Survive Grief. “I’m also grieving the loss of our happy union, daily interactions, lifestyle, living arrangement and conditions. My daily life went from happy, laughing, and enjoyment to missing my wife terribly. I’m trying to cope with loneliness as well as her terrible suffering and death.”


There are no easy answers or quick tips for coping with loneliness after you lose your wife, husband, or life partner. I don’t have the power to erase your grief and make you feel less lonely. And, I certainly don’t know why we have to suffer through the loss of someone we love! But I do know one thing: we are not alone in our pain.

We’re walking each other home, towards our eternal resting place. Your lost husband or wife is already there, but it’s not your time yet.

“I know to give it to God and I have been since before my wife died,” says James. “I know to let Jesus carry my burden and to let Him ‘bind up my wounds and heal the broken-hearted’ as Scripture says. But I just can’t seem to get there – or it’s taking too long, or it’s not effective or thorough enough.”

How to Cope With Loneliness After You Lose Your Husband

This article is part of my She Blossoms Through the Bible project, and is inspired by Genesis 23. In this chapter Abraham’s wife Sarah dies. Not only does Abraham mourn, he wept and sat beside his dead wife (verses 1-3). I don’t know how long Abraham grieved the loss of his wife Sarah, but I suspect it didn’t happen overnight. I don’t know how lonely and alone Abraham felt after losing his wife, but I believe he felt the ache of loneliness just as much as we do today.

You don’t have to believe in God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit to benefit from my thoughts on coping with loneliness after losing your husband. Just keep an open mind, and allow yourself to grow in a different direction. Listen to the still small voice that brought you here. Remember that new beginnings blossom from tiny seeds of life. This article is one of those seeds.

1. Expect grief to cost you

Genesis 23 describes how much Abraham’s grief cost him emotionally, spiritually, financially, socially, and personally. He engaged in cultural grieving practices, family traditions, and burial ceremonies. Not only did Abraham mourn — which means feeling or showing deep sorrow or regret after losing someone you love — he also openly wept. He felt and showed his deep sorrow by crying over his wife’s dead body and expressing his deep loss and loneliness. Abraham coped with the loss of his wife by openly mourning, weeping and burying Sarah. His grief was costly because he loved his wife dearly.

What is your grief costing you? Maybe you’re spending a great deal of time and energy mourning and weeping over your husband’s death. Maybe you’re facing financial problems, unmanageable or surprising household responsibilities, family difficulties or social isolation. Maybe you’re having trouble coping with loneliness after losing your husband because all your energy is spent on practical life matters. Part of surviving an empty house and lonely heart is paying the price of grief…and this means paying the price of love.

2. Re-establish your identity  

While reading Genesis 23, I realized that Abraham was much more than a grieving widower. Yes, he lost his wife and was coping with loneliness in his heart and home. But he was also described as a foreign resident, mighty prince, lord, fair and just purchaser of burial land, man of honor, and most importantly God’s chosen. Abraham wasn’t “just” a husband who lost his wife. He was multi-faceted, like a rough diamond. His life wasn’t wrapped up in his identity as a lonely man who lost his wife. I don’t know how he saw himself — or how his self-identity changed after Sarah died — but I do know that death changes us.

Who are you now, after the loss of your husband? You are more than a grieving widow, a sad woman forced into a new season of life. You are more than a woman living alone in a lonely land of mourning and loss. You are more than who your husband was and what he left behind. You have an identity and purpose, and it’s not all wrapped up in being the wife who lost her partner. A practical tip on how to cope with loneliness after you lose your husband is to re-establish your identity. Start letting go of who you were as a wife and who you are as a widow. Can you start coping with your lonely feelings by recreating yourself? Perhaps it’s time to become a child of God in a deeper, more meaningful way.

3. Honor your husband’s life and look ahead 

After mourning and weeping over his dead wife’s body, Abraham rose. He took care of the details of funeral planning, honoring Sarah’s life, and laying her body to rest. Abraham found and paid fair market price for a burial site for Sarah. When he died years later, his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him at the same place. Abraham honored his late wife and prepared a place for his own future burial.

How to Cope With Loneliness After You Lose Your Husband
Coping With Loneliness After Loss

How are you honoring your lost husband and looking ahead? I’m not talking specifically about funeral arrangements, cemetery plots, or cremation urns. I’m asking you how you are mourning and weeping over the husband you loved and lost. What are you doing to honor his memory, life and times? Maybe you need to change your home or job, routine or even the food you eat. Maybe you need to set specific times to honor and even talk to your husband. Tell him how you’re coping with loneliness and what you’re doing to remember him. Maybe you need to explore different tips on how to cope with being lonely and rethink what it really means to be happy alone when your relationship ends.

My prayer is that you allow your loneliness to move you into a healthier, more fruitful season of life. I pray for healing from the grief of losing your husband, for respite from the pain and sorrow of living alone after loss. I pray for the dark night of the soul to end, and for joy to come now! Not just in the morning, but in the endless depths of loneliness. I pray that your heart and spirit be revived even as you work through the loss of your husband, that you feel the presence of Jesus because you choose to turn to Him for strength and healing.

Your thoughts – big and little – are welcome below! 


Warmly,

Laurie

P.S. Are you struggling to make a decision or find the right path in your life? Read an Easy Way to Stop Overthinking God’s Will for Your Life.

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6 thoughts on “3 Ideas for Coping With Loneliness After Losing Your Husband”

  1. Thank you for asking about my shoulder, Antonella! Some days it hurts, other days it’s just stiff. I feel like an old lady, and finally understand the meaning of “youth is wasted on the young.” We should take good health, youthful optimism, and innocence for granted. And often we take our loved ones for granted, too…until we lose them. 🙁

    Christmas is in a week. I pray for a surprisingly peaceful, deep, and beautiful holiday for you and your family. May you find hope, healing and love in unexpected places and ways.

    With love,
    Laurie

  2. Laurie,
    This is actually the 2nd Christmas without him bc he passed away in November of last year.
    It seems surreal that I am saying ” last year”.
    Anyway, last year and a month after his passing, the Christmas period was only survival. We went through the motions. This year, however, it is REAL and sad for us. Sad for his future and what would be.
    We went to his family’s Christmas dinner and it saddened me so much bc his brothers are now grandparents! I watched them engaging in such loving moments with their grandchildren and I was so envious of them. my husband will never have that nor will I in sharing it with him.
    I know that these are earthly desires and wishes, but painful nonetheless.
    I think I am coping as best I can.
    I am praying and asking for God’s guidance. Your inspiration is also guiding me.
    Thank You.
    How Is your shoulder?
    Antonella

  3. Dear Peggy,
    Thank you for being here, and for sharing about your loss. You and your husband were married for such a long time, 34 wonderful years! And now you’re still adjusting to living without him. I imagine there are good days and bad days? I think the nights would be the hardest for me. It gets dark and lonely.
    You’re in my thoughts and prayers, especially now as the holiday season approaches.
    With love,
    Laurie

  4. Dear Antonella,
    Thank you for your honesty, and for sharing your thoughts here. It must be so hard, especially with the Christmas season coming up. Coping with loneliness, stress and grief after losing your husband is exhausting….especially when you have children and finances to take care of.
    Is this the first holiday season without him? I can’t imagine how hard it must be. How are you coping?
    With love and sympathy,
    Laurie

  5. Hello
    I lost my husband 3 years ago and the grief sometimes is overwhelming . We had the most
    Wonderful marriage for 34 years and I just feel broken beyond repair.. I miss him terribly and the great life we had together is gone forever.. It is very hard to move on without him.
    We had so many plans in growing old together..I like reading your newsletters they
    Are very inspiring! But nothing seems to help my broken heart..
    Be Well and Thank You
    Peggy

  6. I think I have lost my identity. My husband and I were together since high school. We pretty much grew together. With him gone, I m not sure how to redefine myself.
    I think the cost of grief for me has been confidence in myself. My world right now feels so foreign and I am trying to survive. How well? I don’t know. I feel empty inside and heartbroken.
    I am, however, trying to honour his memory by taking care of our family and to make certain that our financial situations are steady and cared for. I am trying but I am stressed doing so. I have taken on both parental roles and having boys, it proves difficult.
    I have had to balance my grief in order to care for my kids, it was getting out of control. But in so doing, I am emotionally exhausted, physically too.
    Hard price to pay. Unsure what will be next. I don’t like uncertainty.
    This has uprooted me, totally.
    You are so inspirational and kind.
    Thank you.
    Antonella