Loneliness and grief
When you hear someone say, “(s)he died from heartbreak”, it’s not far from the truth.
According to research conducted on 4,000 people, “a man whose wife has just died had a 25% higher chance of dying in the next 12 years than those men who wife hadn’t died.”
The loss of a loved one can cause a real feeling of a hole within the heart. That feeling is real, and it’s not that we’ve just lost a person being around that causes that feeling, it’s that we have lost a dear connection that resonated deep within our being.
Someone who, in the case of the research, would have shared a life intimately together, shared stories, troubles and moments of joy. When a connection like that is withdrawn, it’s hard to replace. Sometimes it’s irreplaceable.
From there, it’s easy for things to spiral. This grief can cause people to retreat even further inward, it can cause a lack of confidence to go out and meet others, and a feeling of despair that they don’t have someone to share problems or happiness with like they did before.
But though the death of a loved one can have a devastating effect, there are things out there that help.
There are some great charities out there doing great work for those experiencing loneliness. The Bereavement Support charity Cruse are superb at providing support for those grieving. They have a free helpline (0808 808 1677) that are open throughout the week to call and they also have a livechat on their website.
For older people, there is Silver Line who operate a fantastic confidential free helpline 24/7 (0800 470 8090) where those feeling lonely can chat to an operator any time they’re feeling low or down, to share problems, laughs or thoughts.
There is also Meetup which is a great rendezvous which helps people to build real connections, make friends, explore interests or find support across the UK.
Aside from the charities and organisations out there doing great work, there is a lot we can do for ourselves too. Though in times of loneliness we can often crave compassion, research conducted by Stony Brook University and the University of Michigan also shows that expressing compassion and helping others has a tremendous effect on our own mental and physical well being, and makes us feel more connected to others and to society.
In the spirit of this knowledge, the Bereavement Support charity Cruse also offering volunteering positions for those passionate about improving the lives of bereaved people.
This positive outlook, compassion and altruism can have a deep effect. It can uplift our mind and spirit, and create a feeling of love and warmth towards others that will help us to navigate through the lows and coldness of loneliness.
As the Dalai Lama said, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
Words that can be not only be applied to the way we treat others, but also to ourselves.
Cruse (Call: 0808 808 1677) - Free helpline supporting those suffering with bereavement or loss support charity
Silver Line (Call: 0800 470 8090) - Free 24/7 helpline for older people struggling with loneliness, sadness or lowness
Samaritans (Call: 116 123) - Free 24/7 support for anyone needing any kind of emotional support
Meetup - Rendezvous to help build connections, friends, explore interests and find support
Compassion meditation - A 30 minute meditation to strengthen feelings of loving kindness and compassion
Cruse volunteering - Volunteering opportunities to help those suffering with loss and bereavement
We have the knowledge and experience to help and support you through a difficult time. We can provide a wide range of information on the grieving process and bereavement. Contact us for more.