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Betty Lou

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Lost and alone

Betty Lou


I'm feeling completely overwhelmed right now.  I have no immediate family after losing my brother suddenly last year, and my parents several years before that.  I have a niece who lives in another state and she's my closest relative.  I vacillate between feeling like I have many things to be thankful for and feeling like I'm the only person on the planet who has no family.  And truthfully, I don't know anyone else, personally at least, who has no immediate family.  The enormity of it hits me at times and I think, "holy ****, I have no family!"  I have dear friends and they sustain me, remind me of what is real, but it's not quite the same as having the unconditional love of family.  It feels like there is nowhere I can relax and breathe and be totally accepted for who I am.  Put my feet up on the couch and not worry about being judged.  I feel slightly freakish, and I know some of my friends feel sorry for me and responsible for making sure I have company on holidays.  I have a friend who is estranged from her five siblings and she remarked that she wasn't sure which was worse, having no siblings or having siblings who were hurtful and selfish.  I wanted to say, "get back to me when they're all dead and we can discuss."  I didn't say that, of course.  People do say insensitive things, especially at funerals.  Two friends who attended my brother's funeral made the observation "you're an orphan."  The thought obviously occurred to them and they blurted it out, maybe because they couldn't think of anything else to say.

There is an odd feeling when a vacuum exists and the emptiness is blinding.  I feel like I'm in a riptide and when I come up for air, I get pulled right back under.  I believe mental health professionals call my condition 'complicated grief.'  I can think of other adjectives to describe the grief, but I agree wholeheartedly that's it's complicated.   I try to comfort myself, sometimes with healthy actions and sometimes not so healthy.  I try not to be so hard on myself, and some days I'm mostly successful, others not.   Social media is rubbing salt on the wounds and I try to keep off Facebook.  The posts with families, which are the majority among FB friends, remind me that I have none.  I see families every time I'm out somewhere, and I feel the gut punch of loss.  Every. Single. Time.

There is good in this world and I have things to contribute.  I am not considering leaving it anytime soon, but there are days when I feel like I might not be so careful to watch for traffic when I cross the street.  Not today, though.  I feel better right now, just sharing what's in my heart and on my mind.  


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I understand. I just lost my husband exactly 2 months ago. He died on July 8th not fromCovid  but he had a complicated heart condition that started 6 years ago. He was the love of my life, my angel on earth. 
We found out he had a very weak heart on July 4th 2014, on his 59th birthday. Yes his birthday was July 4th. And on July 4th 2020, because of his weak heart he had a massive stroke and that was the last day he was present.

Almost exactly 6 years later , he passed away. Even with a weak heart for six years he was the best husband. Nobody knew unless you knew , He was active, happy and always giving is all. 
Now he is gone and like you I am lost and sad and angry and absolutely lonely. I don’t know how to deal with the raw pain in my soul and what to do with myself.
It always hit hard at night when I’m done all these zoom meetings with clients. I got of my office and here I am alone without him sitting on the sofa asking me what I want for supper?

Everybody tells me it will get better but I don’t see it . I just know the pain. 


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Betty Lou


Thank you for your response.  I was moved by your description of your husband and I'm so sorry for your loss.  The rawness of the pain comes and goes for me, but I can imagine it would be more present when it's a spouse and someone you've lived with for so long.  Plus, two months is recent. 

I think having had family who were loving and supportive makes the pain harder - but, I also feel a deep gratitude that I had it, if that makes sense.  I know so many people who had difficult childhoods or hurtful family members, whether it was parents, siblings or a spouse.  So I know how fortunate I've been to have the opposite and to know that I was loved unconditionally.  

I spent a lot of years numbing out, especially after my father died since he was the first person to pass away, so I didn't  really cry or feel the grief.  Now when I let myself cry, I feel like my grieving somehow honors his memory.  Same with my mom and brother.  That makes the pain feel worthwhile somehow, and natural.  

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Thank you Betty for your post. I just joined this platform few minutes ago.  Although I'm lucky to still have my siblings but I can relate to your post having lost both parents.  I grew up not knowing my father. I was told he was involved in a car accident and died a month before my third birthday.  So my mom raised my siblings and I alone. She worked more than 12 hours daily just to provide for us (I'm from a developing country with little government support). In 2011, I left my country to study abroad. I always  look forward to graduating  and going back home to visit my mom and siblings. Then on a particular  day in 2016,I got the most devastating  call ever. Mom has  passed!!  Just like that.....It was stroke and she went into coma two days before. My siblings were hesitant to tell me because I was far away from home and they didn't  want me to start worrying.

I was at a place in my life that I didn't  have the money to travel to another continent  to attend the funeral. I just completed my  undergraduate program and was applying for jobs so that I can save some money then travel home to visit. So I couldn't  make it for the funeral and never had the chance to say good bye (not even over the phone).

My life hasn't  been the same since that day. I feel so lonely, easily irritated and experience episodes of sadness.  Although I have loving friends and siblings(all in another continent), I feel so alone in this world. 

My mood swing is so terrible that I'm struggling to keep a relationship. I feel so hurt and broken. 

Thought it will get better each passing day but it's  almost 4 years and sometime  I just want to stay in my room and cry. 



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Thank you for the comments. I am not sure what they say and how to react to so much pain. My heart wants to reach out to both of you and tell you it will be ok.You will be ok.
I know it seems milked a mountain impossible to climb but I do believe we will find our way within this pain.

i believe that the pain changes and becomes part of whom we are and we try to live, laugh, love within that pain. To me that gives me hope. 
Every day I think about my husband and feel so sad that he is not here anymore to share his energy with us. I wonder why him.I wonder did he know before that he was dying? When he had his stroke I was there and I was the last person he saw and looked  at. I feel so lucky I had that last moment that he was present on this earth it was with me. He told with his eyes . He couldn’t  talk anymore how much he loved me . He told me how scared he was and he told me he was sad to be living me so muck quicker than he thought he would.

So I always search for the beauty and the love in the sadness of it all. I wish the same to rhe both of you.

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