I know I’m not the only widowed person who feels this way. I think pretty much all the ones I know have desired to isolate themselves in their houses. For example, Gina told me she stopped going to parties. She said she didn’t want to listen to people’s “stupid, happy lives” and listen to them complain about their biggest concerns, which were whether their children’s sports teams made the playoff. I agree; when your spouse dies, hearing people’s problems seems so trivial. Like her, I rarely felt like listening to people and found it easier just to isolate myself and be alone.
A year and a half after her husband passed away, Gina went to dinner with friends from out of town. They asked if she had started to date yet. She told them it took a ton of energy for her to even get herself out to dinner with them. Yes, staying isolated in the house is much easier!
Queen Victoria secluded herself for many years after Prince Albert died in 1861. In October 1863, almost two years after he died, she made her first public appearance to unveil a statue of Albert in Scotland. She didn’t appear publicly in London until 1864, and she didn’t personally open Parliament until the 1866 session. She pretty much didn’t come out of seclusion until 1872.
My widow friend Jessica told me that winter feels easier because she can hibernate in the house and not have to see happy couples and intact families. When spring and summer roll around, that becomes more difficult. Tara told me it’s easier just to stay home, and I know she pretty much only leaves her house to run errands or to do activities with her children. She has avoided most social engagements. Yet another friend, Dakota, told me even after two and a half years, she often has to force herself to visit family and friends. Their lives are the same or better than when her husband died, so she doesn’t want to be around them.
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