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I read a lot about people who have a great support group of family and friends. But my wife was my best friend and my family is far away. So my support group is digital, either online or on the phone. My job is very quiet. I don’t see many people there and I go home to an empty house. I also live in a very rural area without many places to go. Does anyone have any suggestions about ways to meet people. I really would like some human interaction (not dating) but at my age I don’t know how to go about it.  I have tried “Meetup” and “Facebook Local”. But there is nothing close by. Everything is at least an hour away or late and I am still working.  I don’t want to end up being the lonely old guy who lives all alone. 

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Volunteering can be a great way to meet new people. It can also be a great way to find a new purpose in life.

Thanks allmyheart,

I have been getting out a little. I have one bereavement group that is just ending and another that is trying to get off the ground. I can’t say I am eating well. That is one of my problems along with trouble sleeping. I am 3 months out and am starting to have some ok days but still have bad ones. I try to take it one day at a time but it is still a lonely journey. 

I am in the same situation as you are but I don't work . It is hard to figure out how to go out alone. I don't like alone. Tony was my best friend and we did everything together. I am 5 months out and still lost. I don't want to be the lonely old lady with cats . 

I think many of us are in the same boat......I have signed up for a few Meetup groups, an hour drive each way, but I don't think I am ready yet. I had some old friends over for lunch last Saturday, and I was drained afterwards. I still work full time, so I am around people, but the close one-on-one was hard. I think I need more time. It's been 4 months for me, and I just feel like isolating. Not good, I know.  I am going to try and stay focused on getting the yard cleaned up today and tomorrow. Baby Steps. I have one Meetup coming on 4/26, and maybe I'll feel differently by then about socializing. Mike, it really is one day at a time. When the good days come, and there have been a few, I've learned to cherish them. I hate to cook now, even though I was a French trained chef in my earlier life, but with no one else to cook for, there is no joy in cooking now. I now  just have lunch at work, as I can't be bothered to cook myself dinner. Bayoured, I'm now the old lady with dogs!  I'll be 61 on the 25th of this month, but I feel like 100. And I look like it too- stress is a bugger.

Peace to all, and let's have a good weekend.

Steph

Shoosie,
There's nothing bad about taking time out to convalesce. It doesn't lead to life as a hermit or agoraphobia - its doing what is best for you. Forced socializing is like running w/a broken leg. If you notice the advice tips for coping w/grief are not followed up w/an explanation for its supposed benefit - its all left to self interpretation & experimentation. As it is, the benefit you're suppose to be getting from socializing already exist - you have human contact as well as the ability to cope in a work environment - you're not isolated from the world like an involuntary shut-in. Its about giving attention to your mental & physical health needs - in a space you feel safe & comfortable in. It should be a priority for everyone ...
I still had to go out grocery shopping, etc, etc, but after 2 years of nursing myself in the quasi-solitude of my own home w/kids, I had a sudden rush to run out & do everything - I couldn't be held down. I was forever telling the kids, "Let's go!" - which was more like a demand than a request. That wild hair finally began to taper down after 4 years when I felt confident to pursue a life long interest ...
Recently I read a post by a widow who wrote she is exhausted from years of socializing & working to occupy herself starting from the get go. Everyone copes w/grief differently, however, its best not to ignore signals your mind & body give you ...
Blessings ...

Isn't a quiet house the worst?? I'm one year widowed and certainly commiserate. Just starting to come out of my cocoon and venture toward human interaction. My best advice is--find something you really love to do, or even LIKE to do or have always wanted to do and jump in.  Are there any community colleges near you? An hour isn't ideal but some courses are weekend or early evening. . .maybe you can flex your work schedule.  When you find a class--or two--sign up. Volleyball, creative writing, arc welding, conversational Mandarin. . .just GO. Senior centers are good.  I've been meaning to head to a the drop-in bridge group at the senior center near me and now that I've jumped into this email to you...I'm gonna DO IT on Monday morning.  

Now, I'm not a religious person, but if you are, that's an activity that will always open it's gates to a newcomer.  

And how about volunteer work?  This is a three point winner.  You're helping other people, it'll make you feel good, and you'll be meeting other people who are also volunteering.  There are so many needs out there---helping at a food bank, mentoring a young person, cleaning up parks. . .

And finally. . .do you have a dog?  Do you LIKE dogs?  They really do help eradicate the bottomless quiet-house syndrome.  

Well, that wasn't final.  Tonight I met a new friend because I accepted a casual invitation to a family dinner.  When we were sharing stories she looked at me and asked. . .do you journal?  The story you just told about meeting your husband shouldn't be lost--especially not to you.  Write it down for yourself.  

How right she is.  But the hidden message in that last paragraph is SAY YES when you receive invitations.  You'll never know where it will lead.  I made a friend and she made a suggestion that I needed to hear.

Best of luck with your evolution.  I lost the person who was my best friend for 42 years and believe me, every day is just as difficult to navigate as the day before. This may sound strange...but...do you have conversations with your wife?  What would she tell you to do?  Wives LOVE to be asked for advice...seriously, if you throw the question her way you'll "hear" her answer. 

Deidre

I am a 58 year old recently widowed accountant with a 19 year old son. The lady who just posted has some good ideas. It is very tough out there. We have little family, are quiet people and I work out of my home. For me, I am fortunate enough to have gotten a good pension from his sudden loss so I am trying to meet others through interests in religion and languages. I got involved in a French school which also teaches other languages. One of the fellow particpants has invited me to do a few things. She is a retired professional who never married. Good luck to all. It is very hard.

Mike - 

meeting with others in grief can help, but it sounds like Besides  that you are looking for ways to meet new people in general. 

I think someone mentioned church, so that's worth checking into, every small town has a church or two.

 And volunteering sounds like a great idea, as others mentioned. 

Do you have a local library? Sometimes they put on different programs for adults.

 Another thing, this may be hard depending on your personality: just look for people to connect with in your normal daily errands, like the grocery store or Walmart or whatever.   It is nice to find people that you can grab breakfast or lunch with  From time to time. 

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