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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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Is there a local gathering place in your area?  A coffee shop or restaurant or even the grocery store where you could put up a flyer suggesting a monthly meet someplace? Just pick a date, time and place and be there. Just give it an hour. Take a book or whatever to occupy yourself if no one shows up. But someone may. Or someone who just happens to be in the shop, restaurant or store may be widowed ... or know someone who is widowed.   It's what I recommend to our Soaring Spirits regional group leaders who are just getting started and trying to find others in their area. Outreach is hard. You know there are other widowed people out there but finding them - or them finding you - is not easy.

There is no local gathering place that I’m aware of. I was also hoping to get out more than once a month. Maybe that’s too ambitious but being alone every night ishard. I will keep it in mind though. Maybe I could try posting something in the library. 

Thanks!

I'm in the same boat Mark was my best friend, I'm in a rural area, and I have no family but my son.  I can't even find a widow/widower support group in my area.  I'm too young to retire but too old to start over. I looking forward to seeing the suggestions posted in this thread.  I do things by my self, pottery and art classes.  I am thinking about taking a college or adult education course just to get out of the house.

I am glad your son is home. My in-laws are around but it’s not the same. Classes sound like another good idea. I may look into that. 

I remember quickly searching online for "grief support" in my community.

Is there a hospice house near you? My husband wasn't in hospice; he died suddenly in the hospital. But what I found in calling them to see if they would like me to donate, walkers, crutches, shower chairs, they offer a bereavement program. From that they also have walking groups, luncheon groups, dinner groups, etc. 99% are widows/widowers.

Additionally, have you called the funeral home? I was not aware for a couple of months after Aug last year; they too offer group programs. I attend their monthly luncheon - all widows, widowers.

While my church doesn't offer anything (just 125 members), a larger Catholic church about 30 minutes has a monthly coffee meeting. Again, all widows/widowers.

You've got this Mike. And, with this community, you'll soon have some ideas. Just give it some asking around and time.

Is there a gym or YMCA in the area? The closest to me is 20 miles away, but I go a few times a week. It keeps me from an empty house and around people.  After a few weeks you get to know the regulars.

Not sure it is ever easy to expand your personal network after a major change.  I only have 3 months experience and I am not doing well yet.  I would definitely consider the suggestion others have shared of looking at adult education classes, it is a good way to interact with other people.  You might also look at things like bowling league or maybe events taking place at churches and the like.  A church near me does BINGO night and as far as I can tell, they don't ask for your Catholic card at the door.  My wife was the one who would expand our network in the past.  I would just tag along as we visited her friends from work or elsewhere.  I never really went out of my way to grow my own network of people.  One thing I can say is that you will have to initiate some interactions with some people and invest in making a new relationship.  

I'm not sure how to write a reply and then send it!

Well, looks like it finally worked!

I lost my husband 6 months ago, physically; lost him several years ago from Alzheimers. I know what you're going through. But I'm on the other half. Most of the people in the grief groups are women. Most of the people at the senior center are women. I've made quite a few friends there but I wish there were some men in the groups so there would be more interesting topics of discussion and people who are interested in things other than feminine.I'd like to go to a rodeo. Car shows are fun. I wouldn't even mind sitting near a mountain stream while people were fishing.  I'm not looking for romance;  had the best for over 40 years. But...everything we did, my husband and I did together. And he was kind of a loner, so we don't have a large circle of friends. And, of course, following the death of a spouse, friends kind of drift away sometimes.

I can see where MidnightBear is coming from too. I've done the bereavement group at hospice and found I do better with an individual grief counselor (who comes over once a month). Not interested in churches.

Ah well, spring is coming. Maybe we'll all feel better when the sun makes a regular appearance, things start to green up and grow, and we can finally stop shoveling snow!

I don't have any advice, Mike, sorry, I can only let you know for what it's worth that you're not alone in this. I also have no support group, no family to speak of and like you my husband was my best friend. I've become one of those sad people who gets up and has to immediately turn the TV on just to hear human voices. I'm sure there are people around in the same boat we just have to find a way to connect. I remember a psychologist acquaintance of mine telling me that he arranged his appointments in such a way that patients would meet others in the waiting room and be able to strike up a conversation, he said that 90% of most of his patients' problems was lonliness. If I can come up with any ideas I'll certainly share them.

I am in the same position. Tony was indeed my best friend. We did everything together. I am not one of those people who is comfortable being alone. I like having someone to share things with. I don't know where to start to make these connections or even if I am totally ready. I wish you luck

I am in the same position. Mel was my best friend. He died before tax season. I work for myself and live in a rural area. I work out of my home. I am involved in some churches and with a French school an hour away. Trying to get more involved with them.

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