There is such a huge void from the lack of physical contact with a partner. Sex is a part of that, but only a part. It is more missing the actual presence of someone in the same space, be it the home, the car or the bed.
I'm a very touchy/feely person and miss the opportunities to reach out and take my partner's hand or give a hug. At work, I often hold the residents hands or give them a caress of the shoulder. I take care when washing the residents hair - one man told me how nice it felt to have his scalp massaged and he was grateful.
I bring this up because it is yet another loss and one that seems to be overlooked. It is not only the emotional loneliness but the physical loneliness and lack of personal contact.
I'm not sure there is much anyone can do about this but endure it. My sons are tolerant of my hugs and pats but they are the result of my reaching out to them. If I didn't hug them, I wouldn't be getting any physical contact. I suppose this may be a reason people eventually get back out there and start dating again. I know for me, I've about reached my limit on the lonely life.
I don't know who will ever read this post or when. I do know I have a need to put these words out there in the belief that they may reach someone who will need to see them. I mainly want to increase the perception of what widowhood is like for those who don't know it. Imagine going home night after night to an empty house and sleeping in a bed alone for years! I am surprised I haven't jumped off a bridge yet in frustration! It is another aspect of a challenging life.
Sex is a great way to release tension. It is also a way to connect with others and to feel loved, desired, cared for and wanted. And it can be an energizer. Funny, how those of us most in need of these things are the most lacking.
I hope more than anything that these posts have reached or will reach people with the message that losing a spouse is so much more than what meets the eye. There are so many layers to the loss - so many intricacies to the widowhood life. I hope people will look beyond what they see to the insides of the grieving - their emotions, hearts and souls.
Right before I started dating my second husband, I started checking out the few single men I knew of, including the kind of creepy middle-aged guy who bagged my purchases at the grocery store! I can look back on that and laugh - but it isn't really all that funny either!