Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.
A divorced woman turns over into a new decade on her birthday, remembering the good times with her ex-husband, whom she knew since childhood. A widow finds herself feeling alone in the company of new friends, mourning the loss of her childhood sweetheart with whom she spent most of her life. A couple enjoys their new grandchild without the baby's uncle, their son who passed away years before his brother became a father. A father enjoys an amusement park with his new wife with flashes in his mind of times with his long- estranged daughter, as he watches the children.Someone misses his deceased buddies, who knew him as a playful kid, like no one else since.
Plenty of people have had a long life with someone in it, a witness to their experience. Now, they don't have that life, even if their personality, appearance and lifestyle hasn't changed drastically. Maybe it has changed a lot, too. Either way, there's a feeling that the old life is over and the new life is all there is. Even if it's a good life, there's a hole in the heart, an emptimess, a constant sense of loss.
It helps to share this aspect of the self with someone who understands, perhaps an old friend, a professional, or readers.