Solitude vs. Loneliness





the state of being or living alone; seclusion:

to enjoy one’s solitude.


remoteness from habitations, as of a place; absence of human activity:

the solitude of the mountains.


a lonely, unfrequented place:

a solitude in the mountains.


From <>




adjective, lonelier, loneliest.


affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome.


destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, support, etc.:

a lonely exile.


lone; solitary; without company; companionless.


remote from places of human habitation; desolate; unfrequented; bleak:

a lonely road.


standing apart; isolated:

a lonely tower.


It is said that time heals…the pain lessens. Today is 326 days since I’ve started this journey of grief and widowhood. The pain has not lessened. The emptiness remains. I have a few companions that have been a part of this journey for quite sometime now, though the role of one has changed considerably over the last 326 days………

Solitude and Loneliness

2 words which when one reads their meanings via the dictionary, are very close relatives in their meanings….

To me, whenever I utter the word Solitude, it brings about feelings of peace, of calmness. I’ve always needed my solitude, craved it and was/is selfish in my need for it. I still need it. Even in this new life of mine, I need my solitude. My Soul Strolls through the parks of my new ‘home’ town, as busy as they are, I can still find places to ‘hide’ amongst the trees. The solitude I experience and am blessed with in my own backyard helps me heal the parts of me that are still broken………..

Loneliness is a whole different feeling. I know what it’s like to be a child, shunned and pushed aside. Forgotten and passed over. As an adult, I know what loneliness feels like to live in a house with ones family, and in the midst of raising that family, feel and be very much alone. The loneliness I’m living and experiencing now is the most painful I’ve had to live with. I’ve said in the past that I am comfortable in my aloneness and have found that I was kidding myself with that. I was comfortable with it because of Jim. It was easy to speak and believe those words as I lived my days as a WE, an US.

Now, as I go about my days, solitude helps me heal, but as the day turns into early evening; dusk, as the light begins to fade, as the minutes tick away, and darkness descends, it brings loneliness along. Its there in the shadows, inevitably, it takes hold of my soul and squeezes tight. Loneliness has become my companion. Where it used to be conversation and laughter, or comfortable silence between us, my truth is, I am no longer us. I am me, and as the sun sets, I am alone.

While solitude is a welcomed companion, loneliness is an unwanted one. Yet every evening, it comes calling. I try hard to slam the door on it, to not let it in, yet it finds a way. I do my best to ignore its presence, fixating my attention on a program or book. But it insists on my attention, finding ways of distracting me, pulling me in to its clutches. Oh there are nights I beat it back, beat it back good, but the fact remains, no matter how busy I keep myself in the light of day, I can’t always outrun and hide from it when the sun sets…………so when I’m in its clutches, I allow myself to live it and feel it, I succumb to it and let it have its way. I have found that by doing so, its need for me lessens, at least for a little while………….


19 thoughts on “Solitude vs. Loneliness

  1. I’m so glad to see you writing and reflecting again. And SO many people will identify with what you’ve said. It was very poignant and sensitive. (Btw, what in the world is the green plant you’re standing under???)

    • Thanks C…I’m still not quite ‘there’ yet to really sit and write but I’m thrilled when something pops up in this head of mine that seems worth writing!!!

      As for the plant…I’m not really sure. I actually posted in the Wake Forest site in FB asking for help in identifying it…the consensus was a ‘princess tree’ aka Paulownia tree?? Not quite sure if that’s what it is or not..but it’s cool…

  2. I understand this completely. I love my solitude as well, and it’s an innate need for me. Loneliness is far different. My heart breaks for you. I hope you’re doing well otherwise. Just know you’re not alone in spirit, at least. I’m certain Jim is constantly there. 😊

    • Thanks SOB! I am doing ok now…I spent some time in a dark pit of my own making..the feeling sorry for myself, can’t live without Jim, I wanna die kinda pit…….met a few Angels that really helped me climb out of it… for Jim, I know he’s with me and believe me knowing and feeling that helped me climb out as well…

  3. You know that the both of us like solitude, we can find peace we can see beauty in things around us. I am am loner always will be, loneliness well what can I say Linda when David died I had the Boys I had the two bitches in my house (one still here) was I lonely, its hard to describe I missed my Husband dreadfully, the truth, had I not had the Boys I would not be here now, I certainly did not want to continue life. But, I had two young Sons we had to try and live in such tension, avoiding the arguments caused by others, the terrible stress, so did I feel lonely only when I was totally alone and then I could cry into pillows wish I did not have to go on but I did and despite it all I am still a loner I like solitude “its my home”. I can’t fully know the extreme loneliness you are going through, no one can, I can try to understand but I am not you. People say words, I know I had them but unless you have been in that position you can never understand. The truth poppet, i go on I exist because I have my Sons, I love them they love me take great care of me when they should be living their own life. I never feel lonely, 23 years this Christmas David died, long time, you do accept it, you never forget yet there is always that hole in your heart that ache that never goes away. As for people they are scared of death they don’t want to be reminded of it, and unfortunately, we have lost husbands, we remind them.

    Poppet, I know this will probably sound odd to you, but just like I told you your beloved is just beyond that door, he sees you he hears you he loves you. Linda when you are feeling lonely, put your arms out poppet and believe I am hugging you, I know its a long way across the Sea but I shall ALWAYS be here for whenever you need me, feel my arms and tears right now for you. God Bless poppet, all my love.

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