Annette Nay, PhD

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Lonely and in Limbo
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright © 1999

Dear Annette,

Two years ago my husband, who has been excommunicated, left to go live with a wealthy widow who is several years older. We have been sealed in the temple, have six daughters, one son living, one who died as a baby.

All are grown, my youngest daughter, 20, will be leaving in a few days, my son, 26, is still at home, working and taking college classes and waiting to be married in a few months.

My problem: because I am still married but live alone, I don't really fit in anywhere. I am trying to make a good life but it is rather difficult and quite lonely. I need to stay married in order to keep the health insurance that is from my husband's work retirement, at least until I am 65 and can get Medicare. I am just past 63 now.

I know I can keep on as I am but I wish there were some things I could learn about controlling the loneliness. I am serving as a Stake missionary and this brings a great deal of joy to my life, as do all the other good things available to do, BUT, there are still the long evenings. I read a lot, keep up with e-mailings, but my mind and body crave companionship. Please, do you have any suggestions?

Lonely and in Limbo Dear In Limbo


Dear Lonely,

First Suggestion

There is one sure fire way to eliminate loneliness and that is to invite the Lord to walk with you through your day. This is done through open-ended prayer. It is well worth the effort! The Lord has told us to "Pray always..." Start the day with prayer, discussing together what needs to be done today and how. Then continue talking to Him as you go through your day. Talk to Him and treat Him as if He were your best friend. Share confidences, go on walks together, share the sunrise and sunset. I enjoy cloud watching and cooking with the Lord. He is extremely good at both. Today He helped me with my daughter's make-up that needed to be just right for her Senior pictures. He’s good at that too. If you need a close good friend, one that is always there, one who knows all the answers, one who loves you very much and would love spending one-on-one time with you daily, then talk to the Lord. He is awesome.

Before retiring in the evening, critique how the day has gone. Figure out together what could have gone better. Talk together about what needs to be done for tomorrow. Above all remember to say thank you. He loves to know that He is appreciated.

When you have the Lord with you constantly, you’re not alone! If you do none of the other things this article suggests for you to do, do this one! It will be well worth your while, I promise!

Second Suggestion

There must be thousands of individuals that are craving companionship just as you are. Many have been abandoned by families in old folks homes or their families can't get to see them too often there. They are all starving for someone to talk to and to have someone to care about them. This is a good place to start.

Third Suggestion

You can fill your spare lonely nights with any of the following activities:

  • College Classes
  • Community Activities
  • LDS Institute Classes
  • Community Volunteer Work
  • Community Classes to develop new hobbies such as stained glass, piano lessons, art, even auto mechanics.
  • Do your genealogy. Seek out your heritage, and then do the temple work for your dead.
  • See your bishop about being a temple worker.
  • Put yourself on a full-time mission. If you don't have the funds to do so, the funds can be made available through the church.


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