But now that the biggest tidal wave of the grief has passed, the slower waves are breaking. Sometimes I’ll go whole days without loneliness, if I work really hard at it. Then some days, I’ll dream of how things used to be, and it's right back to haunt me. Or when I'm alone and no one really knows where I am, and if I were to be eaten alive by feral cats in my parking lot, no one would know for a couple days... the lonely gets loud then, too.
The absurdity of that last scenario distracts from the underlying truth:
I can’t stand the lonely.
It’s suffocating. It makes me tense up and want to run. Where I would go, I have no clue. I guess that’s why I love reading so much: I can escape, however briefly, the lonely that lurks around.
We were not made to be alone. When I’m alone all I can see are the people around me who are not alone. (Jealousy is very close to loneliness. Second cousins maybe. I hate it, too.)
Perhaps the loneliness I feel, that we're all prone to feel at times, is the result of forgetting what's inside us. God's presence is with us always, even in the darkest of moments. If we truly believe and trust that God dwells within us, who are we to fear such a small thing as loneliness?
It's only loneliness. It's only pain. It's only suffering. It's really an opportunity to cling to God with all our might and remember that in the end, He is all that matters.
"Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and, beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity."
- Thomas Merton