Okay so back to Maslow's hierarchy,
The need for love and belonging is pretty basic. My first difficulty post loss was safety-I guess I was too shell shocked to understand how many needs were going to be absent. I likened the loss to having a serious illness-I felt sick and unnerved and that the world beneath me was so unstable-it was difficult to put one foot in front of the other.
Some days are still like that. And it is not just about the loss of a person-it is about the loss of a life that is familiar and comforting even if at times it is not the life we ideally wanted. And yes, at 3.5 years I am doing pretty well-but compared to what, and in what context? I am not sure what "doing well" means. I can cope day to day-again not always being as productive as I expect myself to be. But the loss prevails-it always comes back to the loss and the past life that was built on fulfilling needs that were identified long ago.
As I have written before, I grew up with certain unmet needs. I felt that I did not belong anywhere. I was not well positioned in my family-I was sloppy and stupid compared with my sister and mom. Love was rather elusive-and I struggled with feeling that I was not loved unconditionally by anyone. Fast forward to adolescence and I was attracted to the physical aspects of love-because it looked like the "real thing". But disappointment again ensued. This all led to my meeting with Bruce and the love that sustained me for 34 years. I finally had the love and belonging needs met. I had a family and was part of something that I created.
Okay-so when Bruce died the rug was pulled out from under me. First-I did not have the connection with my family the way I once did. My children were out on their own-finding their own way of having love and belonging needs met. I was alone, very much alone after becoming accustomed to being touched, and hugged, kissed and sometimes prodded by a man who hungered for human touch 24/7. While it took awhile for me to become used to being accosted at every turn (initially he would engage me in public displays of affection and sometimes would pinch my bottom in front of company) - once he died and there was no one there - I grieved for this too.
Now I have been reawakened to this need - I long to be touched and loved. I want to belong as part of a two some. AND I HATE THIS NEEDINESS but am not sure what to do with it.......