For a person who has lost a lifelong partner, the world can suddenly seem to be a lonely place. All the plans they had as a couple are gone, and the remaining partner will find they might not enjoy the same activities without their loved one. Friends and family will encourage them to find and form a new relationship, but it is not always possible for them to find the courage to go through that again. For them, it is more about making new friends who will help them fill their lonely hours.
Friends are often met during childhood, and good friends will be there for a lifetime. They are the ones who come in the middle of the night when a person is ill, they show up with cake when a promotion has fallen through, and they even help pack when a friend moves to a foreign country. They are the stable people in a person’s life when family is not available, and they are the people who are chosen as family instead of just being there due to biology.
While they are an important part of life, friends can often be associated with a deceased partner. Going to activities with them might be too difficult if they are a reminder of a loved one gone, so making new friends can be a way to help bridge the emotional gap. A new friend will not replace one who has been there for years, and they can become integrated into the group. Their presence can give new life to a person dealing with the passing of a spouse, and it can help their friends navigate the needs of a loved one.
New friends are generally welcome in any life, but they are even more important when a loved one is suddenly gone. They can help bring a breath of fresh air into a life that has been stale for a long time, and they can help old friends feel valued during the difficult changes life brings.