It’s Singles Awareness Day and once again the National Day of Calendar has surprised me. I expected a discourse on loneliness, but the write-up pointed out there are quite a few benefits to being unattached. Singles can come and go as they please with no regard to a partner’s schedule, wants or needs.  Career opportunity?  A single doesn’t need to consult a spouse before accepting an offer or deciding to move.  It’s also easier for a single to keep up healthy habits. There isn’t anyone to sabotage their efforts to work out and eat right.  Singles also tend to be more self-reliant.

I like to have the positive pointed out. It makes me feel good inside and out. I have been on both sides of this coin and could tell you stories all day about my feelings at the different times, but I would probably lose your interest quickly, so, let’s think about a specific type of single.

I am now in the age group that my families, our friends, and the neighbors are finding themselves in the widow and widower category. Single by the passing of time. I think death, even though being a natural part of living, is the cruelest part of life. The other day, a close friend was over. She lost her husband to pancreatic cancer two and a half years ago. She made the comment, “I am lost.” She still has the same job, the same house, her daughter and family are close-by, but without her husband to share the path of life with, she feels lost. I knew him well and miss him too.

When I was working in retail, a large portion of our customers were in the retired group. We would hear of someone losing their spouse so I would give them a little more TLC when they came in. I often heard the remark, “I’m single now, our married friends don’t include me anymore because it’s hard to have an extra person when playing cards or at the dinner table.” How sad is that? I’m sorry that it is a reality.

If I might suggest, when you see someone you know is single, and doesn’t want to be, smile at them and speak. You don’t have to ask how they are, just acknowledge them with some attention. It could be the bright spot in their day. Sometimes all a single needs is someone to be aware.