Loneliness is a temporary feeling. It’s what you feel when your roommate leaves you alone in the apartment for a week on her family vacation. It’s what you feel when the boy you’ve been sharing a bed with for the past three months unexpectedly changes his mind and begins to sleep in someone else’s. It’s what you feel when you pass that couple on the sidewalk holding hands and you hold a cup of coffee in yours.
Loneliness comes in waves. One moment you feel fine, and the solitude brings you peace. The next moment the quiet hurts your ears, and you can’t do anything about it.
The weird thing about loneliness is that you don’t necessarily have to be alone to feel alone. Someone could be sitting right next to you, talking to you, looking at you, saying things you normally would love to hear, but you still feel like no one is there.
Emptiness is completely different. Emptiness is what remains when loneliness recedes. Emptiness stays.
Emptiness does not come and go in waves; it is static. You don’t feel emptiness, you know it. You know that something is missing, but you don’t know what, until that vacant space is filled.
Emptiness doesn’t return like loneliness does. Once you fill the hole that emptiness digs, it doesn’t appear again.
Emptiness is what you feel when you’re missing a connection. Loneliness is what you feel when a connection is lost.