This description sounds like James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon)'s 1981 novella "With Delicate Mad Hands", although lacking some major details. The protagonist of the story is a young, unattractive orphan who is "an expert at being unloved". Since childhood she has heard a "Voice" that she believes comes from space, telling her to "Come".
She works hard to become certified to work in space, but the only way that she can become an astronaut is as a menial servant and sex object for otherwise all-male crews ("We know the men do better with a female along, not only for physiological needs but for a low-status noncompetitive servant and rudimentary mother figure.").
She is never allowed to travel solo—she
kills the crew of the ship and hijacks it.
The Voice guides her to a highly radioactive planet where she crash lands. Aliens approach the ship in greeting and after some pantomimed communication she realizes that they are telepathic. These aliens leave and after some time another alien comes who she eventually recognizes as the Voice:
Could this be—was she at last looking at the one who—was it this alien being who had "spoken" to her all her life? Was this her Voice?
and realizes that
She had never been alone.
She, Carol-Page-Snotface-etcetera was the Beloved ... and always had been.
As this rosy fur-clad soft-eared glowing-eyed one was of course hers, though she had never used the word. Her lifelong love.
The air in her ship finally runs out and so she leaves the ship to be with the alien, and does in fact die in his arms. (The aliens are genderless but "she took to thinking of the alien as 'he,' meaning no more by it than that 'it' was insupportable and 'she' or 'sister' was not quite appropriate in a human sense".)