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November 9, 2010

Old Age Loneliness

Loneliness is not a simple fact of being alone. It's an emptiness, a solitude, insecurity and fear of everything.  Recently I was to experience this feeling for a short span of period when my hubby and son are away. That's the time, I thought of older people who lives alone. How they cope up with their health, daily shopping for the necessary things, recommended walking - all these things with their restricted  movements due to their old age. 


Most important of it all is their security during night. Now they can't live securely in daytime also. Some people have their houses built in remote areas, where they can afford. Night scares very much. A little sound makes us awake all night causing a depressed and irritated day. People have dogs fear the most, while their pets bark at night. I can't guess the situation.  Don't think of the NIGHT, when the EVENING comes.   

 I know the night is not the same as the day: that all things are different, that the things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist, and the night can be a dreadful time for lonely people once their loneliness has started.
Ernest Hemingway, "A Farewell To Arms" 

If you are alone, develop some hobby like...craft works, paintings, crochet, embroidery. Take classes for the children in your neighborhood. Creativeness and innovative thoughts make you mentally strong, not to fear for simple things. Working all day makes you sleep well in the night. 


Be social. If you are not sighted outside in the morning, someone will knock and ask for you.  (We can notice some old ladies always quarrel with others. That's the trick they are remembered by us all the time. If we are not hearing her shout, we wonder what happen to her.)


Have contact numbers of your near and dear ones in your phone, specifically your neighbors. They are the ones who immediately come for help. Online connections with your friends and relatives make you think better.


We can better revive our old customs and culture of giving respect to elders (not necessarily your parents, your aunts and uncles) and visiting them often and talking to them. Recently I visited my cousin's mother-in-law, who is living alone. She talked to me for two hours, not letting me speak. She is so pleased to have me there, hold my hand all the times, patting me often. I can't wholly understand what she talks because its in pure nellai -Thirunelveli slang. But I hope that night goes well for her.


When Christ said: "I was hungry and you fed me," he didn't mean only the hunger for bread and for food; he also meant the hunger to be loved. Jesus himself experienced this loneliness. He came amongst his own and his own received him not, and it hurt him then and it has kept on hurting him. The same hunger, the same loneliness, the same having no one to be accepted by and to be loved and wanted by. Every human being in that case resembles Christ in his loneliness; and that is the hardest part, that's real hunger.
Mother Teresa

One day will come, when we will be old and chasing the loneliness.