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Aging and Loneliness

Aging is quite the mystery for us. Given that it is an inevitable stage of our human life, it seems like we should have understood it by now. Frankly, we did not. For the bitter truth that someday we will be completely codependent, I assume, torments many of us. Brushing your teeth, going to the toilet, turning from side to side in your bed, raising your arm above your shoulder level, remembering your dearest friends, and recalling your merriest memories etc.… All of this would be excruciatingly impossible even when you are now doing all of this without the slightest trouble. Everything is easy. You are strong and relatively healthy but do not ever take it for granted. I am not writing this to prompt you to be more grateful, although you should always be no matter what. I am writing it to remind you that nothing lasts forever. You are lying or your bed unable to get up or move your limbs any farther than to scratch your nose and even requires a great deal of perseverance. You hungry but you must wait for that social worker who visits your three to four times a day and helps you to do the most mundane stuff. You are thirsty but the water beside you bed is warm and tastes like rusty metal, it has been there since yesterday. You can gather your strength to reach it, but you decide it is not worth the effort. Your eighty years old spine is numb from lying on your back for almost ten hours now.

Your children are away minding their own business. They may call you once or twice a week, and you will be delighted and most grateful if they called once a day. Your partner may have passed away long ago or is just as sick and ill as you are. Even if they are around, there is really no topic to ignite a conversation between you two, especially when you have been together for forty or fifty years. You are unlikely to have any loyal friends that visit you. Frankly, your friends may not be even alive by then. So, apart from that social worker, you have no contact with the outer world. You may start contemplating how of a burden you have become and how useless your existence has come to be. worker, you have no contact with the outer world. You may start contemplating how much of a burden you have become and how useless your existence has come to be.

In addition to your limited motor skills, your heart has been troubling you in the last years. A couple of strokes five years ago rendered the right side of your body useless. Your stomach is no longer able to digest fatty food. Your jaws are too weak to chew, so you need soft foods and mostly soup.

You are lying there contemplating all of that and thinking of a time when you could drink you water without having to wait for that young, reckless, irresponsible part-time social worker who is only doing this because they need some money to go to a party in the weekend and could not really find a better job. Or without having to feel ashamed of yourself every time that sixty-year-old social worker who has been in this job for forty years and have enough problems of their own and are sick of the likes of you.

Loneliness is what defines your life now. You may, or may not, recall the time when you were a successful manager at a respectable company. When you were financially stable and had a wide social circle. You realize that all of that was a mirage. An illusion of a busy life, or what you mistakenly used to call "life".

It has not been until now that you realized what life really means. Admittedly, it means nothing. You came to this world alone and you are about to die alone. Your pain torments no one but you. Your loneliness makes you see how wrong you were to call someone your best friend or even the love of your life, because, my friend, all of that is going to disappear sooner or later and you are left with your soul to converse endlessly about what really matters and you realise that the only meaningful deed is that of drawing a smile of the face of a vulnerable, self-conscious person who is in much need of help but is too shy, or too proud, to ask for it.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 IBRAHIM-l0l

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