How sad it is to hear sometimes of elderly people living alone, and dying alone. The newspaper report in The Sydney Morning Herald gave graphic details of 87-year-old Natalie Wood who died alone in Surry Hills. Her remains had not been found for 8 years. She laid dead and forgotten for all those years. What a tragedy!
No-one had noticed her missing. She had kept to herself but was a nice lady. People left flowers on the front steps and a neighbour said, “These days, nobody knows anyone. It’s a throwaway society. Everything is recyclable, even people.”
People that Choose to Isolate
Now, I realise that some people choose to live alone and avoid contact with others. I guess we call them a recluse. Why? I am not sure. It must be a very complex reason. Looking online recently I saw the question, Can you go through life entirely all by yourself?
There were some very interesting answers including these:
- “A lot of times I think how great it would be to not have any people around. I’ve developed such a total lack of trust for them as I have gotten older, and I have been a loner pretty much my whole life. Now, I am used to it. I absolutely refuse to get stabbed in the back by anybody again.”
- “Pretty much most of my life I have been alone with no friends. Most of the people that I thought were my friends were just using me and dropped me once they got what they wanted out of me. A lot of people my age are married with kids and they don’t have much time due to being busy with their own families. I’m almost 40, so the chance of me ever meeting anyone is pretty slim and it doesn’t help I can’t stand being in crowded places.”
Loneliness is a lack, a feeling that something is missing, a pain, depression, need, an incompleteness, an absence.
Loneliness is an every day, ‘normal’ human experience that everyone feels at one time or another. It is run-of-the-mill. It may come and go, and occurs when we feel the absence of other significant people being around us and we can’t share our inner experiences with those significant others.
Loneliness is not a unique experience; it’s human. It can be alleviated by connecting with others, whether that be one other person or many.
Are You Feeling Lonely?
Have you ever felt disconnected or incomplete? You may be lonely right now. Unfortunately, many of us do not deal with loneliness very well. It becomes destructive as we turn it inwards, and will lead to depression and despair.
Loneliness is a painful sense of being unwanted, unneeded, uncared for, maybe even unnecessary. Most of us experience loneliness at some point in our lives. It can creep up on you gradually over time. It may be a familiar feeling that seems to have hung over you for most of your life.
Loneliness is serious. German social psychologist Erich Fromm said: “The deepest need of man is the need to overcome his separateness, to leave the prison of his aloneness.”
I want to say this morning that God never intended for us to walk through life alone. He made us to need others around us, even if they drive us mad sometimes. People help us to make life bearable and even worth of celebration. We can listen, share, help, encourage, support others, and allow them to support us in difficulties.
I think deep down we know this and agree with it. But why do we still try and walk through life alone? God created you in such a way that he wants to have a friendship with you.
(Read Walking Through Life Alone – Part 2)