Loneliness kills. Among the people I find the most lonely are terminally ill patients, the jobless, the divorced and the aged.
People do not like associating with the sick. They want to identify with successful, healthy, strong people.
One of the reasons people keep away from sick people is because they fear financial responsibilities. Friends who were once very close keep off. No one picks your calls or return your messages. Suddenly, friends that were once so close become casual and eventually indifferent. It is your burden and your pain not theirs. It is like getting a puncture at a safari rally competition and your competitors just have to ignore you and move on. Such is life.
You would be a fool to miss the one million prize you have worked for so hard just because you got sentimental and stopped to help a neighbour. It is not always wise to be a good Samaritan, it could cost you the chance of a lifetime. So when calls become less and less and so do visits do not hold it against anyone. It is just the art of survival.
One of the greatest fears is visiting a patient first thing in the morning. It is a visit one dreads as you may just go and find an empty hospital bed without sheets and blankets, a rude indication that the patient died a few minutes before you arrived. This makes you the bearer of bad news so it is always better to keep off such visits.
If you visit a patient and they die shortly after you, you may find yourself being blamed for the patient’s death.
It is all not in bad faith. It is just human nature. Some people fear to call you because they might find you dead and they are afraid to get the bad news from whomever will have picked your call. Some are afraid of your ghost too.
Others fear to visit you at home because they may just walk in at the wrong moment and find you in the middle of an attack. This may force them to rush you to hospital and settle your bills. It also wastes their time and disrupts their plans.
Perhaps the only person who kills a patient’s loneliness is the doctor, who often wears a brave face and gives you hope in the face of death. Or a loving parent who will sacrifice all their time to be with yo, without ever complaining.
Oh, how lonely it is to be a divorce person among thousands of self righteous married people. Couples who were once family friends shun you, married couples with whom you once shared functions no longer call you. Suddenly people no longer invite you home or to their children’s christening yet you are a godfather or godmother. Friends and family attend court to hearthe nasty evidence given about you by your ex and later use this information to isolate you into a life of loneliness.
They refer to you as a “Divorcee”, an irresponsible, impatient non-persevering person who cannot handle a relationship. Worse so if you are a woman. You will be labelled a selfish, heartless creature who abandons a helpless husband and helpless children to go and “roam the world”. No one understands your humiliation or pain. So loneliness sets in and people protect their partners from you because you might just behave like a wild hawk and grab the innocent chick, thus destroying a great relationship. At work they deny you a well deserved promotion until you get another husband. Otherwise you cannot be trusted with office responsibilities…who knows you might just divorce the Boss.
Oh and to be old and toothless, what a lonely state of life. People abandon you and pray that you die because you have become a nuisance. It is so lonely to be old, your knees and backache and you can no longer jump into a bus and visit your relatives and friends. And thy cannot visit you either. You want to talk to them on phone but old age has blocked your ears. And even when you can hear, you still cannot find someone to send for a scratch card. People avoid you because you are always sending them around and sulking like a baby. Oh. Loneliness kills. It is so lonely when people try to treat you like you do not exist and sell your property without consulting you.
Oh what a lonely world to be jobless. No one answers your call and if they do they sa they are in a meeting and will call you back. They never call back and you will not see them for a long time. When you meet people you know along the streets, they look away and others cross the road to the other side. They think you want to ask them for money or for a job. Nobody’s eyes meet yours and this is one of the worst feelings any human being can go through.
So today, support a lonely friend. Lend out a supporting hand to a patient. Love a divorced person and visit the old. Invite a jobless person for a meal or send them credit for their phones. Tomorrow it could be you.