I think the greatest loss for us to experience is “people.”
We lose many of the people in our lives to death. First our grandparents die, then our parents, some lose spouses, and some
poor people tragically lose their children. I do not want to discuss these painful
losses; no discussion can help us seniors deal with such pain.
I wish to discuss the loss of friends.
We seniors do not seem to make new friends easily. We pretty much keep our old friends close and do not venture out to
create new ones. Of course, our lives are such that we do not meet a lot of new people.
We no longer work fulltime (a place many of us met new people years ago),
we go to churches and organizations that are populated with people we already
know. Even if we volunteer, the new people we meet are much younger than we are, usually. It is difficult to make
new friends when you become that “certain age.”
I have had what I consider “a tragic loss of friends,” lately. Since I had a sad childhood, and I have been divorced more than once, I have tried to keep all the friends that I have met over the years. I called them my “family.”
About 5 years ago, I became very ill.
I realize now, that when you become “that certain age” people do not want to be around the illness or death of their friends. I was very ill and at one point was dying. I had a friend of 35 years walk out of my hospital room upon finding out my kidneys had shut down. I have never heard from her after that moment. I lost three other friends within the next year, due to my slow recuperation from my illness. Or
so I thought at the time.
Since that momentous year I have realized that these particular people were not really my friends. I had made all the effort to keep the friendship going. They had ceased to be real friends long ago. The years since that illness, I have realized that other friends that I had held dear, were not really my friends any longer, either. I had become a friendly acquaintance at some point in my life. These losses hurt very much.
Although I do have some friends left, I do not live near them now and I know from previous times that this distance will change the friendship. Because, you see, if you are not THERE, where they live, they go one with their lives and create new
friendships with people who do live
where they do.
Lately, after coming to terms with another lost friend, I have started to feel very alone. I might live a bit longer so I need to find, as so many of my peers, a replacement for my friends. What can I
Well, I joined Facebook and enjoy reading about all my “ole” acquaintances there. I can see their families, read about their involvements, and enjoy the moments sharing experiences and other things. It
does not take the place of true friends, but it helps fill the lonely times
I have also joined a senior center that has a gym. I go and work out three times a week. I met a widow at the gym and we go to lunch occasionally. I count her as
a new friendly acquaintance. Our
friendship will probably not last very long, but we both needed a “friend” for right now.
I am trying to plan a new adventure – I love to travel and even though I do not have the funds for flying where I want, I can drive short distances for several days to get there. I have also started this website and this blog to “share” the experiences and feelings I have.
Now do not get me wrong – the things I have listed do not take the place of friends, real friends. But after a certain age, I am not sure that I ever had any real friends;
I think I might have just tricked myself into believing I did. Rather than doing that again, I am moving forward alone.
I might meet a real friend along the way, but then again I might not.
My message is this: If you do not have any real friends left, reach into yourself and be your own real friend. Create fun for yourself, doing all the things that you would do with a friend. It will take some getting used to, but we all can do it if we want it bad enough.
I am going to try and I hope you will,