Growing old is not for sissies, or so they say. There is no doubt that the onset of things like arthritis, deafness, sight failure, and other ailments are all hard to bare. Nonetheless, we must take on board that we are lucky to be old, to be still around, and that we may still have something to offer. The real hardship is none of these. It is loneliness and inertia, waiting for an end that surely must come.
Yes, it must, but just waiting is the silliest waste that can be, for now is precious, now is when we can do something, now we are alive. Here are some things we can do: read the paper or a book, listen to music whatever kind you like, paint a picture, even write a blog. . Some of the lucky ones can stare at a stamp collection, or a collection of anything and be happy with an accomplishment that has taken a lifetime. The luckiest can share and rejoice with others at their wonderful achievements.
The others, it is they who transcend all else, if we are lucky enough to live in love then everything else does not matter a jot. Life is worth living and its easy to see why. There is humor and laughter, there is sharing and fighting, there is caring and weeping. There is no silence.
Grief at the loss of a loved one is wrapping of ones soul in silence, and there are degrees of grief, believe me. There are degrees of grief, losing your mum and dad, losing your son or daughter, losing your partner. All are different, and all grip your heart and soul in slightly different ways, always with the cold fingers of loneliness and isolation. Here is an end that we hoped would never be, and losing a ninety year old parent does not hammer us as hard as losing a nine year old child. The Blanket of cold loneliness thaws at different speeds and ways.
One of the hard things in growing old is the fear of losing ones partner, whether there is loving dull routine or hysterical ups and downs. It doesn’t much matter if you’ve loved for a day or a millennium the dependency is absolute and the fear of loss even before that awful day can be haunting. That cold silent harbinger of grief overshadows the joy that should be our daily gift.
So my advice to everyone, young and old, is simple, enjoy what you can when you can. Remember you won’t have today again. So care for today, care for everyone who passes through. Be proud of what you did yesterday, and know that when the end comes as it must, you made the best of it. If you’re lonely and cold get warm with whoever you meet.