I walk into another evening alone. Oh yes I did have a great friend staying and other friends here making music, yes I did. And then they all go back into their shared lives. And I am so thankful they came. I loved the moments chuckled between us, the laughter, the conversations, the music. I really did. But after them there is just me, just the old loneliness.
In our ‘out there’ lives, we don’t mention loneliness and yet it is rife among us. We don’t want to speak out the word because it invites questions, or fixings, or mentions of Spring and daffodils and light. We see it coming so we keep quiet. We say we are fine and after a little chat about this, that and the weather, we turn back into the lonely. It doesn’t begin after the death of the one we shared everything with. No. It creeps in after the probate is sorted, the paperwork filed, the busy time that keeps us, well, busy and then stops dead like a train hitting the buffers. The shunt of silence is deafening and it isn’t going to make noise anytime soon, bar the odd visit of friends, the lift of music, laughter and shared time.
So what do we Lonelies do about this? Good question. I will work on it. Many of us are just short of 70. What options are out there for us, we who have stayed solid throughout maybe 50 or more years of being one of two? Well we may not be able to see them options but they might just be there, out there, somewhere. So what I say is this, as I wander, restless, through an empty house, more empty than it was when the other of two was away for a bit…..do you remember your dreams? I am working on that. Dreams I had as a young woman with no clue just don’t make sense now. However, a person without dreams, without aspirations, is basically dead whilst still breathing. It doesn’t matter what you do in the loneliness. But it matters if you do nothing. I catch the lift of the young woman I was, at 18, before marriage and kids and a most adventurous and demanding life subsumed me, or tried to. It never worked, this subsuming thing although it took all my spirit strength to remain Me. And now, on my own is mostly wonderful. I no longer have to say where I am going, nor when I will return. I no longer have to explain myself. I no longer this or that, and that is a void I do not know how to navigate. I was this woman and for decades. Now who am I?
There’s a question. The real is the truth. Lonely is real.