December 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
It is that time of the year where we are supposed to spend time with our family and friends, be cheerful, exchange presents, and feel connected. At a time when the expectations for company are inflated by cultural norms, then it is easier to feel lonely. What is loneliness? A deficit between expected and real connections. When we live alone, have a family far away or missing, then it is easy to feel lonely in these days. For example this year I decided not go to Italy, and I admit that I miss not seeing my mother and my two brothers.
I am also very lucky because I have close friends in the Bay Area, so I will spend Christmas with a fabolous friend, we are going to have a “Christmas adventure”, “un avventura natalizia,” and I look forward to that. Before doing that, I will visit an older woman I met during my research. She is in her 80s, lives alone, has no friends and no family members. She is excited for my visit and I feel great to bring some cheer to her apartment.
Please remember that for many adults living alone – more or less old, this is not an easy time. We often hide our longing for company since we are so used to spend time on our own. Sometimes a phone call, a card, or a small surprise makes all the difference in the world. If you need a place to start and you are in the US, you can contact organizations such as Little Brother Friends of the Elderly, the friendly companion program of Meals on Wheels, or any local organization. When I was living in London I asked to my parish, and they put me in touch with Dora, a feisty woman living alone nearby. She was a blast!