I am lucky. After my husband died I had my daughters with me. I take care of my father everyday. In fact I live with my father and a brother. So I am not alone. Sometimes though I feel like I am. Even when people are around me. My father can’t help it, in fact he probably communicates with me more than most do but in a nonsensical and demented way. His late-stage dementia creates an interesting world of hallucinations and drama that I am a part of too. But at least I don’t feel lonely when I am with him. My husband was connected to me in a special way though, for good and bad, but after 25 years they become a part of you. Now, it’s gone.
Tonight I’m going to my aunt’s wake. She died suddenly on Tuesday from a heart attack. Her husband also died, just three months ago. But she lived alone after that. Her children had their own lives to tend to and would stop in to visit but overall she was alone. She felt the depression and loneliness of the loss. Each day she also helped her husband who suffered from an illness and was kept busy but all of that had come to an end. Now there was just her each morning. The quiet must have been like a knife through her heart.
This is triggering many emotions because I had just been thinking of her on Tuesday, thinking of visiting her. But, as usual, I was too late. I didn’t call her to ask how she was because I never thought she would just drop dead. My father’s family live into their 90s, so this has been a shock. But I can see it, the poor woman died of a broken heart. I can only wonder what would have happened to me if my daughters hadn’t been here or if I weren’t caring for my father. Loneliness hurts and sometimes it kills.