Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
This week's post, entitled 'Solitude' is the result of a topic suggested by the intrepid blogger from Pune, Ramana Rajgopaul. Ramana also happens to be my adopted brother. His blog is great. You'll find the link for it at the end of this post, along with the blog links for the rest of our blogging group.
Someone I know (I'll call him Mark, not his real name) did something bad a few decades ago. Something for which he served time as a guest of the President of Ireland. You don't know what that is? Well in the UK, if someone says they're a guest of Her Majesty, it means they're in jail. So go figure. So Mark's life went very much downhill. His marriage broke up and most of his relatives turned their backs on him. Mark doesn't blame them for that. He knows he did wrong. But the fallout of the whole business means that he ended up living in solitude. As he gets older, the chances of getting meaningful work are becoming fewer and further between. When he was in jail, he used to get visits from the priest. Then he was asked if he'd like to get visits from an evangelical church that undertook prison visiting. Mark agreed to the visits and it changed his life. He found the evangelical church to be wonderful. When he went to the Catholic Mass, he felt as if he was just another face in the crowd. When he attended the Evangelical Church meetings after being released, he felt as if he had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This made a huge difference.
|Image by Gypzy from Pixabay|
|Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay|
If you look at the life of people in middle age, it is often a very busy time. Kids clamouring for your attention, elderly people needing support and very little time for yourself. In that time of life, a little bit of time spent by yourself can be an unheard-of luxury. Then, a few years later, life could be totally different. The elders may have passed on. The kids may be gone. It may seem hard to believe, but things can totally turn around in a few years. In Dublin in the 1970s, a firefighter named Willie Bermingham was shocked, along with his colleagues, to have found the bodies of a number of elderly people who had died neglected and alone throughout the city. Mr Bermingham started up a voluntary organisation called ALONE to advocate for the right of the 'forgotten old'. I remember the media campaign they launched. I also remember the song from the campaign. Although it wasn't common, sometimes there were people who slipped through the fingers of society to a lonely existence in old age. That should never happen. It's good that there is more awareness now.
|Image by mel_88 from Pixabay|