"I feel for all those folk who live in high-rised flats and whose poor health and absence of family visits from one Christmas to the next makes them feel as though there is nobody out there who cares whether they live or die. I feel for all those times they cry alone without even the creature comforts of a dog or cat to embrace. I feel for those occasions they get cramp in bed and are unable to stand up to relieve it in time to prevent the worse of the pain. I cry when I think about the few times they may laugh and there is nobody else there to hear their mirth and share their humorous thought.
Nobody departs this life without leaving behind a past. However this person ended up here alone, they were probably once a loving sibling, partner, spouse or parent who may have been considered to be the life and soul of the party. Apart from an existence of increasing isolation and diminishing mobility, the only thing they are now guaranteed to feel daily is fear of where and 'how' it will all end, along with the added fear of whether or not they are destined to face their final moments alone.
If you have an elderly neighbour who lives alone, a quick visit to simply check that they are okay is all that is often required to convey to them the fact that 'someone knows that they are there and cares about them.' Better still, make them a cup of tea while you are there, have a brief chat and give them the opportunity to tell you about those pieces of information from their lives that obviously mean so much to them and which they otherwise might take to their graves without ever having expressed to another. William Forde : August 29th, 2013.