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I don’t want to be a bother. But………….
Is anybody out there? #1
You have been next door neighbours for twenty years.
Although not a close friendship, you have been a little part of each other’s life. You have seen their children leave home and when each of you went on holidays you would collect each other’s mail and just watch each other’s place.
Then one evening an ambulance came. You peered through your window as you watch the husband being taken away. Over the next couple of weeks, there is quiet next door. You just keep collecting the mail, and you would see glimpses of her. You are starting to get a bit of a feeling all is not OK.
Then one day you notice a gathering next door. Thinking it was a party, or maybe a homecoming for the husband, you venture out the front, just as one of the children is walking up to the front door of your neighbour’s house. You venture to ask the occasion, but the sadness on the face is enough to know, the husband had died, and this seemed like the wake. They just smile and nod.
“Gee” you think to yourself, “I did not even know. I would have gone to the funeral, you know, just to pay my respects.”
Weeks go by, and the house that was once so full of life is deathly quiet. You had not seen her in all that time. In fact the blinds had been closed the whole time. You start to think you need to do something, but your lack of close connection holds you back. You do not want to intrude and be a bother, but the feeling does not go. Maybe you could look for an opportunity if you happen to see her out in the street? But the opportunity does not present itself. A more conscientious effort is gong to be needed.
So after another week, you pluck up the courage, walk up to the door and knock. No answer. Maybe she is out.
You knock again, and after a little time you hear “Who is it?”
“Oh it’s me from next door, I felt I needed to come and see you.”
The door unlatches, and the person you have known for twenty year is standing at the door. Tear stained face, still in her dressing gown, vacant expression.
“I am all alone. He has died. I am intolerably lonely!”
“Thank goodness you are here! Would you like to come in?”
You are loooking at inconsolable grief and utter desperation. You are wondering whether this may be ‘too big’ for you, but you accept the invitation.
More to come in the next blog.
This commentary in this blog is intended to be general in nature. It is just some observations from one fellow traveller in life to another. If anything in this blog raises issues for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or consult with a trusted medical professional.