“I’ve NEVER been so lonely in my life” was the painful mantra-like message Pat heard over and over from her friend Susan who was experiencing a “lockdown” in an assisted living complex because of the coronavirus epidemic. Without warning, the residents were told that they needed to stay in their rooms, not have guests—including their friends next door—and that rather than eating together, their meals would be brought to their rooms. For Susan who enjoyed going with a friend to Mass every day, taking long walks and visiting with others, this felt like prison. Seeing what loneliness was doing to her precious old friend caused Pat to ask her friends to take a few minutes to call persons like Sue for a short chat, send a note and/or little surprise package…something to let them know they have not been forgotten. Loneliness is painful.
By Lois Wedl, OSB