If you look at last week’s blog, you will notice that a friend reminded me that the elderly are lonely also. It reminded me that, when my mother died, mu youngest son said, ”I’ve lost one of my best friends.”

When my children were young, my mother was their caregiver and, even after she was too frail to manage this, my children would visit her and call her. If you had asked them what they enjoyed most about their visits and conversations, they would have answered, “Nana’s stories.”

Every parent reading this knows that the stories that grandparents and grandchildren prefer are the stories about children…stories about them. Hearing that I was an inventive, if badly behaved child was somehow a balm when my children ere struggling with their own challenges. When she would tell me about their reaction, my mother would hug me and tell me that she always knew that I would “end up all right.”

When I hear about all the lonely elderly people, and consider my lonely young patients, I wonder if there is no way to bring these groups together for mutual support. Would it be a balm to them to consider the misdeeds of the generation in the middle, for we certainly have had misdeeds during this pandemic?

Perhaps all of this is too much to organize in communities, but how we were isolated from each other before the pandemic, young from elder, has made us even more isolated during this period when we are in lockdown. But, it’s not too late to reach out to grandparents. It’s not to late to have grandparents and their grandchildren playing games on Facetime or Zoom. I found several lists of games that you can play virtually. Some are for adults only, but some would be great for grandparents to play with children and youth.

You can also have a snack or a meal or read together virtually. Maybe your daughter/Mom can finally figure out how to make the cookies no one makes like Nana. Then again, maybe she cannot. It seems that nothing is more fun, virtually or in person, than laughing at your child/parent.

Why not let you child and your parents find out for themselves?

(My mother and one of my children…having fun together)

2 thoughts on “Loneliness II

  1. Katherine says:

    What a lovely blog post, Gail! I’ve found it a struggle to persuade my grandchildren to connect over zoom or the phone during the pandemic, but I think that’s mainly because they’ve been doing so much online schooling and the last thing they want to do is go back online! My older granddaughter (almost 10) has been able to walk (or run, which she loves to do) to our house, about 15 minutes away, and that’s been a real thrill for all concerned. We’ve set up distanced seating on the front porch, complete with a windscreen, and she’s had a brief visit with us that way. With in-school classes beginning next week, I’m hoping we might do a little zoom connecting soon. Thanks for all your writing! Katherine

    1. drgailbeck says:

      Katherine, thank you for reading these essays and for your comments. It’s always good to know when my experience resonates with other.

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