Thursday, 8 August 2013

There are lonely people out there

There are lonely people out there
8 August 2013

There are lonely people out there.  And my heart aches for them.

People without family.  No nearest and dearest.  Nobody caring how their day went.  Nobody making them a nice cuppa or a warm meal either.  Nobody to spoon with at night.  Or to share the tales of their day.  No “Hello” in the morning or a hug and kiss goodbye.

Every so often, I spot one of these lost souls.  And they look so forlorn.

Almost as if they’re cast adrift with no anchoring rope, holding them close.  Bobbing about aimlessly.  Often no clear destination in sight.

It makes me appreciate how exceptionally fortunate I am.  How abundantly rich my life is.  Filled to the brim with magnificent, caring and loving people all around.

People to whom I’m important.  Who value me.

Not just my amazing and incredible family.  But truly wonderful friends too.

A few months ago, I quickly nipped around to a local take-away restaurant close to us.  Just in order to pick up some chips, to go with our steak and salad supper meal.  And sitting all alone, at a fast food spot, was one single man.  We go there every so often, always just to pick up some spicy chips as an accompaniment to our meal.  And the tables and chairs that are available, are simply never occupied by eating patrons.  But rather by fellow shoppers like me, taking a quick load off their feet, whilst waiting for their meal.  All with the intent on taking that meal home and eating it there. 

Yet this poor guy sat down there, eating his entire meal.  Well dressed, groomed, a snazzy motor bike, apparently belonging to him waiting outside.  Shortly after I sat down, he started up a conversation with me, commenting on my car’s registration number, and asking where I come from.  And a few short minutes later, by the time my meal arrived, he had given me the bare bones of his life’s story.  How he had left the Knysna area, shortly after his divorce from his wife.  How desperately he missed his two young daughters.  Kids that no longer wished to have him in their lives.  How dedicated a father he had been whilst still married.  And how awful their absence now was in his life.  His longing for belonging, blatantly evidenced by his every sorrowful word.

I don’t think he told me his story, to garner some sympathy.  And I’m sure there’s a whole long tale as to how come his kids are no longer in contact with him.  Who can tell.  And given the fact that I only “knew” him for a brief few minutes, it obviously wasn’t my place to ask.

Still, it struck me, that in all likelihood, his conversation with me, was an attempt to connect.  To have human interaction.  To hear another fellow voice.  And most probably, it was his most meaningful contact with someone, that whole entire week. 

Judging by appearances alone (a most dangerous thing to do), he seemed to be fairly comfortable off financially speaking.  He also seemed to be wearing work-ish type clothes.  And so, I must assume that he has a job.  But more than likely, he doesn’t really connect with his co-workers on a personal level like this.  Perhaps he felt there was safety in my anonymity and the fact that we would never see one another again.

But, despite our brief meeting, and his need to open up to a total stranger, I was touched by his honesty.  In his desire to bare his soul.

My wish for him, is that he finds peace within himself.  And forms a meaningful relationship with someone else again.  Albeit a really good friend, his kids, a work colleague with similar interests, or anyone else who could feed his innermost being.

I’m guessing he would have a lot to offer too.

Being lonely must be awful.  And I am so blessedly relieved that I am not.

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  1. Shame Helene. There are many lonely people out there, and we are so lucky and blessed.

  2. I have people in my life and yet am so often alone, I never get use it. It's not a good feeling

  3. Oh shame, so sad. We must count our blessings.
    Fern Waddilove (Huibrecht's granddaughter)

  4. It is awful - people of all ages, and sexes. We are incredibly lucky to have a large and loving family.