Thanksgiving and Loneliness

Thanksgiving, 2012

Dealing with loneliness is always difficult for me during the Thanksgiving holiday.   The sadness rolls over me like a cloud darkening the sky before a storm.    My body moves slower, my thinking becomes morose, I find it hard to concentrate and although the feelings are very uncomfortable I resist any activity that will decrease the sadness.   Somehow I know I have to feel the pain and acknowledge losses .   I can just pretend the losses never happened and for awhile no feeling; then some memory or smell arises like the feelings of my brother’s tweed jacket against my face when I hugged him, the smell of pinto beans and cornbread when I visited my mother’s house or the memory of a young girl with rheumatoid arthritis in a wheelchair in Virginia when I was 10 years old and we were invited to her house for Thanksgiving.   
I envy people with siblings who are still alive and  can have in person or telephone chats with them.   Together they can remember childhood events, the  eccentricities of their parents, the awful times and the wonderful times of childhood.  There is nothing so wonderful as to hear siblings laugh together about shared teenage pranks or how they escaped their Father’s wrath when he caught them smoking, or lying about boyfriends.   
New friendships are difficult to form as I age.  I no longer have the energy nor the motivation to put in the time getting together for coffee, to shop, to go to the library or all the other small meetings it takes to gradually form a friendship and trust.      Occasionally I “click” with a new person and the need for the mundane exchanges fall away and there is an immediate feeling of trust.    However, that is rare.    Old friends have moved away to live with or near their children or they  have died.    We exchange emails, greeting cards and attempt to stay in touch but the daily contact that is axiomatic for intimacy is missing. The telephone is difficult as most of us having hearing difficulties and despite all the wonders of hearing aides and special telephones talking on the telephone is no longer satisfying. 
So, this is my life today.    
  
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