Mac Clayton’s mother suffered for years from a condition that’s easy to acquire and terribly difficult to overcome.
I keep hearing my mother say, “I’m just so lonely.”
She said it to me only once, years ago, but I hear it over and over in my mind. I suppose I didn’t think there was much I could do about it at the time: that’s just the way it is with parents and kids living in different cities.
My father died when he and she were 50. She lived alone for 34 years. Late in her life she lived near me for 10 years. I hope she wasn’t lonely then, but I’m not sure.
Loneliness is a funny thing. It’s a kind of desperate longing. You can be in a crowd and be lonely. You can have casual friends and be lonely. Close family is usually an antidote, but even that remedy can sometimes be as bad as the sickness. Old thoughtless habits, old grievances.