Most of the older women I know aren’t sitting in their rocking chairs knitting (not that there’s anything wrong with knitting!
) They are hiking with friends, traveling, dancing, starting companies, going back to school, playing golf, learning Chinese ink painting, cycling, gardening and, most of all, staying social.
But she didn’t want to cause a fuss or be a nuisance. Fear of being seen as a nuisance, or upsetting someone and being shunned, is creeping into these relationships like a virus.
‘I live about 25 miles from my four grandsons but so far in 2017 we have seen two of them for about three hours.’ And the final cri de coeur: ‘Just a phone call would be welcome.’As a journalist, I wanted to know more and speak to this lady, to hear her story. Having just become a grandmother — my son Elias and daughter-in-law Eva presented me with a granddaughter, Amber Ann, on November 29 — it seems to me one of the cruellest ironies of today that families can exacerbate loneliness among the elderly rather than protect them from it.I have wanted to write to you for years but always feel I should pull myself together and count my blessings instead.I am 72-years-old, twice married and a widow of a few years. When my second husband died, I had over four years of difficult legal and financial problems because of his self-made will.The house is now on the market and I can't wait to buy a smaller, more practical one.I know that I have changed lately and become withdrawn.