by Linda Carpenter
(Beeville, Texas USA)

I have learned one thing about retirement, everyone I know or did know is gone, I am still around, and wondering what is going to happen to me next.

I spent my life in my own little world and
now -- I don't know why I am left.

My children have their own lives.

Now gosh, why did I not see this coming?

Wendy: Linda, my parents are in their mid-80's, and they have truly lost all their friends. They've outlived most family (their siblings) and now most friends (even younger ones). It really is sad.

Adult kids do have their own lives... they are still in the workforce, dealing with their own kids, and on the treadmill of life. Reminds me of Harry Chapin's song, Cat's in the Cradle... where the son needs his busy fathers time, and later the senior father has a too-busy son, too busy for him. Sad.

You need something to fill your time. Life is short, Linda. Ask someone to have lunch with you. Volunteer somewhere a few hours a week. Just to get out of the home, to be busy, to feel again...

Best Wishes!

Comments for Friends

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Don't give up
by: Charlotte

I too have lost all my friends even though I am relatively young. It can be very depressing but you need to get into a routine each day.

If you drive or can get out try to go someplace where there are people- a library, coffee shop, book store.You might even meet a new friend. Good luck

Older years do present challenges
by: Liz in Georgia

Older years do, indeed, present special challenges like health problems, lonliness and a variety of other things. My husband passed away about twenty years ago and I had no one single living relative in this area, only a son and family in California.

I'm sure that church is not for everyone but there are churches of every denomination, belief and faiths. I've had the same church family for twenty years and that is nice. However, if we look around there is always someone that needs some help, even some small thing like taking them a baked dish or a casserole or maybe chauffeuring them to the doctor, dentist or whatever.

We have a great senior center in our area and since retirement have learned to line dance and do that once a week, have been going to senior aerobics classes several times a week and have the last been trying out a Tai Chi class to see what that's all about.

Think loneliness is in large part a state of mind that we have to work on every day to improve our situation.

I will add I was alone for twenty years and then two years there was a very nice man at our church that had become widowed and we got married, he at 74 and myself at 73.

The old saying that "Life is what we make is" is to a large extent true. We just have to work at it harder than younger people.

Going, Going, Gone!
by: Joe W.


Personally, when I came down to my own loneliness situation I still had my favorite cheering section which was my children. Even though your children are living far away like mine, try to startup just one favorite project and then ask your children to help first. Then, if you need some extra help do some research to find out where that help should come from.

I hope this helps you. Good Luck!

Joe W.

New Beginning
by: Goldie

Every chapter of life offers a new beginning and a chance to discover something different. Stay open to whatever happens.

Find new interests
by: Gaik

I sympathise, Linda, I know how you feel. As Wendy says, you need to fill your time - but unless that activity interests you, you would not be able to sustain it for long.

No particular interest at the moment? Now's the time to check out new stuff. My suggestions - try a sport or exercise in a class so its somewhat social (tai chi, yoga) learn a language, join an evening class for art, language, any hobby.

Hope this helps.

Life is never 'finished' till it is finished ....
by: Retd. Prof. Durgesh Kumar Srivastava. C-3, Janakpuri, New Delhi, India

At the start of my teaching career in New Delhi, we rented a two room ground flat. Our landlords lived in the adjoining flat. They were a small family - a working couple, their school going kids and an aged grandmother with a diminished vision.

As I opened the door of the rear room to go into the common courtyard, I saw the aged lady sitting on a mat on the floor with a heap of tangled wool. She was untangling a wool yarn and wrapping itinto a ball. She would do it day after day.

She told me that the tangled wool yarns would be sent to her by a nearby garment factory whch would collect back the ready fist-size balls every week and pay her @ one ruppe for two balls. She would use the money so earned to buy small tit bits for her g rand-children. She looked very happy with her routine.

Retd. Prof. D.K.Srivastava, 28 Jan.,14

Living Longer Successfully
by: Nina from London

Visiting my friend Halia who is 90 I learn a great deal. By having her as a friend she tells me of her life and the triumphs as well as trials. Since she didn't have children she's on her own. There are often times when she asks "Why have I lived this long?" My usual answer is "It's not your time, yet."

Most of her friends have gone. Her husband died 4 years ago. There are no relatives here in London although she has them in another country. Her greatest happiness is going to church. There at least she feels she is a part of a family.

Talking to her I also think about how to have a good life when I'm in my 80's...or thankfully my 90's. Today we live longer and this is a topic that is a challenge for more and more of us will be in that spot.

Just to say also that Halia lives in London, a huge city, but she is still lonely and has only a few people as friends. What amazes me is that she helps another woman who is 92 when she calls for her to help her read her mail.

Thank you for sharing with us.
Best Wishes, Nina

by: Ned

Belonging to several organizations, and some have yearly meetings or conventions, ... the past few years it is very noticable how many do not appear, and then the condition of some of the ones that do or can attend.

I guess there comes a time in our lives that we finally realize that we are one of them. that day we look in the mirror and wonder who is there with you. LOL

the best thing, I guess, is try to have friends that are a mix of ages and it is always nice to be able to fall back on some of those when and if we need help.

I think it would depend on how you have treated others during your life, and even as we age we can mentor some of the younger ones.

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