As a person who has spent, oh, all of his adult life alone, I gotta say alone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I believe the myth of “left alone” being good is concocted by people who are not actually alone.
The concept came under review again for me today as I considered the request from my Dad and Stepmom to not call in to check on Dad’s health. He’s had a little complication post-surgery that, while I don’t worry over the situation (he’s Dad, after all…he always pulls through…I still imagine he will outlast me), it’s my right to be concerned.
The whole “don’t call” thing reminds me of the many times someone is sick and says no to offers of aid or support. I’m not talking about a headache or a twisted ankle, I refer more to a fever or flu or other longer-term situation that puts you somewhat out of commission.
I presume this comes from our pride about not appearing “weak”. We all like to consider ourselves self-sufficient and accepting someone’s help for anything less than a major medical catastrophe undermines that self-image.
I’ve kind of been there. My sister has often offered to run up to my place with some chicken soup or get me some “supplies” when I’m not feeling well. Of course, I’ve always turned her down, mostly because I’ve not been particularly sick. The offset to that is if I really am sick, then I surely don’t want someone coming over to catch my sickness.
But I really do. As miserable a companion as I would be for someone else to be with when I’m sick, it’s terribly lonely to be sick and alone. Having someone around who cares about you, even if there’s nothing they can do to make you better, still that makes you feel better.
In my Dad’s case, he has my Stepmom, so I get the “no call” zone. And I know from experience the difficulty in maintaining friendship when love has died. I can see the point, I think.
But for me, personally, if you love me, I’m okay if you stick around.