Since my dad passed a couple of months ago, I have worried a lot about my mother getting lonely. I have nightmares of her sitting alone at home crying and wishing she could connect with other individuals. As a result, I have spent a considerable amount of time contemplating living life alone.
1. Do an Attitude Check. In the Church, I have seen several people who were belligerent and mean their whole lives. They were difficult people to connect with, and now they wonder why no one comes to visit them. Ask yourself a simple question, “Am I the type of person other people would want to spend time around?” Then be honest with yourself.
2. Develop Relationships Beyond Your Spouse and Kids. One day your spouse may pass away. Then who will you turn too? Most people think it will be their children, and in some ways, I hope you are right, but you need to think this through. One day your kids will be pursuing a career, raising their own children and seeking their own adventures. They will most likely not be able to sit with you except on holidays. You need to develop healthy relationships with members of the same sex.
3. Invest in Relationships Now. If you want friends in 20 years, then you need to go out and make them now. It is that simple. The seeds you are planting in the lives of other people will be harvested in the fall of your life. Make connections today that will last a lifetime.
4. Being Alone is a Choice for Most People. I often think of two different ladies who are only a few years apart in age. One of them sits at home waiting for people to visit. The other comes to Church, attends Sunday School and is involved in a couple of ministries. She is always spending time with Church people. I think of another couple who attends Church and all the local school functions. These people are out there and active, and they fill their life with people and joy.
5. Technology is Your Friend (Even if You Are Old). Learning a few simple lessons on computers can open up a whole world. You can call, text and video message. The technology out there sounds intimidating, but it can be mastered with a few steps written on old-fashioned paper. Additionally – buy your mom or dad a computer, download the needed apps or programs and then show them how to use. Be sure you connect with them using it yourself!
I know that no one wants to sit at home alone and lonely, but I know it happens. I think the Church has the potential to help and minister in these situations. I do not want to limit the need of those in our congregation to be a light into dark places. I also know there are some things people can do to help themselves. I hope these help you and your family.