Today marks 15 days since I’ve been able to leave my house. Brendan Bjorn has been bedridden with a pressure sore, so unable to get into his wheelchair, for over a month. This is the second time this year I’ve been in this situation.
Unable to even go into the village to get cash to pay for firewood (thankfully I’m able to run a tab) or get the indulgent chipper delivery on occasion. Unable to get groceries and needed household items (thankfully Tesco delivers for a fee). Unable to even go for a walk and clear my head.
This is it. 15 days and counting.
Here in Ireland in the past 24 hours, 2 people who had been missing for weeks – totally unrelated cases – have notified their family that each of them are thankfully ok. I’ve followed both stories, retweeting calls for help by brothers, sisters, Gardai, etc, in locating these much loved missing family members. One of those missing was is a Psychiatrist. Maybe it’s because I too am a mental health professional (note: in the days before having to become a full time, unpaid carer) that I find this particularly striking. I don’t know this clearly much loved lady, but my heart aches for whatever it is she is going through which led her to hide herself away from her family without any word of assurance that she was alright.
I am left wondering, though, why people feel they can’t reach out to even just one family member or friend to say “I am struggling. I need to escape on my own for a few days. Don’t worry. I’ll be in touch.” Or, even this: “Please, I need help.”
As my mind often does, it then wandered into that place of contemplating it all in the bigger scheme of things…and bringing it into my own microcosm called my life. I was left with a question:
If I went missing for 15 days, barring of course the fact that Declan’s school would wonder where he was, would there be the social media and Gardai campaigns asking for help locating me? The answer, quite simply and frankly, is no. Sure, I have no doubt my many kind friends on social media would wonder why I was so uncharacteristically silent, and maybe even wonder if they had annoyed me somehow and that’s why I wasn’t replying to their private messages.
But on the whole, the answer is that no one actually sees me in person to know I would be missing.
That hits hard. And it should hit ALL OF US hard.
I say it should, not solely because of me or my situation, but for the hundreds, if not thousands, of people across our lovely island who also have no one calling in on them; who go days or even weeks without seeing another human being. Please, let that sink in…people who go days or even weeks without seeing another human being. I find that extremely disconcerting and terribly heartbreaking. Humanity is missing in situations such as this, and despite us being overly connected in this electronic world of ours, we are void of true connection far too often.
I want us all to think about who is in our own local community that needs personal connection. Who is alone? Who needs help? Who says everything is grand yet your gut tells you no it is not?
Let’s not lose our sense of looking out for others in the spirit of true community.