Senior Citizen Vacancies in the Heart

Jun 2nd, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Visiting briefly with an older friend the other day at a memorial service, we concluded that such occasions seem too frequent. Just over the matter of days two or three friends had died and their obituaries remind us how we are left with vacancies in the heart.

There is, she said, always the option to discover and identify new friends, but the loss of old friends brings a void that is irreplaceable. Such vacancies need filling. And, to fill them, we look for persons who appeal to us, for opportunities to shape and mold other friendships. We look beyond persons. We often find human substitutes, like things to do, distractions that allow us to shake the uncomfortable loneliness, a focus that will allow us to move on.

Move on, we must. Life is a series of adjustments and readjustments. There are none more dramatic than when someone we have counted on and enjoyed leaves us. The emptiness can be quite profound. But the emptiness must be replaced. Allowing the negatives of separation to overtake us will only make our own days miserable, our own futures full of sadness and pain. The void must be met. The empty places must be filled. The vacancy signs removed.


Some carry their grief for much too long. Some dwell on it, until it becomes an unattractive and displeasing obsession. Such build walls that others choose not to climb to get to us. Leaving a door open to others who may want to enjoy our company, means sweeping our threshold clear of any impediments that might block those who come to our door. Grief has its place. But soon it must be replaced. Life invites us to have enjoyed what we have had. It encourages us to invest ourselves in further enrichment and pleasure. It needs us to stay healthy, emotionally and physically and continually.

So, look for the rainbows that remind us the storm is over. Look for the sun that chases away the dark clouds. Look for the laughter and kindnesss that comes from unexpected places. Remove the vacancy signs and allow others to come in and dwell among all your other good qualities. Life will then be about what it does best, discovering its reason to be, its provocation to enjoy, its fulfillment we are allowed.



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