Imagine you’ve lived on your own for over 100 years. Sure the only reason you could is because people helped along the way, but you had your own space. You had your own things around you, things that reminded you of places and people you’ve loved.
And then imagine the day comes that you can’t live alone anymore and you find yourself in a cramped and overheated space with strange sounds and sights, strangers in and out of your small space, other people determining when you sleep and when you are awake, what you eat, when you shower.
You are depressed.
Your things are gone, your space is gone, your pet is gone, your friends are far away. Only your family and your memories remain.
Your family tries to make it better but there is no better here. They remind you to get out of bed and move your feet and legs but you don’t want to. They try to entertain you when they visit but the visits are never frequent enough even when they occur every day. And they can’t change the reality.
You are tired.
You can’t see very much, can’t hear anything when your hearing aid is away being repaired. Your roommates change but are similarly confused and wandering.
You are scared.
There are noises in the hall that you can’t identify. You can’t tell when people are headed into your room or when they are just passing by.
You are dependent on strangers.
You used to be independent. You like to tell people that you always did things for yourself. You tell people you don’t like to be a burden. That you like to make your own decisions.
But you are allowed so few decisions now.
You recognize that your time is short. And you’re not sure if that isn’t a good thing. Because you can’t imagine your life moving forward like this forever.
You never imagined life ending this way. Or that the gift of living to be 101 could be so hard.
Just never imagined.