A Reflection with Ric
“I’m So Lonely – I Just Wanna Die”
As I approached her room, I saw the door stood slightly open. I could barely see her and noticed she sat hunched over in her wheelchair. I heard the Chicago Cubs’ game on her TV.
“May I come in?” I asked, knocking lightly on her door.
“Yes,” she answered very softly.
As I walked toward her and before I could say anything, Amelia uttered seven words that I will never forget. “I’m so lonely, I just wanna die.”
To get a conversation going, I asked her about the Cubs. In response, she mentioned her son is also a Cubs’ fan. But she made it clear that he hadn’t visited her for a while.
Leaving Amelia’s room, I directly walked to the Director of Services. “Amelia is lonely, and she wants to die. We need to do something about this!”
We immediately called her son. He lived nearby, thankfully. He let us know that yes, he had acquired his Mom’s love for the Cubs. The Social Services Director told the son it would be great if could start making regular visits to see Amelia to watch the Cubs games together.
We also informed other residents in independent living that Amelia could use a visit. Thankfully, these visits began to happen on a regular basis.
Later, when I would stop in to visit Amelia, I was delighted to see her with her son watching a Cubs game together. I could see an amazing change in her.
Then one day, when I stopped at her room, I saw it sitting empty. Amelia had not died! She had recovered enough strength, and a revived desire to live, so had returned to her apartment.
As I’ve recently thought about this story from a few years ago, I’ve wondered, with a sense of sadness, how Amelia would have fared in today’s Covid-19 world?