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life as we get old...

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    life as we get old...

    ‘what meaning does life give to those people who live unable to lead their own lives?’

    I read an editorial about the elderly the other day and it really brought a tear to my eye…maybe cos I feel I’m soon to be at that stage in life or whatever…but imagine how lonely it could be when your bodies fail you, your friends die, your families have their own busy lives to lead.

    ‘Communication is difficult or impossible as their sight and hearing and speech decay. They are trapped in their own homes, in their own bodies. In the hollow gazes of their eyes you can just see sometimes that they know their lives are in the past: they don’t feel loved or needed any more.’ The feeling of fires going out…hollowness, loneliness.

    ‘To avoid aging is impossible. Growing old is inevitable. Acquiring aches and pains and stiff joints is natural - physical deterioration is built into our genetic make-up, so we have no choice but to eventually succumb. But of all the dark aspects of aging, the social aspect is the most frightening. Becoming isolated and losing touch. Being unable to communicate ideas and experiences and feelings, not being able to comprehend those around.’

    Not that old people are deprived, but it must be among the most horrible states of existence to know only loneliness as a close friend and companion. Growing old is one of the fears of many people. To me it seems strange that someday it might be exhausting to sit down and write for an hour or to have to struggle to just put on my socks...

    I find it hard to imagine that one day I won’t be able to run up the stairs or jump and play basketball; that this healthy body will one day weaken and someday die, and that I will no longer exist - but again, I can accept that part of it. What is hard to accept is being old and alone…


    How True!

    I don't want to turn into an oldy girl! For Me 35 years are enuff to Live!

    I dunno why I feel so helpless whenever i think what i wud be when i will get old.
    I Juz can't imagine to be ignored! Also it is so pathetic to think about loneliness that old ppl have.

    Ignorance Aur Tanhai Insaan Kow Waqt Say Pehlay Hi Maar Daiti Hai!

    But AuntiG yey bhi tow zaroori naiN na kay insaan jab old hoo tow hi Akela hoo. Some ppl are alone right from the start of their lives!



      Well personally i think that the American concept of "Being old = Taboo" is a shame..
      My nanno is OLD alhamdullilah, she is probably having not the best time of her life but its not that bad either. I think if u'r life is balanced and u have a specific purpose in life. And if that specific purpose directly or indirectly leads to Allah (swt)then its All good

      [This message has been edited by Pakiice (edited February 09, 2000).]


        Originally posted by AuntiG:
        I find it hard to imagine that one day I won’t be able to jump and play basketball. Wow, i imagine AuntiG playin basketball

        What is hard to accept is being old and alone…
        AuntiG, you will never be alone. I hope GupShup will stay forever.

        PS our social standards back home in the villages are not bad after all !!!


          This is so true AuntiG. I feel that at times too. I am having real intense Middle Age Crises even before hitting the Middle Age. Just thinking about it sends unpleasant shivers up my spine. The way I deal with this is to “get drunk”. No. Only kidding.

          I do try to put things in perspective and see what is most important to me. I then try to make sure that I get to enjoy what I feel is precious and will not be there for long. At this time, my boys are the center of my joy. I make sure that I spend as much time with them fighting as I possibly can, before they turn into goofy looking teenagers and start brining their girlfriends home. I have no idea how I will deal with that, but I think I will figure it out.

          My personal idea of revocation of life is that the day I am unable to read and understand what I read is the last day of my life. To me a life without being able to read is no life. I wouldn’t mind living on crutches or not being able to walk up and down the stairs, but I can not imaging not being able to read.

          I am not as much afraid of aging as I am of age.




            Interesting post.

            I agree, I like the person i've become more and more and love how much I've learned from experience. HOwever, age does decrease my ability to tolerate certain activities...and do things. I also think that my work is a daily reminder to not take my age or my health for granted and too appreciate everything.

            I also have so much sympathy for those who are alone, by choice or without any other choice. What an existance is there without someone to share it with...and without the ability to do what you enjoy.

            If I could not see I can not read.

            If I could not hear I can not listen to music or enjoy people's company as much as I do...scary thought.

            ‘what meaning does life give to those people who live unable to lead their own lives?"

            what a wonderful comment..but I don't think that is appropriate for just those of us who are elderly..but also for anyone in their life..who feels that way.


              SamreenG, how true that one can be alone at any point in their life

              PakiiceG, i'm very glad for your nanno having a good life, you said her life is not bad - but,according to whom? I think you missed the key point - which is that old age comes to everyone (not just americans) true in our desi cultures, old age is revered or should be, but for an elderly person, does that make it any easier - can they see any better, or remember any better or hear any better or become the person they once were with all the bounce and vitality just because they are respected when their family visits them? this has nothing to do with how a culture sees the elderly, but rather how the elderly view themselves...

              pathwariG, i even play soccer with the kids now and then!!! just a few years ago, they also taught me roller-blading - lot's of fun!!!

              NY AhmadiG,

              kashmiriG, you are so right - the comment is true for anyone who cannot lead the kind of life they would like - whether they suffer from old age or any other kind of infirmity...


                Its a fact that we are living in a age of 'Isolation'. The general trend that society has taken during the last century is that people are moving out of their communities and exploring other parts of the world. This behaviour ties in with aging too. I think people who live in big families with friends and relatives find it easy to cope with depression of aging as compared to people living alone.

                Aging could be a scary thought for those who are conscious about their could be a perplexing thought for those who are afraid of regrets...It could be a satisfying thought for those who 'believe'...

                For me! oh well I can't wait till its all over.



                  Im sure your grandchildren would love you, and you would feel happy with their company


                    I'ld like to spend my golden years with my grand-childern , and as Pakiice said devoting
                    towards a purpose which leads to success in heirafter.
                    Workin' out on regular basis also makes me feel young and my reflexes sharp I do it with a sole purpose of extending my flying career as long, and enjoyable ,as possible.


                      U know ! life has three stages in which we have to spend it ok.
                      1-child hood 2- youngage 3- old age
                      God has sent us to do good deeds for having heaven in result, and HE made the time always runing to see wether we respect the time or not.But the matter of fact is that we dont .Thats is why when we get old age we use to hate this .If we have to never get old age , how could we appriciate childhood and youg age.We would not have difference between the ages then.


                        AuntiG!!! Hi, it's me.

                        Okay, here is my take on this very interesting topic you have brought up. I may sound a bit too optimistic for my own good, but again, as long as it keeps me from feeling scared, hopeless, sorry for myself etc, I will hang on to this opinion of mine.

                        I do get scared of waking up one of these days, and realizing that life as I knew it is getting harder and harder to keep up with. For that I am hoping what all these doctors/nutrition experts/fitness gurus say about taking care of yourself now for later, proves right because each time I deny myself a luschious piece of death by chocolate cake or push myself to workout rather than watch Jerry Springer, I am not only thinking "Damn, I can see myself in those leather pants Now uhuh!", but I'm also thinking "I want to be the first pakistani american Nanni/Daddi going on a world Harley Davidson bike tour".

                        The point being, when one thinks young, and does what little possible to look young, it does pay off in later. The fact that you shoot hoops with you kids or play soccer, should make you realize that you, as a mother, have probably come a long way from your own mother or grandmother. Not only that, but you are spending time with your children, who will always be your children no matter how old you are or they are. You will always have them or their kids to keep you from feeling lonely. They will always need you, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, and you will too.

                        Just as when people are born, are babies or kids, they can never imagine being away from their parents or alone. Then, they grow up, have to move out, and adjust to it. Old age too, is something all of us will have to go through, no matter how much we try to fight it. Though I am totally against that motto "Grow old gracefully", since I think I would be one of those women more like "Buddhi GhorRi Laal Lagaam", I know I will be "old". I mean, what age is "old" really? When does one exactly sit on a prayer rug and hold a tasbeeh in her/his hands and start preparing to die? Or have the right to wear funky/trendy clothes taken away from them or whatnot? And if by being old and lonely you meant not having a Significant other to share your denture cleaner with or partner up for the YMCA Bingo/Salsa night (Hey, it is the 00's you know, polka is so passe), then who says at what age "old" people should stop meeting new "friends" and maybe creating new realationships?

                        Just as I have seen many american women/men in nursing home with those glazed eyes and blank faces (I used to volunteer in a nursing home), I have also seen as many enjoying things they have always wanted to enjoy but couldn't because of work/kids/money etc, after they retire, after they become empty nesters, and after they become "old". Now, that is the spirit!



                          Thanks AuntiG. Excellent thread.

                          These are all thoughts and ideas that "should" go through our heads sooner or later. Better sooner I guess, so that we can use a positive approach when we deal with the elderly and also so that we can plan our own time.


                            Auntie who is getting old...just kidding ..very nicely writen.

                            dil..dilsee...dil to akhir dil hai na