Recently, I heard of someone who lived alone and died alone. He had been ill, but chose not to go to the doctor. His friends, unable to contact him, went to his room, only to find him dead. Although I didn’t know the man, the thought of someone dying alone shook me. Somehow it brought to mind this song by Simon & Garfunkel – A Most Peculiar Man (lyrics below).
He was a most peculiar man.
That’s what Mrs. Riordan said and she should know;
She lived upstairs from him
She said he was a most peculiar man.
He was a most peculiar man.
He lived all alone within a house,
Within a room, within himself,
A most peculiar man.
He had no friends, he seldom spoke
And no one in turn ever spoke to him,
‘Cause he wasn’t friendly and he didn’t care
And he wasn’t like them.
Oh, no! he was a most peculiar man.
He died last Saturday.
He turned on the gas and he went to sleep
With the windows closed so he’d never wake up
To his silent world and his tiny room;
And Mrs. Riordan says he has a brother somewhere
Who should be notified soon.
And all the people said, “What a shame that he’s dead,
But wasn’t he a most peculiar man?”
I thought of all the lonely people I know (and the many I don’t) who are often living lives of quiet desperation. How have I been reaching out to them? Have I made even one life easier? Have I bothered to get to know them at all?
Too often…I don’t care enough….too often, I underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring: all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
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Prompts for 8th June 2018 are:
1. Write about something that makes you feel refreshed and renewed.
2. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. – Leo Buscaglia
3. Picture prompt (via Corinne Rodrigues)
Corinne, I guess the fast pace of today’s life only makes us wonder about all those ‘peculiar little men’ in our neighbourhoods. Maybe, we don’t even come to know of their passing.Thank you for writing. I think I’ll try and reach out to any such people from now on…
we normally are so involved wi our own issues that we hardly care about anyone else..sad, but true…thanks for a reminder in here… that life is not juz about us n ours!
Corrine this is why I love reading your posts…because so often they remind me of life’s most beautiful lessons…and the way you share is a beautiful thing in itself:)and while so many of us are lost writing about the ugliness in the world you share these much needed words:)they are needed((hugs)))
Same goes for me as well. I don’t know if i have ever done enough to reach out to someone. As much as i would like to believe that i am a kind person, i seriously doubt that, sometimes when i try to escape situations unconsciously…. Where someone I don’t know much about might use my help .. then i keep on thinking why i did that… Strange. Sometimes i think I don’t know whether i will fight for it or just take a flight when the situation demands…. Altruism perhaps needs to be practiced…
This post is sad… Hope we can touch lives that need us….
Lovely heartfelt post… a bit surprised I had not heard of this song. The lyrics are beautiful
That is such a sad song. But it is so much sadder to just die alone, a whole life just gone. Hope no one goes through this.
Very well observed. A sensitive reflection on life and people where a smile can work like magic. It’s sad to see someone living and dying in loneliness. We deserve a second chance at life to be loved and indulged in extraordinary fun.
you know Corinne there are many such times, when I hear songs that make me feel low, and I begin to wonder what would happen if I were to die alone? Would I be rotting? and would there be someone to cry at my grave. And this thought makes me want to rach out to those who are lonely, cause I understand what loneliness can actually be like,
Too often it is too late to reach out to the people who are alone…..This post reminds me to look out for all those people who randomly call and I dismiss as whackos….Behind their frequent calls is a desire to be noticed…..
Sanch @ Sanch Writes
Loneliness is quite scary…one of my fears is that my life will eventually end in this fashion too. It’s one thing to be alone but quite another thing to feel lonely. I do believe we need to reach out more, be more kind and connect more.
It’s such a sad reality for many. My daily prayer is that everyone has someone who cares by their side in their hour of need. This post made me very sad.