'Nobody Seems to Care That I Live Alone in My 70s'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Judy writes:

Nobody seems to care that I live alone in my 70s. My two adult children and four adult grandchildren are busy living their lives. It’s hard to put into words the feelings of loneliness that overcome me.

I give many gifts to my children. Yes, I’m invited to birthday parties and graduations—any celebration requiring a gift—and now I am broke, living off Social Security, fearful I’ll soon be homeless. I’m lonely and in fear of my immediate future.

I have no social contact with others my age. Guess I’m an introvert, lonely and wanting a friend.

Here’s another reader, Brenda:

I’m alone in Texas. My four children are out living their lives. If I died, they would find out two weeks later. My oldest daughter might care. My second daughter wouldn’t care. My son might be slightly shocked, but he would get over it quickly.

My youngest is the only one who shows much care. She calls me every Sunday. She is all I have, so I will love and cherish her from 2,000 miles away.