The Community was saddened to learn of an unfortunate tragedy that took place this week – a community member lost her life due to a fire that broke out in the wee hours on Wednesday, November 7. Nergish Kanga was a single senior, living by herself, a recluse – her neighbours didn’t know much about her, they said they never really saw any visitors drop by to meet her, and they knew nothing about her friends or family as she didn’t speak much to them.
Maybe, there were no family or friends she was in touch with for a while, because no loved one came forward to claim her body (which was then claimed by the BPP by Chairman Yazdi Desai), and no one turned up at Aslaji Agiary to attend her last prayers. (Details: Pg.7).
Perhaps the only thing sadder than this fateful accident, was that Nergish Kanga didn’t just die alone, she also died lonely. There’s a difference – being alone can be an empowering preference; being lonely is living with a constant, gnawing sense of emotional abandonment… the aching of the soul which resonates with the void in the heart.
Sadly and surprisingly, even in a Community as miniscule and close-knit as ours, where the perception is ‘everyone knows everyone’, a number of our seniors live their twilight years, single and lonely. This is devastating and profoundly damaging to their mental and physical wellbeing. Aging lonely is as scary as it is depressing. There’s no magic cure for loneliness faced by our seniors, but if we make a concerted and regular effort to reach out to them, it would give them that much needed sense of belonging, security, support and most importantly, the will to live happily and healthily.
A timely suggestion would be for Parsi associations and individuals to take up this rather underestimated cause of concern amongst our seniors, especially those living by themselves, and to develop effective Outreach Programs, connecting volunteers from our Community to spend time with them, so as to instill a sense of value and purpose in them, and break down the loneliness which claims their spirit way sooner than old age claims their life.
Have a good weekend!