Friday, December 31, 2010

Poem About Loneliness in Older Adults/ Seniors

She waited, grasping like a New Year's resolution...

Festive holidays have brought cherished opportunities for many older adults to enjoy some visitors they seldom see during most of the year. Whether at home or in institutions, loneliness can be both difficult and dangerous for their overall health. Too many of them endure the negative impact of loneliness daily.

“Missing” is one of sixteen original poems at the end of each chapter in Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes. A hospice volunteer, I wrote it after witnessing the sadness of lonely nursing home residents who were missing the missing. They coped with ongoing loneliness that could easily have been avoided with gifts of time. But some relatives and friends kept putting off visiting them until it was too late.

As this new year begins with resolutions for change, consider making every effort to visit those who are ill or alone. Don’t sentence them to another year of missing you.


She waited,
hoping her years of caring
endured in grown-up minds,
rested in distant hearts,
conveyed how much she missed them.

She waited,
living real-time movies
of restless nights, anxious days
with inhaled hopes of fellowship,
exhaled sighs of deep despair.

She waited,
wishing nostalgic winds
flowed through cotton curtains,
brought relatives and friends
she cherished through the years.

She waited,
grasping like a New Year's resolution,
like a second suspended in time
until her clock stopped ticking
for visitors who never came.

© Frances Shani Parker

Frances Shani Parker, Author

Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback at many booksellers and in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers.


  1. Your poem touched me and brought tears to my eyes. You have a unique way of sharing a hard truth through the heart of the lonely. The fact is that, too often, the elderly are dismissed. I hope your poem gets a lot of readers.

    Thank you for sharing.

  2. This is so touching and beautiful. Very evocative of a pain I can't imagine.

  3. Thank you both so much for your comments. Happy endings, Frances