You are still alive

He was a very active person, one of the most enthusiast men you can imagine. He was a prominent member of his community and General Director of his company. It was very difficult to locate him since he always was doing something somewhere, you know what I mean.

I always thought he would travel the world when he retired. He was so energetic I knew he would enjoy his live to the fullest after his retirement.

He didn’t.

He died exactly three months after retiring.

Just two weeks before his passing, I saw him in the centre of the city wandering, I had to stand right in front of him to make him stop and look at me.  When I asked him how he was, he just told me with a mechanic voice: “I am just trying to adjust to this new life, but now nobody needs me.” That was his laconic answer. That was the last time I saw him.

His family told me some time later that he felt anxious when he suddenly had nothing to do during the day and gradually lost his enthusiasm for life. When he thought nobody needed his guidance anymore he felt lost and let himself die.

Unfortunately that was not the last time I heard the same story.

Some years later a General friend of mine went through the same process. He retired from the Army and one day I found him sitting in a mall staring blankly. I greeted him but he look through me. I sat right in front of him but he just told me that he hated to see how his neighbourhood looked in the morning. “All is quiet and boring” he said. “I don´t know how to live this way”. He left walking without direction.

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7 thoughts on “You are still alive

  1. Such sad stories, Hector. In the tiny town where I live, we depend on volunteers for just about everything. Our recently-retired find their free time gobbled up in two seconds flat! There are so many ways beyond our work to feel valued, to make a difference, and use a lifetime of skills. Volunteerism as one way to transition out of the work world that is highly rewarding 😀

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  2. That is a good option D! Thanks! I guess I´ll suggest that to my retired friends! Excellent Idea!

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  3. These are such an important observations, Hector. It is tragic that people don’t take the time to cultivate other interests that give them joy and reasons for living. We are so much more than what we do for a living, our titles, positions, or job descriptions…

    Liked by 2 people

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