Noah’s Ark Syndrome
Excerpted from If I Knew Then What I Know Now– So What? by Estelle Getty, ©1988:
I’ve always felt that loneliness, not age, is the real killer. I get a lot of letters from women who tell me how difficult life is– they’re widowed and alone and scared and sick– and the show (The Golden Girls) cheers them up. And how they’d love to be like Sophia and live with other women– but they don’t. They’ve lost their husbands; now they feel bereft of all peace and security.
Letters like that always move me, because it doesn’t have to be that way. It all goes back to the Noah’s Ark syndrome which prevails in our society, the notion that people have to go through life two by two. That you’re less than whole– this goes for men and women and gays of both sexes.
Damn it, it isn’t so. Divorce, widowhood, break-ups– they make all of us hurt. But life doesn’t end, and life can be perfectly viable for a single person. It takes courage to reach out and form new relationships. But that courage has great rewards.
Like many of the books I read, I found this one at a charity sale and paid $1 for it. I had low expectations, but it has surprised me. It’s turned out to be a wonderful little book about life and aging, and I’m glad I got it.