May 29, 2020

How is isolation affecting the oldest among us?

Clara Glynn, 54

My mother turned eighty, and struggled with facing this milestone alone, away from her family. I wanted to write something personal, for her, that also spoke to the thousands of others who are in this situation. The extent to which our society neglects the old has been made painfully self-evident in the current crisis, and I think many people are re-examining our values here. It’s too easy to see the old person, and forget all the things they have done, all the people they’ve been over a lifetime. My mother didn’t have an extraordinary life, but of course like all lives hers is a life worth celebrating. Looking back over her eighty years to write this made me realise how her generation were born the last time our country faced life threatening conflict. Her life is book ended by these times of fear and national crisis. The indomitable spirit of so many of her generation is a birthday candle of hope, I think, for us all

For Ann, Isolating on her Eightieth Birthday, 2020Poem