By: Chuck Bengtson, MDiv
Erich Fromm, a prominent psychologist, believed that “isolation is the source of all anxiety.” When we look at the common responses to grief and bereavement we can easily see loneliness as either the root cause, or a multiplying force among the other responses. Why do we feel sad? Why do we feel angry? Why do we feel afraid? Why do we feel guilty? The answer to these questions, more times than not, is related to a sense of loneliness, isolation or estrangement.
Difficult as this may be, if we are to begin to alleviate our loneliness and isolation, we must admit our need for other people and we must do what we can to initiate new relationships. On the other hand, we must also come to the realization that other people need us as well. It’s important to find meaningful ways to contribute something to the lives of other people. All of us have something special to contribute to the lives of other people. Today is as good a day as any to both appreciate and strengthen the relationships we already have or to step out in faith and begin developing new ones.