I had just put up our new community e-commerce website, HipSilver, when Murray was diagnosed with stage four cancer and my attention totally turned to him and my family. He died three months later with our family surrounding him, and my journey of discovering life without him began. I isolated myself. only letting in my close family and friends for needed support and insight, which kept me grounded. Through the help of dear girlfriends and sharing our mutual losses, the isolation began to lessen, and communication with the outside world became crucial. I realized that the loss, and missing my other half, was not going to disappear, but getting connected and becoming visible again was the next step.
After several months of deep grief, I had to turn my focus back to HipSilver and start living again. John Maroney, our CMO and my trusted friend, had kept HipSilver going during my grief, but now it was time to launch HipSilver into the world. Working and communicating again was essential to keep me going and being able to function.
Then the coronavirus struck. We never suspected the magnitude of what would be needed to limit the pandemic’s spread.
Since then, we have all been encouraged to go into isolation and work remotely, under the label ‘social distancing’. It sounded like a smart idea with time to get a lot of focused work done. I went to the market, laid in long-lasting supplies, and settled in for the next few weeks.
After a few goal-driven days it hit. I began to feel totally alone, in isolation and very sad. My young grandkids, out of love and concern, were staying 6 feet away, so no hugs and kisses! Only short visits from a distance. I had a real “feeling sorry for myself” (pity pool) crying session until I realized an important truth: HipSilver’s mission is to create joy, inspiration, encouragement and community and here I was feeling sorry for myself – Get a grip Gail and get on with it.
From my friend and COO Helen MacIsaac, we had lots of statistics on loneliness, another type of health epidemic. Loneliness and social isolation are one of the biggest killers of those in their Silver Age and this forced me out of my moment of self-pity. I turned back to the HipSilver community and realize we need to create a dialogue about the topic of isolation.
The human-animal is social and needs human contact. We need to reach out and exchange our experiences, building mutual trust from this sharing. Social connection touches all our souls and is needed daily.
We invite the HipSilver community to be an antidote to isolation and loneliness, and we can achieve this with your participation. Please help us start a dialogue about how you are dealing with it and in doing so, help us build an inclusive community.
I invite you to share with the HipSilver team and tell us how you are living with social distancing and self-isolation in this Silver stage of your life and especially during this world crisis.
Just as writing this personal blog post has helped me to evolve, your own solution might help someone else. Thank you.