The Need For Human Connection

As humans, we are born with a need for connection and community, for care and for consideration. However, as we all know, these basic needs can sometimes go unmet at various points in our lives. This can lead to feelings of shame and the belief that loneliness is our fault. But nobody should feel this way. Connection is a fundamental human need, and it is something we often see lacking in our community. Many of our programmes work to address and combat this issue of loneliness.

One of our Wellbeing volunteers, Stan Moorcroft, has captured the experience of loneliness and the longing for human connection in a short fiction text, which he has kindly shared with us here.

Unexpected Item

“Leaving the bathroom, she checked the answerphone. Nobody had called; nobody ever called, aside from nuisance calls. Yet she always checked the answerphone, a ritual of isolation, like checking the post and staring out the window.

She pulled on her coat, brushed her hair, and checked her appearance in the mirror. Her greying hair bothered her, but why dye it, or more accurately, whom to dye it for? Otherwise, her appearance, as always, was neat and tidy, what her mother used to call ‘respectable.’

She took her shopping bag from the cupboard and keys from the hook, then left to face the glaring sunshine and the indifference of a busy world.

She had lived here for twenty years, ever since her husband had died, yet still barely knew anyone. She had never been good at connecting with others, making friends. That had never mattered when Brian was alive.

The coat was a mistake; it was too warm. But she persevered on the ten-minute walk to Tesco.

She daydreamed, as she always did when trying to keep reality at bay. She daydreamed about TV soap opera characters and the dramas they endured, about the past and the passage of time. She daydreamed in the street and as she made her way down the aisles, checking things off her list.

She moved to the self-checkout counters. These she preferred as they dispensed with the awkwardness of interacting with shop assistants. Daydreaming she floated high above the machines, wrapped in warm memories of holidaying by the sea – the seagulls, the wind in her hair and the crash of the waves… “Unexpected item in bagging area.

She froze for a moment, startled and unsure of herself, before reality reasserted itself. A voice, a human voice, the last thing she had been expecting.”

By Stan Moorcroft

VCKC Wellbeing Client

Are you are feeling lonely? Get in touch with our Wellbeing team who will work to pair you with a befriender, or find activities in the community to help you feel less isolated. Email us at email hidden; JavaScript is required or call us on 020 8960 3722 for more information.

You can also find fantastic local volunteering opportunities with us, giving you the chance to connect with likeminded individuals and to support causes you care about! Click here to learn more.