The neglected old, the imprisoned innocent, the once-loved, and the never-loved.
People are forgotten every day.
In the cages, silent sit,
The doomed and ancient,
The tireless dead echo their pain,
From without, I see within,
But cannot lift a
Hand to win
Back the lives they’ll unjustly lose,
I meant for this post to discuss ageing in solitude – the great “Loneliness Epidemic” currently facing so many people. As our elder population increases and our younger generations are wrapped up in their causes, there are more abandoned elderly people than ever. Without a break in their days and weeks and months, time becomes meaningless. There is no rhythm to their lives besides trying to remember when to take their medicine (if they can even afford it).
My country also has a terrible problem in our judicial system. The number of people in prison for victimless crimes, or in prison because of a lack of money to hire a lawyer who can take the time to learn something about their case, is appalling.
Today, that is where my mind is – with the wrongfully accused, eating food labeled “not for human consumption”, going to the bathroom in a room full of men that get off as they watch, witnessing man-on-man physical abuse and falling asleep each night, unprotected from the worst of our society. They have to pay to see a doctor but have no way to earn money. They have to pay for disposable toothbrushes, clothes, vitamins. In some prisons, the temperatures range from freezing to over 100F without heating or air conditioning all year.
I have a friend in prison for a crime that he can prove he did not commit.
In fact, it is proven that the crime never happened at all. And he has an alibi for the time it allegedly took place. And the initial police case was closed due to lack of evidence. But someone pushed it to the courts anyway.
They arrested him, then convicted him on hearsay. His evidence was deemed inadmissible. The expert testimony was not allowed. The fact that all his friends and family showed up for him in court was interpreted as proof he is overly charismatic and probably a cult leader.
Before the jury was sent off, the judge told them to consider all the facts and to remember that “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
Interesting fact: no one is required to read your appeal. You have the right to appeal, but no one actually has to consider it.
My spouse and I have not forgotten him. It’s been six years, and all of his other friends have abandoned him – not because they believe the allegation, but because it is too inconvenient to email him an occasional letter. I understand wanting to let go of this stressful situation, but I refuse to turn my back on a wrongly accused man.
One lie has stolen his wife and child from him, his career and hobbies, his hopes and potential. I’d like the accuser to be charged with kidnapping and sentenced for all crimes that have been committed against my friend since he has been imprisoned. But that is just my vengeful side.