The answer, they eventually realize, is to build a sense of community — a shared purpose. They may all be going through hell, and they may all be doing so individually, without any one of them being able to lessen the other’s burden, but at the same time, deep in this lonesomeness, they have a shared experience they can come back to, and this experience adds a deeper layer of meaning where there otherwise isn’t one, and that — maybe, perhaps — makes it all a little less lonesome even if they are still fundamentally alone.
“Misery loves company” comes to mind. I think about the bonds that arise in coworkers in difficult jobs — grind together each day in a place you don’t like for not enough pay, and what’s left is a collection of deep, positive relationships, despite the negative context from which they came about. This is a profound article, thank you for sharing.