In 1966 The Beatles asked us some powerful questions in their song Eleanor Rigby: “All the lonely people. Where do they all come from? All the lonely people. Where do they all belong?” The latter question is the one that always gets me as if there is a sort of implication behind it. Upon further reflection, the answer to this enigma became a simple one. Nowhere. Lonely people don’t feel like they belong anywhere or to anyone.
I am certain there are many of us who, at one point or another, have felt isolated, hopelessly sad, or even felt alone in a crowded room. We live in a world full of lonely people, and loneliness is a significant contributing factor to depression. According to The World Health Organization, there are approximately 264 million individuals who suffer from depression. I am 1 of those 264 million, diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and (PTSD) in my early 20s. Depression does not discriminate and has little to no regard for age, gender, race, or circumstance. Speaking from personal experience, it robs you of your happiness, kills your motivation, and leaves you in silent suffering. A kind of agony that lurks beneath the surface of your soul and causes more destruction than you could ever imagine.
Among the many lonely people, I venture to say there is a group that experiences one of the most unjust and heart-wrenching forms of loneliness, widows. The song Eleanor Rigby was inspired by local WWII widows in England. McCartney shared with Lennon all the sorrowful stories of their long lost loves, and the song began to take shape. Ironically, there is a gravestone for an Eleanor Rigby in St. Peter’s Churchyard in Woolton, England, which is consequently, where Lennon first met McCartney during a church social.
The transformative power of music, this song, in particular, reminds us to find within ourselves the compassion for those who suffer from depression. Likewise, we must never forget the Eleanor Rigby’s of the world.