Fear of Getting Old Alone w/o family

Dear CAF,

I am a young 21 year old male college student, and I will be applying into dental school in a few weeks, if by the grace of God, I get accepted into dental school, then I will become a dentist. However, I also have same-sex attraction, and I cannot imagine getting married to a woman - I think that because of my homosexuality, and my desire to honor my Catholic faith, I will not ever get married.

I’m scared of this. I scared of living alone for the rest of my life without children. Who will take care of me? Who will take care of me? Will I have to die in a nursing home ? I want the love of children, and to be taken care of by my family.

Is it practical that I be taken care of by my nephews and niece? Will they take care of me?

I’m scared. Is it realistic for newphews/nieces to take care of their dying uncle?

I’m scared about the future. I’m tired.

You are in a situation that is very difficult and shared by many others. Please do not try to figure out your life way down the road but rather work on today and let God and all of us help you. I will pray for you to be lead through your life with a strong faith in God’s ability to support and lead you all the way. Being taken care of in your old age or through a sickness can happen in many, viable ways with or without family to help. But, for right now, becoming a dentist and going through your schooling as a man of faith are your main objectives and they need your full attention. God bless you with the strength you need.

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Practice trusting the Lord every step along the way. Jesus loves you more than you can imagine!

I just went to my great uncle’s funeral this past weekend. He never married, and never had children. He made himself a major part of his siblings’ families though, and was a big part of his nieces and nephews (and grand and grand-grand nieces and nephews) lives. He was very independent, and lived on his own right up until a week or so before the end. When his time came, he was surrounded by family.

He spent his life in the service of others. He volunteered for several organizations, served on a board of directors for a charity, was very involved in his parish, and went to mass daily. He served God in ways that a married person couldn’t.

I can’t pretend to know what God wants you to do, but if you’re called to the single life, I hope this helps.

I can understand your fears. I am a 45-year-old never married woman. I have living parents, a sister and brother in law, and a niece and nephew. Marriage and kids don’t seem to be on the horizon.

There are things you can do to plan for your own future: long term care insurance when you get a job (it’s cheap when you’re young; I found that out when I got it in my 30’s), put away money for retirement, make your wishes known about care in your later years. By the time you get old and die, there may be a lot more living options.

I hope that your niece and nephew help you in your later years; I hope mine do.

However, our future is ultimately in God’s hands.

Maybe you will find friends through your life who will help. I knew an elderly woman at my church who fell and broke her hip. She had friends from the church (her family was far away) as well as live-in home caregivers for a while, until she decided to move into a facility close by her son.

My grandma passed away 2 years ago in a nursing home. Before she had her fatal attack, my aunt was asked to step out for a moment while an aide cleaned my grandma up (she had soiled herself). Before my aunt could come back. Grandma passed. However, the aide was with her and she was not alone. God provides.

Are you involved with Courage? You might find friends there to support you.

I understand that you are afraid. But you are also young, and a whole life is in front of you. You will not marry, but that is not bad, be happy that you are gay. God have chosen you to a life in celibacy and chastity, and if He have done that, He will take care of you. I am sure you will be a good dentist, and you will build a life that maybe not include kids, but you will find friends. For some reason I think you will be very happy, focus now on your studies and don’t worry, why would God choose you and then abandon you? To be homosexual is not a sin, as long as you live in celibacy, then it become a privilege. There is nothing that predict that you will get old alone, God is with you, and He will not leave you.

Having children does not guarantee that you will have people able or willing to care for you.

Having children does not guarantee that they will still be in the same country when you need to be cared for.

Nursing homes are full of people with families - some visit every day, some just say ‘tell me when he’s dead’.

Trust God to look after his faithful servant, and provide for yourself cashwise. You’ll have a happy old age.

Exactly so. I worked at a nursing home for some time and I’d say the great majority of the residents had no visitors of any sort.

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