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An untenanted heart ... ngtermcare

The lives of the old are scarred by absence, not only losses that must come with time, but also fraying ties of kinship, an inexplicable depopulation of the heart. It is not that those they love are indifferent, but they are so busy, and their presence always needed elsewhere. The attention strays from the large-print Catherine Cookson, as ears strain for the doorbell that doesn't ring, or the telephone that is supposed to bring children and grandchildren nearer, but which pride forbids them to pick up, because it is not their turn to phone. ... -term-care

Not caring isn't uncaring

Having trust in people and institutions outside the family is crucial to every family's survival. Yet there is an unspoken and often destructive covenant – between mothers and daughters, between sons and their mothers – which causes many women to be vilified for making a generational move from unquestioning drudgery to an understanding of interdependence that lets them involve non-family members in their lives. They are made to feel guilty for trying to prevent themselves disappearing from the world.