Why am I teary over my pharmacy closing?

December 4, 2023


It’s been 10 years since I wrote this tribute to my Walgreens pharmacy.  And today, I’m sharing this eulogy. My pharmacy closed, a victim of…what? Current events, maybe.

After I wrote the 2013 tribute, we developed a relationship with the prime pharmacist. He knew us, knew our meds and was a helpful source of information as we navigated the increasing number of drugs that seem to go along with aging. A nice guy.

But now, he’s out of a job. He told me that there were no jobs in the Walgreens system. Oh, he could do vacation coverage until the first of the year, and then it would be potluck fill-ins.

“We’re really sorry to lose you,” I told him. “We’ve never had a pharmacist who actually knew us this well.”

“I’m sorry to lose the continuity I’ve built over years with patients like you,” he said.

Twenty years ago, this kind of pharmacist was the norm. Mom and pop drugstores actually existed. But now, long gone. Or going. Along with any semblance of personal service. Gone is the kind of personal counseling about our meds by a trusted professional.

Anonymous, that’s the way corporate everything is going, distancing the customer from any live human, including a pharmacist who gets to know you.

I left the store on the verge of tears. Yes, I’ll miss my familiar little Walgreens and the nice pharmacist who gave good guidance. Sure, that was part of my sadness. But I was also mourning the loss of the personal touch in our society and recognizing that our interactions with the organizations that serve us will get only more anonymous as the years pass.

Young people my nephews’ age will never have the kind of relationship that we’re losing.

And I’m sorry for that, as well as for our loss.

Nothing stays the same. Everything changes. That’s just the nature of life. It’s just coming faster these days.

And, to tell you the truth? I just hadn’t realized that aging would mean so many goodbyes. Of all kinds.

12 comments on “Why am I teary over my pharmacy closing?

    We have that with our pharmacist, she knows our names, and is careful we don’t have meds that interact. And it’s a CVS in target! Who knew that could occur? But it’s the person, your pharmacist will find another place I hope….a lot of baby stuff is locked up but so far we are good.

  2. Laurie Stone says:

    I heard our local pharmacy may close too and feel the same way. I’ve grown to know and like all the faces and personalities over the years, and will miss them.

  3. Beth Havey says:

    This post touched me. In California I had great relationships with my pharmacist. In Des Moines the same. Covid change things. Lines, questions, fear. It was all about hurry through things. A few times I had a careful and kind pharmacist for my Covid shots. Now I have moved to a different pharmacy because of insurance. God knows what that will be like.

  4. Diane says:

    I absolutely agree.
    Even as claims of ‘more personalized and tailored service’, our personalized world is fast disappearing.
    Our own pharmacy with their claim to real connections is in such total disarray they couldn’t even find me in their computers and I’ve been a customer for two decades. It’s downright scary!
    I watch old movies where the local doctor or pharmacist knew everyone by name. Totally another world now…

  5. Alana says:

    A CVS and Walgreens near my neighborhood have both closed. The Walgreens closed last month without any warning. Boom, gone. My husband (who used them before his new insurance plan didn’t participate with them) received a letter about a week after they closed – we had no idea. We have one close pharmacy left, inside a supermarket. We are wondering when the chain will decide they don’t need a pharmacy anymore. The pharmacist we loved there retired last year. I feel for all the pharmacists (one of my cousin is married to a retired pharmacist) out there under all the pressure the chains put on them. It’s unconscionable.

  6. Lauren says:

    This is sad. I am still not over my childhood pharmacy mom and pop pharmacy closing 30 years ago. They would delver anything! Including candy bars with your prescriptions. They knew my mom’s voice when she called. Now I’m sad all over again.

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