‘An aged man is but a paltry thing, a tattered coat upon a stick.’ — W.B. Yeats
An old friend halfway across the world sends him an email, acknowledging the elderly man’s wife’s birthday in two days. His wife died four days before Christmas of a brain hemorrhage. They had been together for thirty-four years. The elderly man has no surviving immediate family.
The old friend ends the email with this one word: Grim.
The elderly man (feeling—shame on him!—particularly sorry for himself that day) replies:
I am aware. And on that day, just like every other day, I will be alone in this hovel without her. No one will phone and no one will ‘drop in’ since I have no friends here. My wife was my whole life. I will sit in a chair in a room outside the ‘dead’ room with this last image of her sitting in her armchair in the former living room: