Tag: Alone

Wild party on County Road 9

You try. You try to get through the death of your wife. You got through the death of two brothers and your son. Why is it so hard to get through the death of your wife?

For one thing, your wife helped you get through those deaths, especially the death of your son. That was a tough one. You went crazy. You wanted to kill yourself. Your wife stopped you.

You can’t do that. It won’t help Will. And I need you. 

You went on. You lived through the nightmare. Years passed. Your wife was always there for you.

And then she fell ill. Ambulances came wailing in the night. Emergency vehicles flashed their lights. Medics worked frantically at her bedside, their faces taut with urgency.

And then the inevitable night ride to emergency. A grim scenario played out before, but this night they could not save her.

And now you live alone. You try. You try to get over. You join a bereavement group. You volunteer at the local library. You go back to the empty house. You have no immediate family left. You’ve stopped waiting for the phone to ring. You read a lot. You drink a lot. Gin is a lifesaver. Until it isn’t. But Xanax is, every time.

You put seemingly hopeful posts on your blog (obviously this is not one of them). You try to get off the subject of death.

But you know you’re kidding yourself. All you know is, you want your wife back. And the rest of what you know is, she’s never coming back.

Your wife was a believer. She believed in something after death. But you can’t wrap your head around that. You are twice bereft — of your wife, and of belief.

Not a good place to be in an empty house on County Road 9.

The dead room

‘An aged man is but a paltry thing, a tattered coat upon a stick.’ — W.B. Yeats


An elderly man lives alone in a bungalow in Upstate New York.

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 image of her sitting in her armchair in the former living room: