Following the death of his wife, an elderly man from Alton has put a poster in his window asking for friends.
Tony Williams, 75, has been going days without speaking to anyone after his wife Jo, also 75, passed away in May this year.
The retired physicist and his wife were unable to have children, and without much in the way of family nearby, he finds himself sitting by the phone, hoping it will ring, but ‘it never does’. Feeling ‘cursed’ by loneliness, he put a poster up in his window asking for new pals.
The sign reads: ‘I have lost Jo, my lovely wife and soul mate. I have no friends and nobody to talk to. I find the unremitting silence 24-hours-a-day unbearable torture. Can nobody help me?’
Tony had already put two adverts in his local newspaper, for the sum of £120, looking for a friend to chat to, to no avail. Whether it’s listening to music or sitting in the garden, he’s just looking for some company. He even made business cards to hand out at the local supermarket or while he was out for a walk. Again, nobody replied.
It’s my last resort. I’ve tried everything to make friends, but it feels like nobody wants to talk to me. Not very many people pass my house, but I was hoping it would spread around the community, and someone might reach out.
Jo was my best friend and we had a lovely life. But now I’m all by myself. My wonderful wife has just died, and I have nobody. All I want is for somebody to see the sign and phone me up. I just want a nice conversation so I’m not sat in silence all day long.
He’s keen to urge that he’s not ‘looking for someone to listen to me cry – I just want a normal person who I can chat to… I can talk to anybody about anything. I spend most days just sat in the house in silence, just waiting for the phone to ring… but it never does.’
Tony met Jo, a legal secretary, more than 35 years ago in a bar. He described their marriage as ‘perfect harmony’. ‘It was just incredible. It was like I’d known her all my life. She was just so lovely. Our relationship was always so natural. We had no secrets and we could be totally open with each other – we really were soul mates,’ he added.
The couple lived in Kempley, in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, for 25 years. ‘We both used to get in every evening from work and cook together – with me doing one job and her another – then we’d put it together at the end. Sometimes we’d spend hours cooking, laughing and listening to music together – it was the highlight of our day,’ he said.
Tony added: ‘We also had a huge, beautiful garden with an orchard. In the summer months, I’d do the gardening and Jo would come and sit outside with me. Everything was just perfect.’
Last year, they moved to East Hampshire so Joe could be closer to her sister Beryl, 73. Unfortunately, Jo fell ill with pancreatic cancer shortly after they moved. Just nine days after being diagnosed, she passed away at home with Tony by her side.
Now I’m here, completely alone, in the house where my lovely wife spent her dying days. Every time I walk in the room, the first thing I do is look at her photograph.
While his neighbours have offered to help, Tony said he’s looking for someone his own age. ‘I just want a friend, and I hope my sign will find someone for me,’ he said.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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