Jerry was 78 years old when his wife died, leaving him devastated and heartbroken. To make matters worse, he was also suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, which he had developed shortly before his wife’s death. Things were looking ugly.
Jerry and Susan had been married for over two decades and he didn’t know how he was going to live without her. She had been his rock and he felt lost without her.
When Jerry and Susan were married, Susan was recently divorced and had a two-year-old daughter named Eva. Jerry had never been married before and having a family of his own was more than he had hoped for. He had treated Eva as his own daughter and life had been good.
But things had taken a bad turn when his wife suddenly died of a heart attack. Jerry had gone to work in his garage one morning, as was his custom, but when he returned home for lunch he found his poor wife sprawled on the floor, clutching her chest in despair.
“Oh God! Susan, my dear! Don’t do this to me! Wake up!” he had cried, shaking his wife violently.
The doctors had tried as much as they could, but it was too late.
They buried her in the town cemetery a few days later, and nothing has been the same since.
A few days after laying his wife to rest, Jerry came home to find his suitcases and bags scattered on the porch.
“Eva! Eva! Open up! What’s going on?” he asked, almost pulling the front door off its hinges.
“This is my mother’s house and you are no longer welcome here,” Eva shouted as she threw more things away.
Jerry couldn’t believe it and begged her to open the door, but Eva was having none of it.
“Damn it, Eva! This is my house as much as it was Susan’s!” he shouted.
When his attempts to get her to open the door were in vain, Jerry slowly carried his luggage to his truck and drove to the cemetery. He knelt beside his wife’s fresh grave and cried his heart out.
“My love, you’ve only been gone a few days and my life is already falling apart!” he cried in despair. “Why did you have to leave me, my love?”
He missed her so much it hurt.
“God, end my life too, so that I can be with my wife,” he pleaded, lifting his eyes to heaven.
“I can’t live like this anymore; just take me, Lord!” he cried desperately.
Jerry spent all his time weeping at his wife’s grave, as he did for many more days and nights after that.
One day, as he lay weak at the foot of his wife’s grave, he heard a voice call out.
“Hey, old man, come with me!”
He was startled and looked up, desperately hoping that God had finally decided to take him.
But then he heard, “I’m right behind you.
He turned quickly to see a young man standing a few yards behind him.
“I have seen many people grieve for their loved ones, but never so intensely. Was she your wife?” asked Jason, who worked as a caretaker at the cemetery.
“She is! She’s the love of my life and we were married for years,” Jerry replied as he got up from the ground.
“Come with me,” Jason said as he helped Jerry to his feet.
He led him to the caretaker’s office near the cemetery gates and offered him tea and a sandwich before asking him to tell his story.
Jerry happily devoured the sandwich. He had not eaten for days and was starving.
As it turned out, Jason was a father of four, and his children formed an extraordinary bond with Jerry. They began to call him “grandpa” and helped him forget, if only for a moment, his grief. For the first time since his wife’s death, Jerry was smiling.
He spent a few days at Jason’s, and on Kayla’s next day off, she and her husband accompanied Jerry to his old house. They found Eva and Kayla said .
“I’m Kayla, a friend of your father’s, and I’ve come to help him claim what’s rightfully his.”
“But the house is my mother’s too!” replied Eva, obviously more aware that things could soon change for her.
“That much is true, but it also belonged to your father. He can decide whether to put you up here or kick you out, not the other way around,” Kayla repeated.
“I don’t want to kick you out, but since we can’t live together, all I’m asking for is some money to help me get a smaller place,” Jerry interjected.
It seemed a small sacrifice for her freedom, and Eva quickly agreed to the terms. Jerry soon bought a small house, furnished it with the help of Jason and his family, and moved all his things there.
They became his new family and visited him often, making his last days brighter and more bearable. He lived a full life with his new family and continued to visit his wife’s grave, not to mourn, but to thank her for sending him a family at his age.