A pensioner has put up a heart-breaking poster in his window ‘as a last resort’ to make friends after the death of his wife left him completely isolated.
Tony Williams, 75, from Hampshire, said he feels ‘cursed’ by loneliness after his wife of 35 years, Jo, died days after being diagnosed with cancer during lockdown. The couple were unable to have children and he has no family that live nearby.
Since the death of his ‘soul mate’, the retired physicist said he often goes for days without speaking to anyone and instead stays at home hoping the phone will ring ‘but it never does’.
Tony spent £120 placing two adverts in his local newspaper in a bid to find a new friend but he never received a reply. He then had cards made including his details and handed out dozens when he went to the supermarket or out for a walk – but again, no one called.
In a last-ditch attempt, the pensioner has put up a poster in his window hoping to find some pals to have a chat with over a brew in the garden, or listen to music together.
The sign read: ‘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 said: ‘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.’
A closer look at loneliness in England:
According to Age UK:
- More than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone.
- At least 1 million elderly people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
- 500,000 go at least six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone.
- Two fifths of all older people (around 3.9 million) say the television is their main company.
Tony met ‘best friend’ Jo, a legal secretary, in a bar more than 35 years ago and the couple went on to enjoy a long marriage of ‘perfect harmony’.
‘We first met one night in a bar, and we got on so well,’ Tony added. ‘It was just incredible. It was like I’d known her all my life.’
The couple lived in Kempley, in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, for 25 years, where they enjoyed evenings in the garden which had an orchard. ‘Everything was just perfect,’ he added.
They decided to move close to Alton in East Hampshire last year, so Jo could be closer to her sister, Beryl, 73.
But Jo fell seriously ill after the move and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She died just nine days later.
The 75-year-old passed away at home, with her husband by her side, in May. Tony has lived in near silence ever since.
The pensioner said he and ‘best friend’ Jo had a ‘lovely life’ together and would spend hours every evening cooking, laughing and listening to music.
‘But now I’m all by myself. My wonderful wife has just died, and I have nobody,’ said Tony.
He said: ‘Every time I walk in the room, the first thing I do is look at her photograph.
‘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.
‘I’m 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.’
Tony’s neighbours said they have offered to help him but the pensioner said he would like to find a friend his own age to pass the time.
He added: ‘I just want a friend, and I hope my sign will find someone for me.’
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