Losing a husband is bad enough but losing the ability to succeed in life is even worse. When Joe was alive he did it all, paid the bills, organised the money, and wouldn’t let me lift a finger. He has been gone a few years now and I have learned to cope … successfully, I might add. The only trouble is that family live too far away and neighbours really don’t want to know when folk are alone. It’s as if they are scared of something, as if an alone person will rob them of both time and money.
I got on okay, but health problems magnified the solitude I lived in. Occasionally the girls next door would do something for me but not very often. They had their own invalid to take care of, in the shape of an elderly aunt who lived alone.
To overcome the burden that solitude brings I became interested in an advert for local help. I had never heard of it before but it seemed to be something everyone knew about. That organisation is quite big and has lots of people working to help the sick, the frail, or the lonely.
When I decided that loneliness was too big a cross to bear, I contacted the organisation. Overnight my solitude was removed. Well, not quite, but I did have companionship for an hour a day, twice a week. And enjoyed it! It was someone to talk to, laugh with, and discuss things. Great!
What I omitted to say was that it cost me money. £25 for an hour’s chat, £50 for two hours. But the cost soon rose to £27.95 an hour. Rather than lose the companionship I put up with the cost, that is until today when new pricing came into force. I received a letter to say that in total my weekly fee for eight hours would be £195.65 - every week.
Much as I love my hourly visitor it rather looks as if she must vacate my sofa and let me take charge of my own money and all those little jobs she helped me with. Sad, because she was what kept me ticking, so to speak, but now I feel doomed to spend the rest of my days in silence.