Sup­port group helped me cope with loss ofmy wife

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA -

My wife died of acute leukemia in De­cem­ber 2012. It was a few­days from the di­ag­no­sis to her death. Ev­ery­thing hap­pened so sud­denly and I was re­ally crushed.

We were school­mates and had been mar­ried for 50 years. Ac­tu­ally, her death just came a few­days af­ter our 50th wed­ding an­niver­sary. I re­ally wasn’t an­tic­i­pat­ing it.

I couldn’t face the re­al­ity of it all and was cry­ing a lot. At some points, I thought it would be bet­ter to be with her rather than stay in this world alone.

Ev­ery time I sawa cou­ple walk­ing on the street, hold­ing each other, I missed her so much.

The wid­owed el­derly are al­ways very lonely and keen to chat. But it’s not easy to find some­one who wants to share. I have three daugh­ters and a son and they don’t live with me. They can’t truly un­der­stand how I feel be­cause they haven’t reachedmy age yet and the younger gen­er­a­tion have their own in­ter­ests.

For­tu­nately, af­ter a cou­ple of weeks, I sawan ad­ver­tise­ment on TV for the “Love Elder­lyHot­line” and made a call. Through the hot­line, I got to know many friends who have had sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences.

I live in a ru­ral area of Fang­shan district and it takesme two hours just to reach the cen­ter, but I en­joy it very much.

At first, my chil­dren were sus­pi­cious. They didn’t be­lieve such an or­ga­ni­za­tion could ex­ist, pro­vid­ing a ser­vice to the el­derly free of charge.

I amthe only one from the coun­try­side here. Most vil­lagers still don’t know about the ser­vice at all and might feel ashamed to ad­mit they have sui­ci­dal thoughts or psy­cho­log­i­cal prob­lems.

In the past, some old peo­ple took their own lives af­ter be­ing mis­treated by their chil­dren. Nowwe can re­ceive a 400 yuan pen­sion ($60) per month, with which we can sur­vive even with­out the sup­port of chil­dren.

It has been al­most four years sincemy wife passed away. I’ve ad­justed to this new life now and I be­lieve it would bringmy wife com­fort to see me happy.

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