Tom and Sue were married for 22 years and were devoted to each other as they grew older. So when Sue died of cancer, Tom’s grief was overwhelming.
It was as if Tom was dying of a broken heart. His loneliness was draining the life out of him. When anyone spoke to him, he would break down in tears. He didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything. His friend Stuart kept knocking on his door to take him out, but he didn’t want to go anywhere.
Finally, just to avoid upsetting Stuart, Tom agreed to go with him to the lunch club that The Salvation Army runs for older people near where he lives.
“The staff and volunteers were so kind to me,” he remembers. “They made me feel welcome and introduced me to the other members of the club. Soon I was chatting away with the others. Somehow being able to talk to people about Sue and all the happy times we had together made things easier for me to come to terms with losing her.”
Now Tom is a regular guest at the lunch club and many other activities that The Salvation Army puts on for older people. He’s looking forward to Christmas when we will be organising a traditional Christmas lunch with all the trimmings for people who would otherwise be on their own on Christmas Day. Our minibus will even pick him up from home to take him to the centre and drop him off at home afterwards, with a few presents to show how much he’s loved.
Tom still misses Sue, of course, but we have given him a new lease of life. “I would have sat and festered at home. Now I have friends and new interests. Thanks to The Salvation Army I have something to live for.”
Your gift could pay for lonely older people like Tom to enjoy a proper Christmas dinner and the warmth of friendship at a Salvation Army community centre.
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