Nothing left to Lose
We had to sell the house of course. Living on an island and using the ferry, getting to the hospital was just too inconvenient. Still, moving into a care home also meant downsizing. We could have put our possessions into storage, but that's expensive and anyway, once I was on my own, why would I sink my savings into buying a house?
Once she'd gone, I also rehomed both dogs. No landlord would take two animals. I have to say I didn't feel guilty. They got a fabulous placement on an acreage, much better than anything I could provide.
No kids of my own, and being an immigrant, I've no family here. My wife had two kids, already adults when we married, so neither that close to me, even if they didn't live hundreds of miles away. As for any friends and neighbours, moving erected a barrier.
Once she'd died, I left the care home, far too expensive, and moved to a furnished apartment. Nice enough place but still one more purge of belongings. All that's left now is the car. I'm also retired so no workplace to visit, but I could still go shopping and start conversations. That 's something old people can do, but not after Covid so that door got closed. Before the pandemic, I caught the flu and had to look after myself. Not a big deal but it's nice to have someone who'll to the drug store.
Don't get me wrong. I'm blessed in may ways. I have a decent pension, good enough health and some money from the house sale, and I've since met a wonderful woman who wants to be in my life. That isn't the point.
In the space between the relationships, I would know a level of freedom like none before in my life. At times it was heady. Left without responsibilities, I was a free agent in the universe and after the challenge of caring for my partner, the empty time felt good. Still, I never fooled myself. I was free only because I had nothing left to lose. That's not such a comfortable feeling.