"The Sixtieth Year" is a short story about Alice: Alice and her husband, Sam, are coming up to their 60th anniversary when the unthinkable happens. Sam dies of a heart attack, leaving Alice alone in this world of new-fangled things where she doesn’t belong. Her heart aches to be with her husband, so much so much so that she longs to die to be with him.
I started writing Alice's story back in 2007 when my dad was first diagnosed with prostate cancer. One of my first thoughts was what would Mom do without him. At that time they'd been married 46 years. I couldn't imagine losing someone who shared my life for long. So, I stared writing the story of Alice, a women so distraught over her husband's unexpected death, that she, too, no longer wanted to be a part of this world.
I didn't finish the story until 2013 when Mom passed away. She was diagnosed with peritoneal cancer in late 2011. She went through chemo, had surgery in early spring 2012, went though more chemo, but passed away in July 2013, leaving Dad to be the one alone.
Dad was devastated. He had so many emotions. He was inconsolable. I had never in my all life seen my Dad sob. I saw him tear up at my Grandma's funeral and caught a glimmer of tears in his eyes at my Uncle's funeral, but never saw him actually weep with so much grief.
He felt guilty because Mom died and he was still here fighting his cancer. He was lonely, depressed, and didn't want to live without her. He stopped all treatments.
After watching what Dad was going through, it was through tears I started writing Alice's story again. I finished the story within a few months, but didn't really do much with it.
We lost Dad about 14 months later on September 7, 2014. The only comfort I can take in all this is that they are no longer suffering and they are together.
So, the Alice character is sort of a combination of Mom and Dad. She is tough but lacks the will to go on with life. I do believe that people can die from a broken heart and loneliness after losing someone who was so part of their life.
I decided it was time to share Alice's story. You can read Alice's story at Alfie Dog Fiction.