George White, a 92-year-old UK man whose wife passed away in November, started a blog just a week ago that touched a lot of people. Perhaps too many. On Monday, he pulled the plug on the online journal, thanking his readers around the world.
I have been overwhelmed by the vast amount of best wishes and encouragement. These have been much appreciated. However I am unable to manage responses on this scale especially at this time of recuperation. I regret I will no longer continue to blog as I wish to maximise my holiday time.
The WordPress blog, called GreyCavalier, began on Christmas Eve and chronicled White's experiences since losing his wife. His inaugural post read:
One month ago I lost my dear wife, Mima. And after 67 years of happily married life together I find it hard to come to terms with my loss. However my grandson who lives in Switzerland is taking me there for a few weeks to recuperate. I intend to make the best of things, try to forget my pains (at least for a while), and visit some of the lovely scenery and mountains in that country. I’ve seen many photographs, now that I received my first ever passport a few weeks ago I can now experience it for myself.
I would like to share my adventures with you, and at the end of it I hope to feel a lot better. I hope you enjoy what follows.
White's reflections on Christmas Day also tugged at the heartstrings:
I’m up bright and early, my grandson Bobby and his family have invited me through for Xmas dinner. Normally I would have been very excited but not this time. It’s the first Xmas for 67 years without my dear wife Mima and it hurts. However I know she would want me to make the best of things and that’s what I will do. So I’m off through to Middlesbrough to spend the day with Bobby, Claire, Meg and Jon-Paul.
Elsewhere in the blog, White alluded to his experience as a pilot in 1941 (one assumes he fought in World War II) as well as his arrival in Switzerland.
White, a resident of Hunwick, in County Durham, England, seemed to be using the blog partially as therapy to deal with his grief. Word spread quickly though as sympathetic readers offered their encouragement. White's initial post had more than 200 comments and other posts garnered dozens more.
Word of the blog spread quickly on Twitter and White appears to have been caught unprepared. Monday morning, he posted a farewell and removed his earlier postings. He still has a Twitter account with more than 150 followers and a Facebook Page with 110 subscribers.
Readers of the blog will doubtlessly mourn its passing, if only for such entries as the one below, in which he described his trip to Switzerland and imagined how his wife would react.
What would Mima have thought about what I did today, she would probably have worried, but the moment I walked in and said “I'm back”, her eyes would light up.