75-year-old Tony Williams from Britain is tugging at the heartstrings of social media following his simple request: a friend.
Williams is still grieving the loss of his wife, Jo, who died in May. Since then, the retired physicist, who has neither children nor other family to visit, says he’s gone days without speaking to anyone.
“Jo was my best friend, and we had a lovely life. But now I’m all by myself. My wonderful wife has just died, and I have nobody,” he said.
In his desperation, Williams recently took out two ad blocks in his community newspaper to no avail because he didn’t receive a single response.
“I spend most days just sitting in the house in silence, just waiting for the phone to ring … but it never does,” he said.
Now, he’s reaching out in an even bolder way.
“I have lost Jo. My lovely wife and social mate. I have no friends or family. No one to talk to. I find the unremitting silence 24 hours a day unbearable torture. Can no one help me?” reads a poster at Williams’ home, which hangs in a window for passersby to see.
“Our relationship was always so natural. We had no secrets, and we could be totally open with each other,” said Williams of his marriage, which ended when his wife, also 75, died suddenly after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
He calls Jo, whom he met nearly 35 years ago in a bar, his “soul mate.”
“Now I’m here, completely alone, in the house where my lovely wife spent her dying days. Every time I walk in the room, the first thing I do is look at her photograph.”
Williams called it his “last resort.”
“I’ve tried everything to make friends, but it feels like nobody wants to talk to me,” said the widower, whose neighbors have reportedly reached out to the man.
However, the retiree hopes to find a companion closer to his age.
“Not very many people pass my house, but I was hoping it would spread around the community, and someone might reach out,” he said.
Williams also had business cards made with his contact information and the same message, which he’s taken to handing out at the supermarket.
“I’m not looking for someone to listen to me cry,” he said. “I just want a normal person who I can chat to! I can talk to anybody about anything.”
“I just want a friend, and I hope my sign will find someone for me.”