Widow Dies Alone



When they found her, she wore a white wedding dress, the last remains of a memory. Amanda McKinnon, age 90, used to give out candy to all the kids in the neighborhood. In exchange, all she ever asked was polite conversation and company.

Then, the police came to politely tell her she had to stop. There had been complaints. She donated the remaining sweets to charity and died in her sleep two days later. Concerned neighbors found her a week after that.

Her passing, some said, was the end of an age, a time when people could (afford to) be more trusting.

This story is partly based on an old person I knew IRL who used to give out candy to kids in the neighborhood. Part of me always wondered why they would exchange something so valuable (candy) in for something silly – looking at old pictures and listening to stories. The parents in the neighborhood knew about it and as long as we didn’t take advantage of this person, they were like fine – but not too much candy! I wonder sometimes if this would be allowed these days.

Nostalgia! Such a funny thing.

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10 thoughts on “Widow Dies Alone

  1. Dear Anne,

    The times have changed, haven’t they? When I was a child, my favorite Halloween treats were homemade chocolate chip cookies or popcorn balls. We never needed to worry about razor blades or poison. I’m sure the poor old widow didn’t understand the mistrust of present day society. Nicely written piece of nostalgia.



  2. A good story based on truth, Anne. So many terrible things have happened we can’t trust anymore. I also doubt if parents would allow her handing out candy these days. Poor old person. My grandmother was almost 93 and had to go to a nursing home due to breathing problems. She only lasted a couple of weeks there. Some just give up hope. —- Suzanne

  3. She sounds exactly like Mrs. Foucher, our neighbour across the street.
    Heaven forbid we allow kindness to spread.
    Lovely story.

  4. Every neighborhood I ever lived in (we moved a lot) had at least one elderly widow, widower, or married couple who loved it when warm weather came and they could sit on their porches and offer cookies and conversation to children. We didn’t fear them. We loved them.

    It is sad that we no longer have such childhood experiences.

  5. Such a sad and touching story. I’m sure she died of loneliness. Having lost our trust in other people over time is indeed a great loss.

  6. A heart touching story, beautifully told. Pain of Mrs. McKinnon could be felt through your narration. Truly, gone are the days when people used to be more trusting.

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