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Posted: July 17, 2008

Spousal Caregiving

Sadly and Lonely, I'll Walk Alone

Bill Andrew

As readers of this column already know, my wife of almost 57 years, Carol, went to her heavenly reward on Monday, June 9, 2008 -- may she rest in peace with the Lord. It is just over five weeks since she passed, and I am now going through the grieving and mourning process -- a time of difficulty and adjustment. 

In my last column -- Thanks for the Memories, Carol -- I posted the "landmark" memories that I have of Carol and myself over those 57 years. But now I’m looking at and learning how to "walk alone" after so many years of love and commitment, the last 14 of which I was Carol’s 24/7 family caregiver as she slipped deeper into the grasp of Alzheimer's disease.


As I thought about the topic for this column, it struck me that without Carol, I will, indeed, be "walking alone." And then I remembered the 1944 popular song I'll Walk Alone, with music by Julie Styne and lyrics by Sammy Cahn. The song, like others that came out during World War II, reflects the enforced separation of couples caused by war. While many of these songs were written from the perspective of the soldier wanting his lover to wait for him, I'll Walk Alone is written from the perspective of the stay-at-home lover who is promising to be true. And that is the perspective from which I write this column and reminisce about this song and how it relates to Carol and me. 


Dinah Shore made the best-known version of this song, introducing it in the Universal Studios film "Follow the Boys" and taking it to the top of the charts (her first #1 hit) for four weeks in 1944. She re-recorded the song in the early 1960s. Other versions were often performed by male singers, with a very popular version done by Don Cornell. Click here  for Dinah Shore's 1944 version. The lyrics go like this:


            I'll walk alone,

            Because to tell you the truth, I'll be lonely;

            I don't mind being lonely

            When my heart tells me you are lonely too.


            I'll walk alone,

            They'll ask me why and I'll tell them I'd rather;

            There are dreams I must gather

            Dreams we fashioned the night you held me tight.


            I'll always be near you wherever you are each night

            In every prayer;

            If you call, I'll hear you, no matter how far

            Just close your eyes and I'll be there.


            Please walk alone

            And send your love and your kisses to guide me;

            Till you're walking beside me

            I'll walk alone.


            I'll walk alone.


And now, I am, indeed walking alone -- and as the lyrics say, "I'll be lonely." Despite the lyrics, I do mind being lonely at this time, and perhaps that is the manifestation of grieving and mourning that is occurring in my life. I would hope that despite Carol being in Heaven with its eternal rewards, she misses me and is lonely as well. As I indicated in the prior column, I have many memories which I hold precious, and perhaps those memories will become dreams "that I must gather." Of course, I'll always be near Carol each night in prayer. And as I close my eyes to sleep, she will be there. 


So, I'll walk alone -- and remember our love and our kisses to help guide me. Till I'm walking beside her in Heaven, I'll walk alone.


I'll walk alone, Carol -- and thanks for the memories. May you rest in peace with the Lord.


Please e-mail me at with your comments and/or reactions. I will include them in a future column with your permission. Please provide your full name and address. In the column, I will only use your first name and the initial of your last name as well as your city and state. Thank you.




"I'll walk alone, because to tell you the truth, I'll be lonely."


Sammy Cahn (1913-1993)

Bill Andrew identifies himself as a former “nutritionally-empowered Alzheimer’s caregiver” who attributes the slow-down in progression of Alzheimer’s disease in his wife, Carol – and the growth of his own personal emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual capability and strength to provide quality 24/7 care for her in their own home – to the targeted nutritional supplements they both took on a daily basis. Carol went to her Heavenly reward on June 9, 2008 – Bill continues on to advocate for family caregivers. Contact Bill with your caregiving questions and comments via email at

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