11 Feb TILL DEATH DO US PART
TILL DEATH DO US PART
During the spring of 2008, Arvid Andersson’s wife Ingar got so sick she had to move to an elderly home. Arvid wanted to rent the room next to her, but the municipality said no. Arvid did not have ”the required need of care”. Six months later he lives alone in a one-room apartment in Broaryd, Sweden, the village where he and Ingar lived since he built their first house in 1945.
Ingar can barely see or hear. Arvid visits her almost every day. He stays a couple of hours before he returns to his own flat, where there is no other noise but his own breathing and the two clocks on the wall. Small ticking every second, and a large bang every half hour. At the age of 90, Arvid has lost most of his friends. Home-help service comes twice a day, and sometimes his daughters drop by. Other than that, not much happens.
The Andersson case created a debate and a popular fury during the spring. It got so far that local government commissioners were threatened to death, and had guards protecting the town hall. Arvid appealed but lost in higher court.
“Life is different now. It did not turn out the way we expected,” says Arvid.
Ingar tries to avoid thinking of the situation. Arvid squeezes my hand and says he misses hugging her goodnight.