‘Til death do us part holds a different meaning for a Colombian man, who has lived next to his wife’s grave for the past five years.
Alejandro Garcia decided to erect a small house next to the grave after his wife of 56 years passed away. Garcia, 84, receives $80 in government assistance every two months, most of which he invests back into his tombside home. He has managed to build three walls, a garden and a rocking chair, and sleeps next to his wife every night.
When Garcia’s love, Maria Antonia, died of a lung infection in 2007 he took the death so hard he attempted suicide on the day of her funeral. Things continued to spiral downwards when Garcia’s son died of leukemia soon after. He then decided to give up drinking and smoking and began his mission to build a new home.
Jose Manuel Pacheco, a cemetery worker in the western Colombian town of Tamalemeque, said Garcia receives many visitors, and is a popular figure in town.
“He spends all day here and goes out to eat with his daughters, then comes back and takes care of his wife,” explained Pacheco in Colombian newspaper El Heraldo.
Pacheco has no plans to stop working on his home.
“The first shelter I did with cardboard and pieces of wood, then it gradually got better. With my next paycheck, I will tile the floor,” he told El Heraldo.