Pastor Learns Elderly Man Died All Alone, Was Not Prepared for What Was in His House


This story is about an antisocial man from Salem, Virginia who lived all by himself. The poor soul had no family left and had no friends, and died all by himself. In a larger sense, however, this story is about the community of Salem in the Roanoke Valley of Virginia, and the “me first” culture of the United States more generally.

Local Pastor Thomas William McCracken III was contacted by social services, and agreed to serve as executor to the lonely man’s estate. Back in December of last year, Pastor McCracken visited the dead man’s cabin to assess his belongings.

“What I found inside, I was not prepared for,” the pastor noted.

In fact, McCracken was so depressed by the man’s living quarters that he simply couldn’t deal with recording the disgusting conditions this man was living in. The pastor decided it was a better idea to come the next day to make a visual record how this solitary man lived and died alone.

McCracken noted that the body of the loner was found around two days after his death.

The man of God explains in the video that his experience seeing this man’s cabin highlights the societal problem in the US of not including others who may not be like us in our “circle of influence”.

“I hope that it shakes you and wakes you as it has done me,” says as he looks steadily into the camera. He also exhorts the members of his congregation to work with him and city authorities to identify other elderly people that don’t have family or support system.

In the video he made, McCracken takes viewers through the man piles of junk everywhere living room, the nasty dirty kitchen, the storage room, and the small bedroom where the man apparently passed away.

As Pastor McCracken pointed out in the video, the moldy bathroom with no ceiling and yellowed laundry strung across the bathtub was hands down the most heartbreaking room of them all.

Source: Little Things
Photos: Little Things