Mentally Disabled Man Spends Nearly Every Day at Wife's Grave


When a loved one dies, it often seems as though the world stops. Grief is a powerful emotion, and one that can be overwhelming.

For one man, however, grief has had a purpose. In fact, it’s helped him find his purpose.

Darin Roam lost his wife, April, in 2014. After her death, Roam, who is mentally disabled, became a bit lost.

Due to his disability, making friends was never easy for Roam.

That all changed, however, when he met his wife, and the two were never apart until she passed away nearly two decades later.

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He began spending time at Floral Memorial Park, where she was buried. Most of his day is spent at her graveside.

His mother was initially concerned about the amount of time her son was spending at the cemetery.

“It just broke my heart to see him sitting out there alone,” she told the Fresno Bee.

After a time, however, Roam began to do more than just sit. He began volunteering.

Now when he visits, he spends his time cleaning the headstones and trimming the grass around them. His efforts include about 30 gravestones, not just those of his wife and father, who passed away two years ago.

He isn’t bothered by spending so much time at Floral Memorial Park. As he told the Fresno Bee, “I’m comfortable out here and stuff. I can be closer out here with them.”

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He does not like seeing headstones covered by grass or dirt.

Roam intends to help those he has met in the cemetery by keeping the graves of their loved ones clean.

He often places little remembrances on the graves, such as the time he placed a small flag on the gravestone of a veteran. Still, he admits his own grief has not lessened in the years since April’s death.

Despite his pain, what began as a way to honor his wife has expanded into a general sense of purpose.

As his mother told the Fresno Bee, “He feels like he has a job and people depend on him. He’s told me that he has a purpose. Everyone needs a purpose.”

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