We knew, when the first snows fell, that it would be difficult. It was a new world for us now. The interconnected civilisation that we had grown up within had all gone, destroyed itself and left us alone.
Before it all fell apart, people used to say that those that survived the thousand shocks that flesh is heir to; man-made or natural disasters; disease, illness, misfortune, were the lucky ones. For a long time, especially as that first winter took hold, we didn’t feel like the lucky ones at all.
In fact, we often came across the bodies of those who could no longer cope. It was hard to say why they gave up, but they did. Maybe it was the loneliness, maybe it was the fear, maybe it was the uncertainty, maybe it was just the grief from all they had lost overwhelming them, maybe it was the lack of a clear future, or even the lack of hope. Whatever it was, when we were out on scavenging missions, or during our search for somewhere to wait out the winter we came across their bodies. These were not the bodies from before, from when it happened, but from later, all showing signs of suicide of one form or another, from pills to shotguns to hangings to all points in-between. Sometimes, it seemed that every apparently abandoned building we went into contained at least one body.
Eventually, it got to the stage where we began to look for excuses not to explore any more buildings; fearing that one day, we would find the one tragedy that would push us, ourselves, over the edge too.