Dying with my significant other: sign me up
I recently read an article about an elderly couple in Florida who died within 10 minutes of each other. They had been together for 45 years.
The wife was on her way to visit the husband, who had been hospitalized for heart problems earlier the same day, when she herself had a heart attack and died. The husband had died only minutes before that due to complications from his heart issues. Neither of them knew the other had died.
I mean, really, isn’t this just the ideal situation? Neither knew the other was gone, and therefore didn’t have to grieve for the spouse or live without them for even ten minutes.
This is what I want.
Sometimes I look at my boyfriend and even thinking for one minute about what my life would be like without him is enough to bring tears to my eyes. It sounds cliché, but Awesome isn’t just my significant other but also the best friend I’ve ever had. We share everything with each other, from a similar sense of humor down to our toothbrushes (only in the most dire situations). And I can’t imagine being with anyone else, or anyone else actually putting up with me.
It’s not unheard of for elderly couples to die within hours or even minutes of each other. Articles are everywhere about this phenomenon. Sometimes people lose the will to live anymore once they have lost that connection with another person. It was even glamorized in the popular chick-flick The Notebook, where the characters Allie and Noah – SPOILER ALERT – die lying squeezed next to each other in a twin bed in their nursing home.
In December, my best (girl) friend’s grandmother died, leaving behind her husband of more than 60 years. This couple could have turned the world’s biggest cynic into the world’s biggest believer in soul mates and true love. They were together constantly and the husband doted on his wife like no man I have ever seen. At the wake, he stood next to her coffin the entire time, smoothing her hair or just gazing at her. I can’t say I wasn’t worried about him – the best friend he ever had, the person who knew him inside and out, who was there with him every single day for 60 years, was suddenly not there anymore. I wouldn’t even blame him if he decided not to be around anymore.
On the other hand, sometimes the love is not so evident — but it’s still there. My grandparents on my father’s side were constantly fighting and bickering at each other. There were many times I wondered why they didn’t just divorce – or murder each other and get it over with. But my grandmother showed her true colors when my grandfather died – she was just as devastated as everyone else, perhaps more so. Maybe he pissed her off and maybe she nagged at him, but in the end he was still her best friend.
I guess everyone should count themselves lucky to have someone in their life, even if you do have to nag at them sometimes to hurry up, or ask them for the millionth time to change the toilet paper roll, because you just never really know when they aren’t going to be there anymore. All I know is that I better die before my boyfriend, because I don’t think I could take it if he wasn’t there anymore. Even if he is still refusing to change the toilet paper roll.
Emily Campbell is a perpetually single, 20-something girl-around-town who loves Shakespeare, old movies, Natty Boh, and of course, long walks on the beach. A sales manager by day and freelance writer by night, she was recently forced into a life of involuntary celibacy when her last relationship fizzled out over a text message. She’s tired of settling for second – or tenth – best, and she’s ready to find Mr. Right. Or, Mr. Nearly Right. No one’s perfect…which she has learned the hard (but hilarious) way.