My great Aunt and great Uncle, Sam and Rose, were married for 66 years. In the past 7 years, she's suffered from Alzheimer's and he's been in failing health; she was 89, he 98. Their daughter and son, my cousins, moved them to a nursing home in Phoenix (by their houses) 3 years ago. They lived in the same room as my uncle stated that he had to take care of his wife, separation was not an option.
This past Monday (11/17), they were having breakfast in their 'apartment' and the nurse came in to take their daily vitals. My aunt stated that she wanted to lie down so the nurse and my uncle walked her to the bed. She laid down, the nurse prepped to check her vitals, my aunt took her last breath and passed.
The next morning, the food service worker brought my uncle his breakfast. He was sitting at their table; arms folded and head down, and he told her he wasn't hungry. She said would leave his breakfast on the table and that the nurse would be there in about ½ hour to take his daily vitals. The nurse arrived about 45 minutes later. My Uncle's breakfast was still on the table and he was lying in bed. When she went to wake him, he was unresponsive. He too had passed away.
They were flown back her to Michigan on Friday for viewing on Sunday and burial today (Monday). Seeing the two of them lying in state together, his bath robe in her casket and hers in his, with a ribbon in his hand and the other end in hers, the children and grandchildren's pictures taped to the ribbon, was unbelievable.
I've read many stories and articles that when one spouse passes away, the other follows quickly, but I've never witnessed it until now. My Aunt was the love of my Uncles life and as my cousins stated; his purpose in life was to take care of (my aunt). When she passed, he served no other purpose here and wanted to be where he belonged, with her.
If that isn't the epitome of love and compassion, then what is?