Happy Valentine's Day

It is difficult coming up with a topic related to planning for end-of-life and death when it is Valentine's Day.

After all, the media focuses on love stories, and chocolates and flowers-not funerals, terminal illness or tragic deaths.  Yet, love does show up sometimes in mysterious ways. Even when death is involved.

This story is a love story -as well as the death of two lovebirds.

Harold and Ruth died on the very same day, just a mere nine days shy of celebrating their 66th wedding anniversary.

At the time of their death, they resided at a nursing home, continuing their 65 years of love and devotion and constant care of each other while others now helped care for each of them.

Harold died at 7:30AM , shortly after learning that his beloved wife was not going to recover from a rare infection. Harold was 91.

Ruth died hours later at 6:30PM that very same night.  Seems like in death, as well as in life, they were bound and determined to be together. Loyal to the end.  Now that's what I call a lasting love.  Their family laid them to rest, together, after a joint funeral.

While this type of devotion in dying on the exact same day is not necessarily a common event, it is not unusual for spouses who have been married for decades,  to both die within a short period of time.

This happened to my father's parents.  My grandfather died at age 86 of a heart attack, and my grandmother died within four months from cancer.  They were rarely apart and so it was not such a surprise to learn that Nana hadn't stayed on this earth alone without Grandpa. But they didn't die on Valentine's Day.

Wonder about the origin of Valentine's Day? Well, there are many legends.   According to some, it was believed that  St. Valentine, a Christian priest, was thrown into  jail for secretly performing marriage ceremonies.  He was beheaded on February 14 after writing a  farewell letter to his jailor's daughter signing it from "Your Valentine".

Love and death intertwined.

Here are some notables who actually died on February 14:

  • 7 Gangsters died in a gun battle known as the famous Valentine's Day massacre in Chicago in 1929
  • King Richard II was murdered on V-Day
  • Eva Hart, the famous Titanic survivor, died at age 90  in 1996
  • Dolly, the famous cloned sheep, also dies on V-Day
  • Dick Francis- a superb novelist died in 2010
  • In 1844, Theodore Roosevelt's wife and mother died hours apart

It is interesting that there are many loving couples who can't bear to be apart and somehow find themselves to be together in death as they were in life.

Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day with your inseparable, devoted,  soulmate!

Choose flowers, funny cards, fabulous chocolate, perhaps a special love poem or  song to celebrate your love for each other....  and, though seemingly romantic, save dying together for another day.