There is an interesting article on MSNBC.com about long time married couples dying within a few months of each other. It gives research evidence that the phenomena does exits and a mixture of medical and psychological factors that may explain the phenomena. If nothing else, reading it may just tug at your heart.
As someone who has seen their share of hospice patients, I sure can’t deny that it is possible that a spouses death “causes” the surviving spouses death. We have, no doubt, had instances where the second one was referred for our services shortly after the first one’s death, but I always wrote that off to coincidence and a family’s appreciation for how great hospice can be.
More than anything, I know enough about death to know that I don’t understand it. Do I believe spouses can “die together”? Sure. Do I believe that people can “stay alive” until a loved one arrives? Yes. Do I believe that people can time their death so that they are either surrounded by loved ones or all alone? No doubt. (They often wait until the family has left them alone – even if they just leave the room to refill their coffee so they can continue their vigil.) I digress.
Like I said, interesting article. It’s worth taking a moment to read it.