1. says

    I dread this. I watched one of my great-grandmothers mentally check-out after the death of her husband of over 65 years. We only have 34 (married) years under us, 36 together. I don’t want to contemplate life without my partner and best friend.

  2. cristabelyyc says

    Well, thanks a lot, PZ. I come from a family where I saw my father cry *once* during my childhood, so hearing a grown man weep wrings my heart. On the one hand, he experienced a great love, the kind you read of in novels, but on the other hand…

  3. Pearson says

    Oh gosh. It’s touching how very much he loved her. Reality can be so very, very sad sometimes.

  4. Nic McPhee says

    Uh, you’re welcome?

    My dad’s in his 80’s and mom’s in her 70’s. Their lives are obviously different than this couple, and their reactions would be as well, but that doesn’t make it any less tough to watch. Or any less beautiful.

  5. Grumps says

    Very sad. But it kind of helps me. I’m 54 and single after my second divorce (ten years ago). I often long for that special someone, but I have become used to living on my own. I now actually like the solitary life. At least I know I’ll never have to go through what he’s having to deal with.

  6. left0ver1under says

    “Death is so final. It’s like turning off a light switch.”

    I’d say it’s more like the filament or the glass breaking. It’s gone and will never light up again.

  7. Nic McPhee says

    left0ver1under : Nice comment – captures the entropy of the situation better than the light switch analogy.

  8. says

    Emailed this to my mother.
    She called him “pathetic” and went on with her usual name-dropping of all of the local city council members she got to shake hands with today, etc.

    I should have known better than to bother.

  9. bad Jim says

    I live with my mother who is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s. We can afford full-time live-in care, so two ladies feed her, change her, bathe her, and move her from bed to wheel chair to recliner. There’s barely anyone there any more, but she still enjoys eating, and fitfully responds to visiting family members. It’s hard to say anything good about the situation, except that there doesn’t seem to be anything better to do.

  10. mildlymagnificent says

    This brings back something a character in a novel said about his wife dying (much younger than this woman). He’d looked around the church during the funeral at all their friends and workmates with their partners and he realised something. For all those relationships, every single person had made the commitment that they were willing to risk being in his position one day.

    It sounds trite but it’s true. (I think about it because I missed this outcome by a hair’s breadth just a month ago.) Grief is the price we pay for love.

  11. autumn says

    I was married for only 10 years, but my (soon to be ex) wife, and our time together, made me such a better person in so many ways. I am one of the lucky ones that has had a good split; she and I hang out together and still love each other as close friends. But I still dread being without her. And there’s a weird thing; she has depression, and I was present for some dark times. Currently she is on a med regimen that has worked wonders, but I feel a need to be able to vet her partners because I’m not going to be next to her if there is a future problem. I feel like my being a shitty husband might mean she doesn’t have the right caretaker when the next problem comes up.

  12. timothya1956 says

    After watching that video, I think to myself: who wouldn’t wish that the old man could have had a happier end of his life? He seems like a lovely man, and his wife seemed to be a lovely woman.

    But that just begs the question of what his wife would have felt if he had died before she did.

    I think it just means that whenever two people love each other, as it seems the old man and his wife did, whoever survives longer is going to suffer loss.

    I’ve seen it happen in my neighbourhood, and I wish I had known how to be more sympathetic. To help, if not to fix.

  13. exi5tentialist says

    Love this video. It’s really sensitively done. I hope the guy finds some relief in the torment of his loss. I wish I could comfort him.

  14. Thorne says

    I could see my father in that man. My mom died last January, after 62 years of marriage, and Dad just went downhill. As much time as we spent with him, as much love as we gave him, it just wasn’t enough. He just couldn’t get over losing her.

    Fortunately, for him, cancer took him seven months later. Made things tough on the rest of us, but not having to see him tear-up when we visited, not having to see the lost, sad look on his face when it was time for us to leave, helped us to deal.

    One thing that I would suggest for this man’s family, though: try to get him out of that house. There are so many memories there, as there were in my Dad’s house, that he can’t turn around without something reminding him of her. It’s not easy to do, though.

  15. cgauthier says

    Delurking to say this has long been the saddest possible experience I can bring myself to imagine and it reminded me of this. My sincere condolences to everyone suffering the loss of a long term partner. I hope my love goes before I do.

  16. firefly says

    I guess I am one of the few people who doesn’t find this sad? I mean, yes, there’s sadness but it’s rooted in beauty and love. Sad is never experiencing such a love to begin with. I hope I will be that fortunate someday. And the last thing he says is defiant enough that I think this man will be able to find a place for his grief.
    I love the sentiment in mildlymagnificent’s comment at #17. Deeply loving someone means risking this to happen.

  17. brucecoppola says

    Did not watch it. Too soon and I don’t want to start sobbing at work. Lost my wife to cancer two years, four months, and five days ago. The first year was hell. I’m doing much better, but now and then a memory will still hit me in the gut. #17 is right though. Life would have hardly been worth the trouble without her. I am still young enough to hope that I will be as fortunate to find a partner again someday.