I recently came across an article about a couple that’s been married for 54 years and choosing to die together by assisted suicide. While what’s known of the circumstances that prompted their choice makes sense to someone like me (he was becoming almost blind and deaf while she was diagnosed with terminal cancer), pro-life critics would argue otherwise.
Somehow, I find this final act between two people, who have been together for so long, hands held until the very end, emotionally touching. It’s different from young people like us who have make suicide pacts for reasons that often include disagreement with parents and a troublesome life. As opposed to those that would end their lives early for the sake of their youthful love, this couple lived their lives through the years, together, before choosing to end it together for reasons, which I can only assume, are because they are so intertwined in each others lives that they cannot bear to be apart from one another especially in their physical condition. If they were going to go anyway, why not make it together rather than without the person you have lived and loved throughout the years.
While critics would say that relationships that lead to choices like this are unhealthy, I don’t see how choosing to die together after living for so long, an unhealthy relationship. Maybe if people did a Romeo and Juliet in terms of age and circumstance, then even I would agree that there is something amiss there. Yet at the core of this passing exists the simple idea that in life, you can find someone you connect with so much who shares the same sentiment, in all its eccentricities and quirks. Someone who complements and completes you in ways that would give both of you decades of endless surprise and discovery and never for once, tire of it. If I were to lose Mel after spending decades together, sharing the moments throughout as we always do even now, I wouldn’t know how life could ever be as wonderful and beautiful again.
Maybe, it is understandable that acts like this which contradict the norm will always be labeled as inappropriate, but when it comes to relationships and what we do for it, maybe “normal” has never been the answer for one that works so beautifully. If you consider how most normal relationships chance upon breaking up so often, then what’s there to lose by being unconventional when you know it is who you both are and it works best for both of you?
As long as you enjoyed your company for as long as you lived, for as much as you lived, then that is all there is to it regardless of how it was lived…or ended. I understand that now. Sometimes, I wish that the rest of the world can share in that understanding too.