An elderly woman died of a broken heart moments after climbing into bed with her husband of 70 years who had just passed away in his sleep with lung cancer.
According to Metro UK, Raymond Atkins, 90, had promised wife Kathleen, 86, that he would be out of hospital in time to celebrate the landmark anniversary on July 22.
But within days his health deteriorated and he died in his sleep at the couple’s home in Crewe, Virginia.
Overcome with grief, Kathleen crawled into bed next to him where she passed away a short while later.
Their son Les Atkins told WRAL: ‘She told my sister that she could not imagine life without him.’
Raymond had spent two years fighting the disease and had to go back into hospital for a few days in July.
Les said his father had called him the day before his parents’ anniversary, saying: ‘I prayed to God all night and all day that I can leave this hospital, and I will be out of here in the morning.’
He managed to make it home in time but began to feel weak a few days later.
Les’ sister went to stay with their parents. When she went up to check on their frail father one morning she found him passed away in bed.
He said that his mother’s last words ‘pretty much’ were ‘I’ not gonna let him go alone’, adding: ‘They had endured this life together. ‘They had this strong faith and they just refused to be apart.
It’s a fairy tale in every sense of the word.’ The couple had four children, six grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.