In the past I've occasionally heard that when someone very close to you dies, your will to live can also die along with that person. I have to imagine that this is a common feeling yet I haven't seen too many cases where the will to live didn't eventually spring back, sometimes pretty rapidly as a matter of fact.
The following pair of people have this week caused me to ponder whether sickness or accidents along with murder or other natural and unnatural modes of death don't necessarilly have to be any of the causative factors for someone to leave this world. The events that took place might have simply been the culmination of life, but the circumstances surrounding these same events make them appear as if they were calculated.
Let me give you a little of the background as it was told to me. They were the last two children of six and aside from having the love of siblings, they had always been the best of friends as well; they were lucky. For ease of reading I'm going to name them Tony and Maria, brother and sister. Both had been married and had children of their own. Both of their spouses had previously died along with a couple of their children. He was 68 and she was 74 and both were in average health for their ages. Although Tony lived in his own home, Maria was living in an assisted care facility where she didn't have to worry about the day to day upkeep of a house. On a daily basis Tony would go to visit Maria and they would spend many hours together, he was the one person she relied on and looked forward to seeing every day. There was a time when Tony had been sick and Maria had someone take her to his house daily until he was well enough to begin his visits again; they were almost inseparable.
Last week Tony died. He had a heart attack in his sleep and it was Maria who summoned someone to go to his house to see if everything was alright when he didn't show. When the discovery was made, of course his children were contacted, Maria was told, and they then began arranging his funeral. It was at this time that Maria exclaimed that she no longer wanted to live; she had no reason, her life no longer had a purpose. Her family told her how much they needed her but she was insistant that they would be fine without her.
Over the next 8 days Marias appetite grew almost non existant and she seemed to be a bit disoriented at times. On the evening of day 8, she told her niece who was visiting that she was tired and wanted to go to sleep. She told her she was going to see Uncle Tony. Maria never woke up the next morning and it was her funeral that the family was now planning.
Can someones heart break to the point of no repair? Is it possible that we could have some control over when we choose to die or looking at it conversely, might there be some force within us that helps keep us going, preventing us from meeting death until we're absolutely ready for it? Of course it might have just been fate, her time, but we'll never know the answer to that. She may have, and thinking logically, probably would have died whether Tony was alive or not but if I entertain the romantic in me I could want to believe that her time of death was her choice. They were only brother and sister but had been there as friends for each other their entire lives, and when he was gone...she wanted to be with him again so badly that she chose to sacrifice herself, her life. If she did in fact have the option of when to die and chose this time, and this is picked further apart you could most likely see a needy almost greedy side to her. But just imagine for a moment, dream, that when true love, no matter what capacity, dies, we could have the ability to be in control of the choice of dieing with it or staying behind and suffering without it. Letting it go and continuing on with our life anew, or following it to the grave, our choice. I wonder how many of us would find that to be a hard choice to make?