I really, really hate those news stories about a married couple, usually in their 90s, who were married for 65 years and die within hours of each other.
Okay, they probably had a pretty good marriage. But did they have a BETTER marriage than a couple who died five years apart, or 12 years, or 27 years? (That would be 99.99 percent of us.)
I don’t think you could say that.
Did Grandma and Grandpa have a more intense romance, a purer love, than couples who have the misfortune to suffer a premature death of one of them? Did they survive as long as they did because they loved each other more than couples who didn’t croak off within the same 24-hour period?
Again, I don’t think so. I think it was just the luck of the draw — that, plus that we’re also talking about two very old people who were both ready to die in any case.
I think the majority of married couples — reasonably happy ones, anyway — don’t want to contemplate being widowed, and I don’t blame them. Most of them would hope to go at the same time, although most sane ones would admit it’s statistically quite improbable.
But let’s not imply that dying at the same time is the proof of having had a better marriage than the rest of us, or that they were better people.
Because that’s just not the case.