Romance is one of the most popular genres in books and films. One of the most popular romance movies in history is “The Notebook,” which is based on the book of the same title by Nicholas Sparks. One of the most memorable scenes in that film is the last one–when the lovers passed away, holding each other’s hand.
But if you think that’s something you’ll find only in fiction, think again. A couple who had been married for around seven decades recently passed away, just minutes from each other. Their loved ones were not surprised, considering how much they loved each other.
Herbert and Marilyn DeLaigle had been married for 71 years.
They had a strong and loving relationship. In fact, one of the things that made them memorable in their little community was that they constantly held hands wherever they went.
You’d think they were young lovers with the way they held each other’s hand. But that was how the couple expressed their love. It was also how they inspired their children to find loving spouses of their own.
Marilyn and Herbert were married in 1948, and the latter was a war veteran. Because of that, he wasn’t constantly around. You see, Herbert was deployed in three wars. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and both Marilyn and Herbert were able to prove that.
During the moments they were together, they made the most of it by constantly holding hands.
It made their children feel awkward, though. Their daughter, Helen Iris, told a news publication that she was embarrassed of her parents holding hands like teenagers.
“But when I got older, I was like, ‘How precious.'”
Their son, Donnie, said that since their father was usually away, their mother made a promise. She said that, as soon as he was home, she was going to hold on to him.
And hold on to him she did. Marilyn and Herbert became very popular in their town for constantly holding hands. The love they had for each other was so strong that when Herbert’s health declined, his first thought wasn’t of his own passing. It was of not wanting to leave Marilyn.
In 2017, Herbert found out that his health was declining. To prepare himself and his family, he called on a preacher from their church in Waynesboro, Georgia. It was during this time that Herbert admitted that it wasn’t his passing he was afraid of. It was leaving behind the love of his life.
At the beginning of the year, a nurse told Helen something that gave her the chills:
“When I go to check your dad’s vitals, your mom’s will be neck-in-neck with his.”
On July 12, Herbert passed away at 2:20 a.m.
And Marilyn? She passed away on the same day at 2:20 p.m.
Marilyn had been sleeping next to Herbert when he passed away, Donnie said.
“My mom had Alzheimer’s and was sleeping in a bed next to him when he went. As soon as they came to take my dad, her breathing went crazy. She was shaking. It was like she knew he was gone.”
Officially, Marilyn’s cause of death was senile degeneration of the brain, but many believed she simply died of a broken heart.
It’s called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, and it’s a real condition. It can be caused by emotional triggers like anger, pain, or grief, and it’s more common among elderly women.
The couple’s funeral was held on Monday, and Donnie said that they planned it not to be a somber celebration because:
“We can’t be sad. Now they’re in heaven holding hands.”
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