Mom Gets Final Wish & Dies Hours Before Son She Didn't Want to Bury

A Massachusetts family is grieving over the recent loss of both a beloved mother and her son. Rose Hayes, 89, died last Thursday, and she got her final wish -- to not have to bury a child. Her son John D. Hayes, who was terminally ill with cancer, died just hours later.

Rose was described as the "mother everyone wanted" by lifelong family friend Laurie Smith. "You just prayed you were invited to their house on Mondays, the day she did her baking," she said. "I can hear her now ... She'd say, 'Hey, Laur, you want a cookie?'" No one said no to Rose's cookies.


Sixty-year-old John was diagnosed with cancer in January, and his health had been steadily and rapidly declining ever since. His sister, Helen Farrar, said that their mother was doing "pretty well" until John's diagnosis.

"She was stable ... We never lied to her about it," Farrar said. "But, then she told us she could never bury a child." So heartbreaking!

John's health took a serious nosedive after surgeries following a series of aneurysms. A week ago Sunday, Hayes was unable to get out of bed. Rose died four days later. Farrar said she was "shocked" to get a call just after her mother passed that her brother was actively dying too.

Both reportedly died peacefully, surrounded by family. Rose leaves two other surviving children, Michael and Mary, and John leaves a wife, Kathleen. The matriarch also leaves eight grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, a sister, a brother, and many nieces and nephews.

Another lifelong friend, Linda Callahan, has been best friends with Farrar since they were 13, and she fondly remembered what an awesome wife and mom Rose was. "Rose was always baking and ironing and I remember her with her husband Jack," she said. Jack died several years ago, but she remembered them as a "cute and sweet and kind" couple.

As for John, Callahan said he was "always joking with people" and "had a good-natured nickname for everyone." She said that the one positive thing in losing both a mom and a son on the same day is that neither of them will have to mourn the other. "And now they are together and with Jack," she added.

It's always a tragedy to lose a beloved family member, but to lose two in one day just seems doubly unfair.

Do you think John's declining health contributed to the timing of his mom's passing?


Image via Mr. Mx/Flickr

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