Earl Myatt loved his wife, Mary Watt, so much he could no longer stand to see her in pain. The woman he'd met at age 17 and to whom he was married for 42 years had suffered a brain aneurysm that made it impossible for her to continue caring for herself. Instead of dealing with the difficult task of watching her deteriorate, the 59-year-old father of two and grandfather of four took Mary to the Verona train tracks in New York on Sunday afternoon. He helped position them both so that they would be killed by an oncoming train. And, if that isn't heartbreaking enough, the last phone call he made before they committed suicide was to his son.
According to Brad Myatt, Earl called him before the incident to remind him that he loved him and was "sorry." Brad says his father was incredibly in love with and devoted to his mother. After she suffered the brain aneurysm, Mary experienced a very slow recovery in which she needed help to do things like use the bathroom. She also had a difficult time communicating.
Even though he stuck by her throughout the entire ordeal, Brad says his father fell into a state of depression because he couldn't handle seeing his wife deteriorate in such a dramatic way.
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I've only been married eight years and I can't imagine what it would feel like to witness my husband suffer anything more severe than a broken leg. It's difficult to put yourself in Earl's shoes and say with certainty how you would handle things if your partner suddenly lost his or her ability to live a full and happy life. We aren't sure what part, if any, Mary played in this act -- did she ask Earl to take this dramatic step and end her life?
The man left a suicide note in the couple's car, but its content hasn't been made public. While it's possible both Earl and Mary were on board with this decision, it doesn't make it any less painful for the family they've left behind, I'm sure. Their sons are now left with the task of living life without BOTH their mom and dad. I hope the message dad left for his children gives them some peace and closure.
Do you think this man and his wife have the "right" to commit suicide together or was this a selfish decision?
Please call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in case you are worried about yourself or someone else.
Image via Tejvan Pettinger/Flickr