Woman Marries Dead Sister's Husband, By Request

wedding ringsOn the one hand, this story is really touching and beautiful: A dying mother in Florida bequeathed her three kids and her husband to her unmarried younger sister. But on the other hand, this story is really creepy: A dying mother bequeathed her three kids AND HER HUSBAND to her unmarried younger sister. What was she thinking?


It sounds too unbelievable to be true, but it's not: One year before she died, Jackie DeVita, who was terminally ill with cancer, gave her sister, Colleen, her wedding ring, saying, "I want you to have this. I want to know that this is the three of us [referring to the two sisters and the husband]. Don't ever leave my kids." Colleen says at the time, she wasn't in love with her brother-in-law (I suppose that's comforting), but in the coming months, they gradually grew to have feelings for each other. Three months after Jackie's funeral, they were married.

Of course, it makes sense that a mother would want to die knowing that her sister would care for her children like they were her own. I get that. But as far as wanting this sister to take her place as wife to her own husband, too? Yeah, that's just creepy. Though I love my sister, dearly, there are some things I can't imagine sharing with her: Men are definitely at the top of that list.

Not to the mention the fact that it sounds a little presumptuous for Jackie to think it was her place to find her husband a new partner for when she was gone. It's understandable how she might have been uncomfortable to think that a stranger could be taking care of her kids and do everything she could to stop it. But I can't stop wondering if she overstepped her bounds by marrying her sister off to her husband under the guise of being selfless.

Of course, I can have my opinions on their relationship and what is or is not creepy, and at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter. Because what does matter is how the family -- particularly the kids -- is handling the new arrangement, and from what Colleen says, they are doing just fine. I wish them well; still, I can't help but thinking this is maybe one family's story I wish I knew a little less about.

Do you think it's creepy to marry your dead sister's husband?


Image via johnhope/Flickr

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