One elderly married couple took the "'til death do us part" part of their marriage vows so seriously that they committed suicide rather than risk dying at separate times. Georgette and Bernard Cazes, who had been married 60 years, checked into a luxury hotel in Paris, lay down on the bed together, and died holding hands. It's unclear how exactly they killed themselves, but suicide was obvious since they left a note and their will nearby.
The note reportedly said that the couple didn't want to become a burden on their children or the state, and called for France to legalize euthanasia. They said they had the right to die with dignity and to die together rather than apart when one died before the other.
In some ways, I really admire this couple who chose to go out on their own terms -- and while they were still sprightly enough to go to a luxury hotel and have one last night of fun. It was not thought that the couple had any terminal illnesses -- rather than old age.
Death is a natural and inevitable part of life, and when you think about it, we all tend to glamorize hanging on until the bitter end rather than admiring those who decide to control when and how they die.
On the other hand, there's also something admirable about sticking it out until the last drop of breath is wrested from you. Call me just too attached to this life to want to voluntarily give up even a few days of it if I'm still in decent health.
I totally understand these two not wanting to live even a few moments without each other though. So many elderly people die within hours or days of each other naturally -- as if one really cannot live without the other.
I'm pleased this couple went in the dignified manner they chose to go -- together. But another part of me is just so sad about it. Why do we have to die?? Dang. Okay, I need to stop being selfish and need to make room for the generations after me.
I mean, not NOW. Don't rush me.
Could you ever consider doing this with your spouse?
Image via LearningLark/Flickr