Old Man Takes Dead Wife on 225-Mile Drive

drivingIt's just about time for the annual drive over the river and through the woods to grandma's house, so how about a story to tell on the way? An elderly man and his wife were making a trek back home to Canada from a holiday in Oregon when the 75-year-old woman died in the passenger seat. So her husband just kept on driving for 225 miles! Poor guy!

I know, I know, it all sounds rather dark and creepy. Imagine, driving along the interstate with the radio on and the corpse of your beloved beside you. Call the men in white suits! Or just pull out the tissues.

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The couple's names are being withheld by authorities because the wife apparently fell ill while they were in Oregon, and all signs point to a natural death in the car on the ride home. Authorities say the husband isn't in any trouble because he eventually pulled over near the Canadian border and used his OnStar to call for help. He was in such a state of shock the operator had to actually convince him to pull over!

I am fortunate to say I've never been in this situation or anything even close to it. I have a cousin who was born in a car (fourth kid -- they didn't make it to the hospital in time!), but my relatives have all died under pretty "normal" circumstances. But if anything, that makes me even more sympathetic to this man's plight.

When my grandmother was lying in a hospital bed a few years ago, dying, I wanted the comforts of my family around me. I have to imagine I'd want the same thing if I were hundreds of miles from home when my spouse died. I'd probably keep driving because it would give me a purpose, help me keep my mind off my sorrow, and get me closer to the people I could lean on for support when I finally did break down.

The man's wife is being sent back to Canada for burial. Here's hoping someone drove down to pick him up so he didn't have to make the rest of the trip truly alone!

Have you ever been far from home when tragedy struck? How did you deal with it?

 

Image via Robert S. Donovan/Flickr

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