A couple who had been married for more than 60 years died within hours of one another.
Something about the one-flesh union and the intimate bond of marriage. I’ve heard about this sort of thing a number of times and even was privileged to know a couple who had been married for six or seven decades and died within days of one another.
It doesn’t always happen that way, and it’s easy enough to pass it off as a coincidence. But when a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and the two become one flesh—when a woman submits to her husband and a husband loves his wife as Christ loved the Church—things can never be the same again.
Singer-songwriter Ben Gibbard penned the line, “And I have to speculate that God Himself/Did make us into corresponding shapes like/Puzzle pieces from the clay.” God made us for intimate spiritual union in marriage, and signified that reality in the design of our physiology and anatomy.
“You complete me” popped into popular parlance after Jerry Maguire, but it is more than just a movie line. And when part of you dies, the rest of you is lessened. The parties in a couple become to intertwined into each others’ lives that life without the other would be fundamentally different. Routines are gone. The simple presence of the beloved other is gone. The one who listened to your concerns and shared your joys is gone. The one who trusted you and whom you trusted more than anyone else is gone. The one who touched you just so is gone. The one who tapped into your spirit, brought you out of yourself, and saw with love into the depths of your being is gone. The one whom you would have done anything for is gone.
Buttercup expressed it beautifully, “Westley and I are joined by the bonds of love. And you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds. And you cannot break that, not with a thousand swords.”
But—short of a miracle (chocolate-coated or not)—death eventually comes to sever those bonds and bring us face-to-face with the bridegroom of our souls, and hopefully into communion with the entire Communion of Saints for all eternity.
May the Trimmers rest in peace. The ultimate purpose of marriage is for the spouses to get one another to heaven—I pray this loving couple was successful in what ultimately mattered.