Terminally ill couple married for 66 years clenched hands and ended their lives together

Preeti Pillai
Mar 16, 2018
04:20 A.M.

Cameras captured their sweet last moments together.


According to an article published by Mirror, 88-year-old Francie and 87-year-old Charlie Emerick died an hour apart from each other after taking lethal medication prescribed under state law.

The couple had been married for 66 years and lived in Portland, Oregon. They both laid side by side in bed, holding hands, and spending the last moments of their life together.

Francie had developed a very weak heart, while Charlie had been battling several complications like Parkinson’s disease and prostate cancer.

The doctors had said that Francie had the chances of surviving longer than Charlie.


However, the couple who had spent their lives in love decided to approach the law for permission to take lethal medication, so that they could end the journey of their lives together.

The couple also authorized a few cameras to immortalize their last living moments.

Euthanasia was permitted to them under the Death With Dignity law in Oregan. Charlie and Francie were among 143 other people with terminal illnesses who had been given the right to have a medically-assisted death.

However, Charlie and Francie are the only couple among them to take the drastic decision.

The married couple breathed their last 16 days after they celebrated 66 years of marriage and friendship.

Francie passed away within 15 minutes of the dosage, while Charlie was by her side. Charlie succumbed to the medication about an hour later.

The Emericks’ daughter Sher Safran and her husband were also with the couple in their final moments, capturing their togetherness on camera.


The footage is featured in the documentary film titled Living And Dying: A Love Story.

The videos were only meant to be for private viewing by family and close friends. However, after Sher and her husband started Share Wisdom TV, decided to publicly share it.

Sher stated that her parents were content and had no regrets. She added that they had not left anything unfinished, and when their tie had come, it was a huge solace to know that they were together.

The documentary is made up of clips mainly captured on mobile phone cameras.

The couple that fell in love and married in 1951 in Nebraska, shared unique love and companionship before walking hand-in-hand towards death last year.

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