An elderly couple who spent 66 years of their life happily married decided that nothing would ever put them apart – not even the death.
As a result, they decided to die on the same day barely an hour apart from each other. Everything happened in 2017 in Oregon, the first state to legalize medical aid-in-dying.
Since both of them were diagnosed with a terminal disease, the decision was easy to take. They qualified for the Oregon State Death with Dignity law and were only a few examples of the 143 people that were legally killed in 2017.
End of Life Choices Oregon pointed out that they were the only couple who decided to take the lethal doses of medication at the same time. Francie and Charlie Emerick first met when they were both college students in Nebraska.
After dating for a long time, they got married on April 4, 1951. The 60s was very tough for them as they worked in India as medical missionaries.
They managed to stay together after all that time and moved back to Portland, where they spent their last years of life. At the moment of their passing, Charlie was 87 and Francie was 88 years old.
He suffered from prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease while she had a weakened heart and had overcome several heart attacks.
They welcomed three daughters while they were young and made them understand that every person should have the right to decide when and how to die.
One of the most surprising facts about their death was that they didn’t even get a proper funeral because they donated their bodies to the Oregon Health & Science University.
Since they got everything planned, they asked one of their sons-in-law to record every aspect of the process in detail for them to help others change the way they think about dying. It ended up in a documentary titled Living & Dying: A Love Story.
‘We have a faith that says life is not to be worshipped. It’s the quality of life that counts.’
Francie Emerick, 2017.
December 21, 2018