As of 2012, the average life expectancy in the United States is 78 years old and we already know that the number of marriages that end in divorce is between 40 and 50 percent. So, what are the chances of you living up to 96, or even 100, and holding the one you love, the one that you have been married to for decades, as they pass away? You can do the math but it’s probably somewhere around zero point very rare. A month ago, a reddit user by the name of RealLiveGirl posted a photo of their grandfather, 100, holding hands with their grandmother, 96, just before her death. They have been married for 77 years, which is longer than some of us will live. Before even seeing the photo, the description probably reignited the embers of your cold, cold heart. You can find the photo as well as some personal, heartfelt, and critical responses from other reddit users below.’My Grandma, 96, with my Grandpa, 100, hours before her death this weekend. 77 years of marriage.’ -RealLiveGirl
‘This hit deep for me,’ user hammerw wrote. ‘My grandparents raised me and continue to allow me to live with them. They’re both 74, 5 hours apart in birth, and have been together since 16.’ ‘My grandfather’s mortality has been really hitting him mentally lately. Me leaving for college next weekend is going to feel conflicting for the first little while I think. I would be on the street without them.’ ‘Sending love and care to you, your grandfather, and your family OP <3 this is a memorable photo.'
One user sympathized but said what we were all thinking: ‘Sorry for your loss. But what a ‘great’ way to go. Holding hands with your spouse, in a warm bed, presumably with loved ones around. Sympathy to your Grandfather who lost his lifelong wife. God bless all around.’
One young man excitedly wrote, ‘I was thinking about proposing to my Girlfriend in a year and a half but now I don’t think I can wait that long.’ Others warned him not to rush it and to wait until it felt right.
One reader benefitted from seeing the post while fighting with his wife of 24 years. ‘Tonight we argued,’ he shared. ‘It was the usual suspects: money, long hours working, who cares less about who’s feelings. I grabbed a blanket and headed for the lounge – after 24 years of marriage you kinda figure out that the sofa, the pooch for company and the evening apart from each other is a good way to cool hot heads.’ ‘Then I read this post,’ he continued. ‘I put the kettle on, made my wife a cup of tea and woke her up.’ After expressing his love and gratefulness for her, the two made up and played hooky the next day.
Some people were angered by this post and called it out as an invasion of privacy. They argued that it was meant to be a private moment. ‘Apparently I’m the only one who think people should have some privacy sometimes and not everything should be subject to karma milking…,’ commented one of the critics, bringing on others to speak out against the OP.
Despite the criticism, there were still many viewers in between, appreciating the photo but acknowledging that it was inappropriate, and many others that defended the OP. ‘Often people post pictures of loved ones or pets who have passed and the picture doesn’t really mean anything to anyone but them,’ user Summerie pointed out. ‘This picture is not one of those. This picture absolutely speaks in a universal language we all either can, or at least hope to someday understand.’