In essence, we all die alone, but we don’t have to suffer alone. When we hear about how an elderly couple dies of COVID-19 on the same day, we rethink just how alone we are.
When COVID-19 started to swell out of control, many disturbing words rang true, including statements that suffering patients had to die alone. That was truly devastating news that brought me to tears. It was enough just to hear how the numbers of infected were rising, along with the deaths.
But to tell us we couldn’t be with our loved ones on their death bed was just too much. Then when an elderly couple dies from COVID-19 just hours apart, I must say, that takes on a bittersweet feeling.
Over time, however, the rules relaxed a bit, allowing one family member to be with their loved one, who was, at that time, probably already on the ventilator. Facetime and other video chat options were being allowed by kind nurses as well. These nurses were called angels by the Keplers.
The Keplers: the elderly couple dies of COVID-19
“Elderly couple dies of COVID-19, at the ripe old age of 73”, the announcement is sure to catch your attention. Mary and Wilford Kepler of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, died on the same day from complications of the COVID-19 virus. The couple, 94 and 92 years old, was married for 73 years, known as being incredibly close.
In fact, they were so close they died within 6 hours of each other. Wilford left this world, followed by his lovely wife Mary. Most couples never get to die on the same die. During their horrific ordeal, the couple enjoyed one visitor each and said their other goodbyes through digital media like skype or facetime.
While it was a heartbreaking experience, some of the couple’s last words revolved around the nurses. It was those individuals who spent hours taking care of them in the hospital and ICU. Mary and Wilford Kepler said they were truly angels.
As strong and beautiful as the Keplers were, the medical staff couldn’t keep them here with their family. Like thousands of other victims of COVID-19, the Keplers just couldn’t beat the raging monster. All over the world, medical staff is rushing in, struggling, and putting their own lives in danger.
They were tried to save our loved ones, and sometimes to no avail. It’s truly a nightmare for both families and those in the medical field. But the family tries to think fondly of the time they had with their parents and loved ones instead of dwelling on the devastation. After all, it’s befallen the entire world and close to home for many.
“Our family lost the glue that holds us together. It was hard and bittersweet.”
– Natalie Lameka, daughter.
The ever-changing virus
Unfortunately, the family has no idea how the couple contracted the virus. According to everything we’ve heard through the media, there are several ways of contracting the virus, including innocent mishaps that usually lead to nothing. As we all know, a trip to the grocery store, a visit from family, or even just retrieving the mail can put you at risk for contracting this virus.
Those who are above the age of 60, or have underlying illnesses are more prone to contracting COVID-19, but it’s hard to stay inside forever and away from the ones we love. This is why there may never be a clear answer as to why the Keplers had to endure this ordeal.
One thing is for sure, according to the family, the couple lived a full and loving life. As for the one visitor each, siblings Spencer and Natalie Lameka were the last members of the family to see the Keplers alive. So, we see, the beautiful couple not only died in the presence of family but even had loved ones there through the struggles of this relentless virus.
What can we learn from the Keplers?
We all die, at some point in our lives. Lately, COVID-19 takes victims left and right. While we should always be safe, it’s also important to make sure you tell those you hold dearest just how much you love them. Who knows, you may not be so lucky, as to die holding hands with your mate.
So, let’s cherish this time we have together and do the best we can to live a full and happy life during these troubling times.
When it gets tough, just remember Mary and Wilford Kepler, and appreciate the larger picture…the love we have for each and every one of us as human beings. wish you all good health and perseverance. We will get through this.