My widow friend Jessica says she believes the best thing you could ever do for your spouse is to outlive him/her. It’s just too painful to be the spouse left behind. I agree. My widower friend Laurence, on the other hand, said he loved his wife enough that he was glad she died first. That way, she didn’t have to experience this pain.
As Prince Albert was dying on December 14, 1861, Queen Victoria declared, “Why must I suffer this? . . . It is like tearing the flesh from my bones.”i After he died, she declared, “How I, who leant on him for all and everything—without whom I did nothing, moved not a finger, arranged not a print or photograph, didn’t put on a gown or bonnet if he didn’t approve it shall go on, to live, to move, to help myself in difficult moments?” The British prime minister at the time of Albert’s death affirmed that Victoria had “sustained one of the greatest of human misfortunes.”ii
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