The Mysterious Ways of Love and Death

Our December/January issue investigates the phenomenon of soul mates who can’t live apart.

Posted in , Nov 25, 2015

Soul mates who cannot part in life or in death, who are always in love.

In our December/January issue of Mysterious Ways, our associate editor Diana Aydin explores the mystery of long time couples who, at the end of their lives, die within moments of one another. These deaths are natural, but often unexpected, and they tend to happen more often than the odds of random chance suggest they should. The heart, Diana discovered—through her interviews with experts such as Dr. Mimi Guarneri—posessess a power over the human body beyond merely pumping blood. Its response to losing one’s soul mate can literally cause the heart to break.

Last week, all-around good guy and former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie witnessed this phenomenon firsthand. In a post on Facebook, he announced the sad news that he’d lost his parents, Dick and Joan, on the same day.

The Fluties were a team throughout their 56 years together, and when it came time for the end, nothing could separate them, even death. One of my favorite writers, Kurt Vonnegut coined a word for this kind of connection between two people—a duprass.

In his apocalyptic novel, Cat’s Cradle, he writes of one couple, “They were lovebirds. They entertained each other endlessly with little gifts: sights worth seeing out the plane window, amusing or instructive bits from things they read, random recollections of times gone by.” Members of a duprass, he writes, “always die within a week of each other.” In the case of his characters, they die within the same second.

Certainly, faith tells us that in the next life, our lost loved ones will be waiting for us, no matter how long we take. A deep love between two people doesn’t mean one can’t outlive the other, and many surviving spouses find their remaining years, even decades, filled with the joy of grandchildren, new experiences, unexpected wonders.

But perhaps someone knows when two people truly can’t live apart. When a couple is so entwined, their purposes so aligned, a merciful hand may reach from beyond to spare one from a life without the other.

Pick up the December/January issue and give Diana’s story a read. Let us know what you think. Is this phenomenon simply coincidence, or the result of stress? Or is there a force that knows us better than we know ourselves… and knows whether or not we have more living yet to do?

As always, share your stories with us.

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