A Severe Illness
For those who have been married for decades, the end of life is not always as sweet and fulfilling as they imagined. They might have planned to travel widely once both had retired, but a severe illness can steal their dreams overnight. If one of them has become physically ill they could still be able to salvage something of their plans, but those who are battling debilitating brain conditions are gone while leaving their bodies behind. It can be a sad way for a long term relationship to end, and yet the love of the partners will often hold them together through the course of the disease.
There are many types of illnesses where a person no longer recognizes those they love, and it can be a heartbreaking way for a relationship to turn. The person who still has all their faculties will need to take care of their spouse, but they can no longer look forward to sharing the good memories they spent a lifetime creating as a couple. It can be a depressing time, and it hurts to watch a loved one fade away.
There is often help available today for caregivers, but the loss of a friend and lover is impossible to compensate. Their plans for the future are not the only loss they are suffering, and they must face it on a daily basis. Help through counseling and nursing assistance are all to the good, but they will never replace what a couple has lost of their last few years.
Many couples have spent a lifetime working hard so they can have a great retirement, but it does not always work out well. They might have shared plenty of good times, but the future they planned could become impossible when one gets too sick. Their partner will be there for them, but it will still be a bittersweet time.