A couple who had been married for 70 years died just moments after one another.
Raymond and Kathleen Atkins had recently celebrated their wedding anniversary, but following a prolonged illness Raymond sadly passed away at their home in Virginia, United States.
Over the past two years, Raymond had been battling lung cancer and had recently been in hospital for treatment, vowing to make it home in time to celebrate their special day on 22 July.
The couple's son Les Atkins told WRAL: "He called me and said, 'I prayed to God all night and all day that I can leave this hospital, and I will be out of here in the morning.' This was the day before their anniversary."
Fortunately Raymond did make it home and was able to celebrate with Kathleen and their family.
However, a few days after their party, the 90-year-old's health began to deteriorate and in the early hours of the morning Les' sister discovered that their father had tragically died.
Les said: "She told my sister that she could not imagine life without him."
Recalling the heartbreaking moments after his dad passed away, Les said: "Then, within a matter of minutes, my sister called back and said my mom had crawled in the bed with him and was overcome with grief."
Once in bed, Kathleen, 86, then said: "I'm not gonna let him go alone."
And according to Les, she kept her promise.
He said: "They did not want to go alone. They had endured this life together. They had this strong faith, and they just refused to be apart.
"It's a fairy tale in every sense of the word."
Raymond and Kathleen, who ran a taxi company, leave behind four children, six grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
When looking through their things after they had died, Les said he found some words of wisdom written down.
Quoting the advice, Les said: "'Do the best that you can do.' I think that's all they did for 70 years. They did the best they could do."
Last year, after an incredible 70 years of marriage, a couple died 20 minutes apart from each other, side-by-side, with their family saying they'd done everything together - including death.
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