Old Man Holds Dead Wife’s Body For Hours, Refusing to Let Go

china-shenyang-elderly-husband-holds-dead-wife-for-last-time-02

From NetEase:

Shenyang Old Woman Suddenly Dies During Cold Night, Husband Clutches Her Dead Body for 2 Hours Refusing to Let Go

Old husband sits on the ground, wrapping his arms and clothes around her dead body, unwilling to let go–

An old couple from Fushun [in Liaoning province] who work in Shenyang did not live a life of luxury but had each other to depend on. However, this life that is so ordinary that it could not be any more ordinary is one that Old He can no longer continue enjoying. Last night, as his wife walked out of a pharmacy she had purchased medicine from, she suddenly collapsed and died. Unable to accept this turn of events, Old He fell to the ground, and in a world of ice and snow, he sat there holding his wife’s corpse for two hours unwilling to let go. “I’m not cold, I just want to hold her a little longer for the last time. I won’t be able to ever again!”

Passersby extended a hand to help after old lady collapsed

Around 5:30pm on the 17th, at No. 85 Shenzhou Road in Shenhe district [of Shenyang], an old lady was walking and suddenly collapsed, her breathing faint. The surrounding crowd did not just stand by and not help but instead proactively went forward, with some helping the elderly person up and others unbuttoning her jacket. One young woman squatted beside the old lady and commenced CPR. After multiple attempts, the old lady exhibited no response, deeply unconsciousness. Those around quickly called 120 [the emergency number for medical care/paramedics].

The white plastic bag that the old lady had been carrying was spilled across the ground. Inside had been two boxed meals and a box of cough medicine. 110 [police] and 120 arrived and through examination, they pronounced the old lady dead. Police did not find any identifying information on the old woman’s body. Some of the bystanders pointed out that the cough medicine looked like it was just purchased, “how about we first check if there are any pharmacies nearby, as they might have clues [about who she is]!” About 200 meters east of where she had collapsed was a pharmacy and upon entering, police indeed obtained some information from the salesperson who said the box of cough medicine was indeed purchased there. “Just a bit before 5pm, she indeed came in here to buy medicine, but there wasn’t any obvious signs of anything wrong with her at the time. She just purchased and left.”

Old husband unbuttoned his jacket to hold his old wife closer to him

A bystander said elderly people like to join membership clubs, so maybe a membership card might have her address and telephone number. After turning up a membership card the old lady used, police found the fixed line telephone number the old lady had used, as well as learned that she was surnamed Song, and 63 years old. When the number was dialed, it was her son-in-law who answered.

Upon learning what happened, the son-in-law ran ran to the scene. At around 6:30pm, the son-in-law appeared and confirmed that the deceased was his mother-in-law, and immediately called his father-in-law.

A bit over 10 minutes later, the deceased’s husband arrived on the scene. After seeing his wife, his was an expression of loss. After walking around her body, he knelt down on the ground, and buttoned up each of the buttons the Good Samaritan who administered CPR had unbuttoned. Then, he unbuttoned the buttons on his own coat and clothes inside one by one, sat down onto the ground, and held her close in his arms, for a long time refusing to let her go.

Time passed minute by second, but even half an hour after sitting there holding his life partner, the old man refused to get up. In the cold winter night, the surrounding bystanders were moved by what they saw before them, as they remained where they stood afraid of disturbing the man and his dead wife. Some bystanders, store owners, and police even found cardboard and styrofoam asking the old grandpa to place them underneath him so he won’t catch a cold, but they were all politely refused. “I’m not cold, I’m fine, I don’t want to get up yet, I want to hold her for a little longer just one last time, as I won’t have a chance to do so ever again.”

Bystanders moved to sobs and sighs

Witnessing the old man’s stubbornness, bystanders and police together lifted him up and placed the cardboard under him and the styrofoam under his legs, as well as put on a pair of gloves that a passerby had brought over. Over a dozen bystanders voluntarily encircled the old couple to block the wind for them, hoping to extend their last moment together for a little longer. After another half hour, 96144 [funeral parlor, hearse, body removal services] arrived and wanted to remove the body, but when old man still clung to her in his arms refusing to let go, bystanders were less understanding. “Being like this is also disrespectful to the deceased, and pointless as well, so let go and put her in the vehicle!”

The old man ignored the bystanders’ criticism. He called his son in Fushun, saying he wanted to bring the body back to Fushun, and bury her in their hometown. Over an hour later, the deceased’s son arrived having driven over. By then, the old man had already sat on the ground for a full two hours. The son placed his mother’s body in his car. It was only then that the old man who was now rigid from the cold was willing to get up, mumbling to himself: “I didn’t want you go out today, yet you insisted. Why did it have to be today that you left?”

The boxed meals that the old woman had just purchased were for her grandson, which she had not yet been able to deliver to him before she passed away. After the old man was pulled away, bystanders who had looking on remained for a long time unwilling to leave, with multiple women having tears in their eyes, stifling sobs. “Too touching, for a husband and wife to be like this in their lives is something no money or wealth can buy.”

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2014 December 17th, around 7:50pm, on the east side of the Fengtian Street and Shenzhou Road intersection in Liaoning province, Shenyang city's Shenhe district, an elderly man wearing a black hat and black coat sits on a piece of cardboard on the sidewalk, holding in his arms holding his elderly wife who had passed away from a sudden heart attack. Nearby resident Mr. Suo says he had discovered the old woman lying on the ground at around 5:40pm. Around 6pm, 120 [ambulance] arrived and confirmed that the elderly woman had passed away, with the cause of death preliminarily believed to be a heart attack. It wasn't until nearly 7pm that the elderly man arrived on the scene to be beside his wife, whereupon he he has held her without letting go. Photo is of the elderly man holding his wife.
2014 December 17th, around 7:50pm, on the east side of the Fengtian Street and Shenzhou Road intersection in Liaoning province, Shenyang city’s Shenhe district, an elderly man wearing a black hat and black coat sits on a piece of cardboard on the sidewalk, holding in his arms holding his elderly wife who had passed away from a sudden heart attack. Nearby resident Mr. Suo says he had discovered the old woman lying on the ground at around 5:40pm. Around 6pm, 120 [ambulance] arrived and confirmed that the elderly woman had passed away, with the cause of death preliminarily believed to be a heart attack. It wasn’t until nearly 7pm that the elderly man arrived on the scene to be beside his wife, whereupon he he has held her without letting go. Photo is of the elderly man holding his wife.
According to a family member who arrived later, the old man is surnamed He, from Fushun, that the elderly couple were both 63 years of age this year, and have been living in Shenyang for many years now. The old man works in Shenyang's Hunnan district, while the old woman lives in a nearby home. The old woman had gone out to buy medicine at a pharmacy. Because the old man wants to bury his wife in their hometown, he is currently waiting for his son in Fushun to drive over and pick them up and take them both there. Photo is of the elderly man holding his wife.
According to a family member who arrived later, the old man is surnamed He, from Fushun, that the elderly couple were both 63 years of age this year, and have been living in Shenyang for many years now. The old man works in Shenyang’s Hunnan district, while the old woman lives in a nearby home. The old woman had gone out to buy medicine at a pharmacy. Because the old man wants to bury his wife in their hometown, he is currently waiting for his son in Fushun to drive over and pick them up and take them both there. Photo is of the elderly man holding his wife.
Mr. Suo says when Grandpa He first arrived, he wasn't wearing gloves. Within 10 minutes of him sitting there, both his hands were red from the cold, so he [Mr. Suo] rushed home to get a pair of gloves for the old man, as well as some cardboard and a styrofoam box for him to sit on them to insulate him from the cold ground. Having sat holding his wife for nearly two hours, Grandpa He's body was already rigid and his fake wan from the cold. Photo is of the elderly man holding his wife.
Mr. Suo says when Grandpa He first arrived, he wasn’t wearing gloves. Within 10 minutes of him sitting there, both his hands were red from the cold, so he [Mr. Suo] rushed home to get a pair of gloves for the old man, as well as some cardboard and a styrofoam box for him to sit on them to insulate him from the cold ground. Having sat holding his wife for nearly two hours, Grandpa He’s body was already rigid and his face pale from the cold. Photo is of the elderly man holding his wife.
At 8:10pm, Grandpa He held his wife tightly as before, every so often tidying her hair and moving her legs. "Grandpa, the weather is too cold. If you keep on like this, something bad will happen to you too. Hurry and get up, please!" urged the people around Grandpa He for him to get up. But Grandpa He only nodded his head, saying quietly: "It's okay, don't worry, let me be with her a little longer, the car will arrive soon." Photo is of the elderly man holding his wife.
At 8:10pm, Grandpa He held his wife tightly as before, every so often tidying her hair and moving her legs. “Grandpa, the weather is too cold. If you keep on like this, something bad will happen to you too. Hurry and get up, please!” urged the people around Grandpa He for him to get up. But Grandpa He only nodded his head, saying quietly: “It’s okay, don’t worry, let me be with her a little longer, the car will arrive soon.” Photo is of the elderly man holding his wife.
At 8:39pm, after persevering for nearly two hours, Grandpa He's son finally arrived. Upon seeing his son pick up his wife's body, and with the support of the crowd, Grandpa He left. Photo is of the elderly man holding his wife.
At 8:39pm, after persevering for nearly two hours, Grandpa He’s son finally arrived. Upon seeing his son pick up his wife’s body, and with the support of the crowd, Grandpa He left. Photo is of the elderly man holding his wife.

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Comments from NetEase:

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网易云南省昆明市网友 ip:116.249.*.*

Sigh, if you comment too critically [about society/social problems], they’ll say you have ulterior motives, so I just won’t say anything, but it bothers me keeping it in. Rest in peace, poor elderly.

挖个洞 [网易河南省郑州市网友]:

“Too touching, for a husband and wife to be like this in their lives is something no money or wealth can buy.”

空虚小编 [脑洞初开]:

The old man’s “I’m not cold, I’m fine…” pushed out the tears that had been accumulating in my eyes. Sigh… this is “till death do we part”.

网易湖北省孝感市网友 ip:27.23.*.* (responding to above)

Sigh, me too. This is true emotion! This is true love! To have true love is to have no regrets!

阳光照耀美利坚 [网易重庆市网友]:

The good people are all at the lowest levels of society, while the bad are all among the upper levels, so the conclusion is: It’s hard to be a good person! Next lifetime: be a bad person!

内战指挥中心 [网易山东省济宁市网友]:

Winter has come, everyone take care of yourselves. [Because] the country won’t care [about you].

yhz18009 [网易广西网友]:

“If everyone could be housed, how happy everyone would be! Real estate developers and medical practitioners are murderers!

[Note: The general idea of this comment is to blame real estate developers for making people poor and medical practitioners for not providing affordable healthcare.]

風雨亦同行 [网易广东省广州市网友]:

“To meet you in this life is my good fortune, but for you it was not good fortunate, because I wasn’t able to give you a nice life. I only had a sincere heart. Let me hold you again. Are you still able to feel the warmth in my heart?”

刺刀34 [网易江西省网友]:

A lifelong companion, only to end up alone in his old age. This is the saddest part.

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Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • Chaz

    Too heart wrenching. This transcends cultures…nationalities…biases…

  • Moogle

    It’s raining suddenly…

  • World citizen

    I shed a tear, actually broke my heart.

  • Alphy

    RIP

  • mr.wiener

    That guys face….

  • Rick in China

    These bystanders are fucking cunts and need a good smacking: ““Being like this is also disrespectful to the deceased, and pointless as well, so let go and put her in the vehicle!””

    Poor guy, heartbreaking story.

    • ClausRasmussen

      I think the bystanders did well, trying to help her and administering CPR instead of being indifferent as we all to often hear about. The comment you pick on may seem a little rude but it is also common sense: He should let go after a while, at some point it gets creepy

    • Sam

      I agree with them. Personally, I don’t want to die and be on the street for a couple hours while anyone-who-pleases can come up and look at me and have the media take pictures of my body. I think it would have been more respectful to get her moved then just having her out there for a few hours.

      There’s obviously a line that needs to be drawn there, you couldn’t just let him hold her forever… she was dead for crying out loud and it had been two hours. Sometimes people don’t know what’s best for them and after awhile, certainly before two hours IMO, some official there should have gently pried her away from him to do what was necessary.

      • 白色纯棉小裤裤

        I would rather die that way so even after I and my spouse both died, our love will be remembered by people and recorded on the internet.

      • Strangerland

        I thought he waited for his son to come from Fushun? If so, then I understand why he didn’t want to move from that spot- while the bystanders who are disgruntled should probably be given a scold or two- what’s wrong with letting him wait- unless he’s planning to camp on the street for the whole night(I draw the line at that).

  • monster

    money is so important when you are sick.

    • Zappa Frank

      yes eattot, but you see she went to the pharmacy, sometimes something can kill you in a blink of an eye. Anyway I think would be better a state that can take care of citizens.

    • firebert5

      Really living up to your new name there, eattot.

      • Guang Xiang

        Man, how do you guys know it’s eattot? Didn’t seem obvious till you pointed it out.

      • Sam

        eattot?

  • HumanWorm

    Seems only the older generation understand that ‘what is essential is invisible to the eye’; the heart is paramount, not your – however commendable in its own way – best bikini body, gucci bag, botoxed labia and insufferable hypergamous gold-digging.

    • Zappa Frank

      come on, that’s a generalization, don’t we read often “olds Chinese are the bastards that fucked up china”, or also “it’s not that olds are bad is that bad guys are getting old”…and so on? this time olds are good and young people are bad? till the next article where an old man/woman will behave badly?

      • Irvin

        No one ever said the internet was consistent.

      • Sam

        I think it’s human tradition for older people to think the younger generations are going down in a cesspit of depravity and that things will never be like the “good old days.” ;) And yet somehow society moves on and generally life gets better….. it’s a rite of passage! I’m sure one day I’ll be a bitter old man moaning about the youth, the same as I’m that decadent and depraved young person today!

  • narsfweasels

    “I’m
    not cold, I’m fine, I don’t want to get up yet, I want to hold her for a
    little longer just one last time, as I won’t have a chance to do so
    ever again.”

    Ah feck, right in the feelz…

  • TheInconvenientRuth

    Who’s chopping onions on chinasmack…?

  • UserID01

    I’m reading this way too early in the morning. Now I’m emotionally wrecked. I’m happily married and I know that, inevitably, unless something radically tragic happens like we both die in a car accident at the same time, one of us is going to die before the other. And I wish there was some way for my spouse to be spared that pain, or for me to be spared the pain of losing my spouse, especially after so long. It really bothers me to think that this is going to happen to my grandparents someday, after 50+ years of marriage. I don’t know if one could really survive without the other.

  • AG

    Very emotional.
    Heart attack seems most humane natural death. Worst one is cancer which is extremly painful at end.

  • Kodabar

    This seems wrong to me. This is a very personal and private moment in his life and now it’s being broadcast on the internet.

    There are seven adverts on this page. chinaSMACK and the various companies in the advertising chain are making money from this man’s grief. Is that really okay?

    • lonetrey / Dan

      Shit. Didn’t even think about that.

      I know it’s necessary sometimes…. but part of me is imagining an obnoxious photographer snapping away while the poor man is on the ground holding her. It’s pretty distasteful.

  • lonetrey / Dan

    Fucking dammit. I was about to sleep. I didn’t want all these feels right before.

    …. ಥ_ಥ

  • 42

    commemorable that the man loves his wife so much till the very end, but I can’t stop to wonder if he had let her go earlier and let the medical first aid staff take a look, maybe they could have reanimated and saved her, but oh well, probably at that moment the man severly panicked and overcome with irrational and desperate emotions for the loss and love of his woman….

    • Strangerland

      There was about an hour between her collapsing and her son-in-law’s arrival, and pressumably her husband came around later as well(I know it’s written as “ten minutes later” but some on, it could easily be 15 minutes later, 20 minutes later, nth minutes later…) so by the time he hugged her, she probably has already been dead for about an hour.
      You can’t reanimate someone who’s been dead for that long already.
      Even when you’re at the hospital with a team ready on your side- it’s a 50/50 chance and in most cases, being saved means being hooked to machine while staying comatose for who-knows-how-long.
      I think in situation like this, letting go is the right choice- let her go on instead of wrecking her old frail body with the saving-attempts, and in time her husband would find his own version of peace after losing her.
      Sad affair indeed, but such is the world’s story.

  • Chris

    touching to see there’s at least one couple in China who were happily married.