An Irish couple, dubbed the “real-life The Notebook” couple, have died within hours of each other holding hands at a nursing home.
Máire and Gerry Ryan, both 93, passed away on February 19, lying side-by-side and surrounded by staff at the Curragh Lawn Nursing Home. Incredibly, they were also born just one day apart.
The couple married at age 26 and have been together for 65 years.
Just like the romantic film, Gerry was devoted to his wife who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and had trouble remembering him during her final years.
A spokesperson for the nursing home told 9Honey the couple were with the nursing home for a year.
“He would have loved being such a celebrity,” she said. “Gerry read the papers every day online and hard copy.”
“They were never apart for any length of time and had a wonderful relationship,” owner and director of nursing at Curragh Lawn Nursing Home, Val Ryan, told The Independent.
“Gerry told the staff working at Curragh Lawn Nursing Home that they had a relationship built on respect for each other.
Every afternoon, Gerry would recite poetry to his wife and serenade her with traditional Irish songs.
“Gerry was so devoted to Máire, he would read her poetry and sing songs every afternoon and re-tell her stories of their life and travels together every evening," Assistant Director of Nursing Saritha Binumon told Independent.
“I’ve never seen so much dedication between a couple in my life, really the whole staff are heartbroken,” said Binumon. “At the same time, though, I’m happy for them, I don’t think they would be able to be happy without each other.”
In their final moments, Gerry had their beds put next to each other so they could hold hands.
Máire passed away at 3.45 in the morning and Gerry at 5.20pm, just hours after.
The staff member said she’d “never seen love like it”.
“We knew they wouldn’t want to be without each other, so it was lovely for them,” she told RSVP Live.