They had been together for 55 years, and their family wasn’t shocked when the couple died just hours apart from each other, holding hands.
Ana Maria and Domingo Chavez met in 1958 in Texas, at a Blue Moon Dance, and fell in love at first sight. They became inseparable and were married in 1961.
According to 11 Alive News, the family is celebrating the remarkable love story instead of mourning the couple that died holding hands. Since getting married 55 years ago, Ana Maria and Domingo shared eight children, 30 grandchildren, and 32 great-grandchildren, who are now remembering them fondly.
The pair were soul mates, family members said, and even though they both suffered from dementia, they passed away within hours from each other, holding hands at their son’s home in Idaho. Ana Maria and Domingo had their hands on top of a heart-shaped pillow. She died first, and he followed hours later.
The story begins when they both attended the Blue Moon Dance, and Domingo Chavez used his charms on Ana Maria.
“My grandpa, he liked to dance,” recalls granddaughter Krystal Chavez. “Anybody he talked to they’d just like melt when they talked to him because he loved everybody. That’s her man. She really made it known.”
Like a script inspired by the romantic movie, The Notebook, the older couple were an inspiration to everyone they knew, but especially their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, who saw the special bond they shared firsthand.
Ana Maria and Domingo did everything together, according to family members. They raised their children, traveled, and of course, loved dancing with one another.
“My grandpa, he twirled with her… they just love dancing,” Krystal said.
Family members from all around the country came to join a celebration of love, as the occasion has been called, but instead of mourning the couple’s death, they are remembering their fulfilling life.
Their story is so remarkable and their bond so strong, that they not only enjoyed the good things life had to offer, but got sick together. When Ana Maria was diagnosed with dementia in 2006, she wasn’t alone. Domingo received the same diagnosis soon after.
Since they couldn’t be on their own anymore and after a stay in the hospital, their eldest son, Freddie, took them in and cared for them both at his home in Idaho, where they died, together.
“Unconditional love to each and every one of us,” he told KTVB of the loving couple.
A few weeks ago, Ana Maria and Domingo’s health took a turn for the worse and at that point, the concerned family pushed their twin beds together so they could hold hands, something they did throughout their lives. A heart-shaped pillow was used to make them comfortable.
Their son said the wife passed away on Thursday, still holding her husband’s hand tightly. He didn’t let go of her, but Freddie says it was clear he was aware of her death.
“He took a turn for the worse. I mean, he got sad. You could tell he was very, very sad.”
“Their love was really strong.”
Family members say Ana Maria called Domingo home, and despite the sadness they feel, they will always appreciate the lesson they received from the loving couple. For Freddie, his siblings, children, and grandchildren the most important thing, is that despite their sorrow, they are grateful the couple died together.
“They don’t suffer anymore and I know they’re in heaven right now looking down on us just dancing away in the streets of gold.”
In 2011, Ana Maria and Domingo renewed their vows in front of friends and family for their 50th wedding anniversary. Now, their loved ones are celebrating their amazing story and they will never forget the couple who died holding hands, still expressing their love.
[Image via Facebook / The Chavez Family]