A set of 83-year-old identical twin sisters died earlier this month, hours apart.
According to Good Morning America, reported via Yahoo News, Helen Cook and Clara Mitchell died on the same day, leaving their family to celebrate their lives with an emotional double funeral.
“It was a beautiful ceremony,” Cook’s daughter, Dala Miller of Weldona, Colorado said of the service that took place on Monday. “It was exactly like their life was. It was intertwined, yet they were still separate, individual women.”
“Speaking with the mortuary, they have never done this before with twins passing away on the same day,” Miller added.
Cook and Mitchell were born on January 2, 1932, in Fort Lupton, Colorado, with Helen being two minutes older. Cook was married for 34 years and had three daughters, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
— WUSA9 (@wusa9) October 15, 2015
Mitchell married her husband, Rubin Graeb, in 1950. Linda Sisk, Mitchell’s daughter, said the couple had one other daughter named Carolyn, who died in 1970, together before Graeb died in 1979. Mitchell had two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She later married Floyd Mitchell in 1989. He died nearly 20 years later.
Marsha Gerber, Cook’s daughter, said her mother and aunt had an undeniable connection, and she believed it started at birth, WTHR reports.
“They were born prematurely and weren’t expected to make it,” said Gerber. “They always had an incredible connection. I think it began there.”
Sisk of Lakewood, Colorado, who served as her mother’s caregiver, said Mitchell died on October 13 at the St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, Colorado from a heart attack. She said she has many fond memories of growing up with her mother and father.
Identical twins died – aged 83 – within 12 hours of each other Two hearts beat as one – and stop on one day http://t.co/iTyVSrbobH
— Diana Koster (@VrouwencoachDK) October 18, 2015
“My memories of them are always birthday parties, Christmases, holidays, being together and playing golf with my Aunt and always sharing some occasions with my cousins,” Sisk said.
About 18 hours later, and only 20 miles away, Cook died at the Someren Glen Retirement Community in Centennial, Colorado.
“These were the most grounded women you ever seen,” Vickie Pepple, Cook’s daughter, said. “They could do it all. They could cook, they could sew, they could out-clean anyone. They were one person, yet had all these extremely individual characteristics.”
— AOL.com (@AOL) October 16, 2015
Although they lived very happy lives with their families, Cook and Mitchell had their fair share of medical issues. In 1977, Mitchell suffered a stroke, and about five years ago, Cook was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
“My mom had had Alzheimer’s for about five years,” Miller said. “I grieved for her for five years, so it was such a peaceful relief when my mom passed away. Not that it’s not sad, but I had a harder time when we found out about Aunt Clara. That just set me over the edge. I always knew my mom was going to first, but I was OK with that because I was like, ‘It’s OK because I’ll still have Aunt Clara,’ and that was stripped away from me instantly.”
— WTHR.com (@WTHRcom) October 15, 2015
The identical twin sister’s families held a double funeral at the Olinger Crown Hill Mortuary and Cemetery in Wheat Ridge. They were buried in different plots next to their family members.
“God brought them into this world together, and they were taken at the same time,” said Gerber “It’s how they would have wanted it. Helen met Clara in heaven.”
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a set of rare, identical triplets were born in Baltimore, Maryland earlier this month. The chances of this happening without the use of fertility treatments is approximately one in two million.
[Photo via Shutterstock]