The family of a husband and wife who had been married for 32 years have paid tribute to the couple after they passed away within 40 minutes of each other.
Tom and Mary Forbes, from West Cork, Ireland, passed away on August 24 and were buried together in St Matthews Church in Drimoleague two days later.
Mary, who was in her 60s, had suffered with cancer in 2016 before a short spell of good health. Unfortunately, however, it wasn’t long before her cancer returned.
Towards the end of last year, her husband Tom also received a heartbreaking cancer diagnosis, Cork News report.
Mary’s brother-in-law, Richie Fitzgerald, explained the beloved grandmother was originally being treated at Cork University Hospital, where ‘preparations were being made’ for her passing.
However, she was later transferred to Bantry General Hospital so she could be close to her husband. Richie commended the kindness of the palliative care team for their efforts with the couple and explained how both husband and wife died in their sleep.
Richie also spoke of Mary’s determination, saying:
Mary rallied and rallied. She had been diagnosed with cancer before but this was a short battle. In the end, they both died in their sleep within 40 minutes of one another. We’re not sure if that was meant to be, but it looked that way.
The palliative care team were outstanding. We are so grateful to [them].
Mary and Tom were described as very happy and an asset to the community.
They were involved in darts and well-liked the community. Mary and Tom both owned horses and had some donkeys too. They were very much into the donkey derbies.
Tom had the land and drove JCBs while Mary enjoyed having the fowl ready for Christmas. [Their two sons] are now also involved in farming.
Visits were confined to family members in the last two days of Mary and Tom’s lives but the brother-in-law spoke of how the community rallied around the much-loved pair, as they ‘came together, bringing food and offering support’.
The couple are survived by their twin sons, Niall and Paul, as well as their grandchildren, Elizabeth and Christina.
Our thoughts are with Mary and Tom’s friends and family at this sad time.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.