Though the children of a Florida couple are grieving the sudden loss of their parents, they've taken heart in how their mother and father died within just minutes of each other.
“You have to look at it in a romantic way. They did everything together,” their son Troy Shirley told WFOR-TV.
"He never knew she left and she never knew he was gone, but both left within 10 to 12 minutes of each other. They were gone," daughter Melanie Davis added.
Tom and Naomi Shirley, married for more than 40 years, died within minutes of each other Saturday. (Image source: WFOR-TV)
Tom and Naomi Shirley of Southwest Ranches, Fla., both died Saturday of heart problems at the Cleveland Clinic. Tom, 83, was hospitalized that day with heart problems and Naomi, 75, had a heart attack before heading to the clinic for what doctors said could have been her last visit with her husband, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
"It must have been such a surprise to him to get to the other side and see her waiting for him," family friend Barbara Jean Powell told the Sun-Sentinel.
According to WFOR, Davis said that she has to be thankful her mother is "not sitting somewhere sobbing and all upset dad’s not here because they were each other’s whole life."
The two were married for more than 40 years and shared a passion for raising awareness about the value and protection of the Everglades and other wetlands.
“I mean that was his whole life. He lived to protect the Everglades. He kind of molded us into what he did and we passed that on to our kids as well,” Tom Shirley, the couple's other son and a lieutenant for the Florida Game Commission, told WFOR.