Valentine Day fell on February 14. Despite all this hype it is not a day that’s applicable to our country. Many youngsters are interested in this day. This is the story of two lovers who breathed their last on the same day at the same time.
The age is not a barrier for love, marriage or generosity. The story of this couple cannot be treated as one such ‘Valentine Day story’. This story may be written in the future like that of Taj Mahal.When it comes to talking about this couple, it has set an example to the world.
This story is about a couple who died recently in Halgahawella, Uragasmanhandiya in Galle. Their bodies were cremated together at the same cemetery on February 17, keeping with their last will.
The grandson of this grandmother and grandfather, Upul Munasighe, related the story of his grandparents.
“The native village of our grandfather was Halgahawellla, Uragasmanhandiya, in Ellapitiya, Galle. His name was P.B.Simon who died at the age of 92 years. He peeled cinnamon for a living. My grandmother was H.P.Gunawathi died at the age of 74. She was unemployed. They were like magnets and were close to each other. On February 14 she fell ill all of a sudden. Her condition was not that serious, but we rushed her to Elpitiya Hospital in an ambulance. The doctors pronounced that she had died on the way. At the same time, we were informed by phone that our grandfather had also faced the same fate. We for one could not fathom the story,” he said.
He also said that he remembered how grandfather wept when grandmother was taken by the ambulance. He said twice that he will also come with her. We said that we are taking her to hospital and added that her illness is not so serious. But, he screamed at the top of his voice, saying that he also wanted to go to the hospital. Later, grandfather had died with grandmother. This couple had four daughters and one son. The parents had loved them very much. They looked after their grandchildren happily.
He further said that their brothers and sisters are old and the parents lived happily. Mother could not live without father and vice versa. We remembered from our childhood that our mother helped father, who was involved in peeling cinnamon. Till the time of death, they lived together, went on trips together, had meals together, observed ‘sil’ together and went to get medicine together. When our father had an illness, mother also suffered from that illness.
“Mother said, “Loku duwa (elder daughter) father seems to be suffering from a spine ache. I feel like having that ache a little. “This statement is an undertone of a suggestion that both of them should be taken for medical treatment.” However, we had no option other than taking them for medical treatment.
He emphasised the fact that even during their childhood the parents had never quarrelled. Father addressed mother as ‘children’s mother’ and mother addressed father as ‘children’s father’.
According to him, when they drank a cup of tea, they did it together. During our childhood, the five of us, walked to school. They had gone on any journey together; whether they went to the weekly fair or boutique. They would not go on the journey, if they were compelled to go alone.
When it comes to worshipping Gautama Buddha or going to sleep they did such activities together. The children were not allowed to do anything. They helped each other in carrying out their duties. They cooked and shared meals together. When we tried to help them, they would ask. “Are you mad? Can you give us a helping hand when you have your children’s work? What the father said was repeated by the mother. When we gave them an additional meal, they would share it.
He also said that his mother was 16 years of age and his father was 20 when they married. They had lived together up to the time of their deaths. We cremated their bodies at the same time in the same cemetery according to their request. That may be their aspiration in life’s journey ‘ samsara’.
The children said that they had been buried in the same grave in the cemetery and the obituary notice was prepared in the same leaflet in the same way.