When two unknown people from different backgrounds decide to hold each other’s hand and share their future as a husband and wife, they come together because of God. Such relationships are truly made in heaven and are meant to last till death does them part like this Ohio couple.
Lois and PJ Connor were married for more than 50 years and died hours apart while holding hands, this tragic but enduring love story has been beautiful from start to finish.
Lois and PJ Connor got married in 1968 and had three children— Patrick Connor, Mary Mazik, and Ann Lanier and welcomes 10 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. But now after their untimely deaths due to Covid-19, their loved ones feel that their deaths came too soon, “They were not done living their life,” one of their children explained.
They say that their 52 years of marriage “was a beautiful love story” and their incredible devotion to one another cut through the darkness. The couple was admitted to the hospital with coronavirus initially in separate rooms, but still passed love notes to each other from across the hall.
Suddenly Lois started getting worse and soon PJ’s condition too went downhill, “My dad was struggling with COVID and a broken heart,” daughter Mary Mazik said. Their children said it was so hard to see their parents suffering so much, both physically and emotionally.
“The piece that people really don’t understand is that the loneliness, that isolation, plays just a big of a part as the clinician piece,” Ann Lanier, the couple’s other daughter, said.
The couple married for 52 years had plenty of faith in God and in one another and that brought comfort as they died together just hours apart. “My mom was at peace,” Mary said. “My mom kept saying I am not afraid. She kept saying ‘ I am going to go see Jesus.’ She was more concerned about my dad.”
With Lois’ and PJ’s health getting worse, the hospital brought them back together in the same room. It was so hard for their kids to say goodbye. But they saw how much their parents were suffering here on earth. And their parents had raised them to know God would take care of it all.
Mary recalled that she started crying and told her mother she didn’t want to lose her but Lois stunned her by saying, “Oh Annie, I know,” the dying woman told her daughter, “but God is going to get you through this.” They died hours apart, in the same room together, holding hands.
“While they were in the hospital, I know my dad would look at my mother and I could see in his eyes that the thought of living without her was devastating to him,” son Patrick Connor said. “It broke all of our hearts to see that, but at the end of the day, they both had a strong faith in God. They did everything together. They also died together and are in heaven together.”
The family is depending on their faith in God to lead them through this difficult phase, “That sharing of faith has truly gotten us through,” Mary said. “To see the joy and to have so much gratitude in the midst of a devastating loss for our family.” They are grateful to the incredible care Lois and PJ Connor received from the hospital.
“They treated us with respect and kindness,” Mary said of the hospital staff. “Riverside workers did not just administer medicine but loved them. Laughed with them. Cried with them. . . It has changed our grief experience.” Their son, Patrick, agreed with his sister’s sentiments and appreciated the hospital staff’s hard work during this tough phase of COVID-19.
“How difficult that must be to go from one room to the next and see the same thing, when just our story alone was heartbreaking,” Patrick said. “My heart goes out to those health care workers that helped us and I can’t thank them enough. We move on to the next thing and they stay, and they are still treating patients today.”