Joined hand-in-hand – a love that lives on forever

Violet and Frank on their wedding day.

Violet and Frank on their wedding day.

Creating memories for families and making last wishes come true is a tradition at Aurora Zilber Family Hospice in Wauwatosa, Wis. It is a peaceful, welcoming 18-bed residential acute hospice facility that accommodates the needs of patients and families during their end-of-life journey. From offering cake to breakfast to personal performances from local arts groups, caregivers try to satisfy a patient’s every desire.

One warm, summer day in July, 90-year-old Violet was admitted to Aurora Zilber with a diagnosis of heart failure. After returning home later that same night, Violet’s husband, 91-year-old Frank, expressed concerns to his family that he did not feel well.

Frank was taken to a local hospital where it was determined that he had suffered from a stroke. After further evaluation, it was decided that additional medical treatments were not appropriate and he was a candidate for hospice care.

Violet and Frank’s family desperately wanted them to be together for their last days but there were no larger rooms available. That was not until another patient at Aurora Zilber heard Frank and Violet’s story and offered to move to a smaller room so that the couple could be together and cared for in the same room.

Later that day, Frank and Violet were finally together again in adjoining beds thanks to the kindness of a stranger. Silently, they opened their eyes and there was a sense that each knew the other was present. A quiet calm filled the room and one of the nurses lovingly placed a pillow between the couple and linked their hands together. An hour later, surrounded by family, Violet passed away holding Frank’s hand.

Three days, three hours and three minutes later, Frank joined his love of nearly 69 years.

IMG_20150806_102451848 (2)Frank and Violet’s children were so moved by the generous stranger that they purchased a brick for the garden at Aurora Zilber to remember his kindness.

They only met the stranger for a brief moment but their lives will forever be linked together. And the cherished memories created will always be remembered.


Aurora Zilber Family Hospice is able to provide high-quality, compassionate care because of gifts from family and thoughtful donors. Please consider clicking here to make a gift through Aurora Health Care Foundation to Aurora Zilber. Your gift will make a difference during those challenging final moments in life.

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2 Responses to Joined hand-in-hand – a love that lives on forever

  1. Carol Beecher says:

    Where is the walking done.

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