(NEW YORK POST) — A devoted elderly couple in Wales decided to take their own lives after learning that the terminally ill husband had only a short time to live, according to a report.
“Neither one of us wishes to live without the other,” Howard Titterton, 80, and his 78-year-old wife Jacqueline wrote in one of several jointly signed letters they left behind for friends, police and their lawyer, North Wales Live reported.
They said they had had “a great life” and agreed to end their lives without putting pressure on each other as they planned their suicides meticulously, an inquest heard in Ruthin.
The Tittertons left a key with their next-door neighbors for the police to enter their home and put labels on items with the names of the people whom they wanted to receive them.
Assistant Coroner David Pojur recorded the conclusions of the double suicide after hearing details about the couple, whose bodies were found in their home in St Asaph on Nov. 13.
Howard, a retired research and development officer with glass manufacturer Pilkington, had been suffering from bowel cancer and was receiving palliative care at home from his wife, a former nurse.
Their neighbor Andrew Thomas said in a statement that Titterton had begun looking frail but appeared “OK” a few days before his death.
His wife Susan Thomas described the elderly couple as “lovely people” and said the tragedy came as a shock – though she had thought it strange that Jacqueline had given her a park-and-ride ticket the previous day, telling her she would not be using it.
On the morning of Nov. 13, Andrew Thomas found an envelope through his door containing money and a note indicating that they had killed themselves and asked the neighbors to call authorities.
“I wondered if I was reading what I was,” he said.
Police found Howard lying in an empty bath covered by a blanket and a dressing gown. His wife was lying on the bed.
Dr. Brian Rodgers, a pathologist, said the couple died of suffocation.
The Tittertons, who had no children, enjoyed traveling and shared the same hobbies of music and photography.