Lives Tied Together – Go In Peace

It seems there is a groundswell of murder suicides or reporting of murder suicides involving people with chronic progressing diseases.  Yesterday, I read about a case where a husband killed his wife who had Alzheimer’s before killing himself (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/31/us/love-that-endured-alzheimers-ends-in-2-deaths.html).  
Today, I read about a similar situation where the wife had a fairly progressed state of MS (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/mercy_murder_suicide_LWRF0UtUB8jKU0uTF2ZcdM#ixzz1rUzf1QSx).  
I am struck by how long these couples have been together.  It would seem the man in both cases was unwilling to continue down a road without his wife.  Both were progressing, though less is reported about the progression of the woman’s cognitive disabilities save she could no longer handle bills.  I imagine it must be very difficult to watch a loved one slip away, and I can imagine the stress of it being overwhelming.  After decades together, watching what we love in our partners’ mind eye dimming seems an incredibly disheartening prospect.  I could understand the actions if it was something they had agreed on together.
How many long time married couples die with in 2 years of each other?  In the grand scheme of events, is this that far outside the norm that we should be horrified?  The unnatural part is the gun and the immediacy of the one death following the other, but if they have tied their lives together for so long should they be denied tying their deaths together too?  It’s a little crazy for my way of thinking and living, but it’s not so far out I can’t imagine the thought processes.
Is it possible the real crazy is simply our inability as a culture to confront death in any way not summed up in our fairy tales?  Come to think of it, most of our fairy tales were rather Grimm.  
I am beginning to think we as a culture strive to only deal with the stuff in the middle of the life cycle, and only when given the Disney version which has to end with “and they lived happily ever after.”   Please remove all sex, birth and death from the viewing area of our culture.  We are cleared only for PG rated material, at least if it is something about which we have to think.  Everything else is simply too shocking to contemplate.
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