A Tragic and Soulful Octogenarian Love Story.

May 8, 2022

A Tragic and Soulful Octogenarian Love Story.

May 29, 2023

Not sure if you saw this recent piece of news out of Australia, but it sounds a lot like a Thelma and Louise love story.

Terry Gibbs and Carol Lisle, both in their 80s, had been partners for 15 years. Due to dementia, Carol was moved into a care home by her goddaughter. However, rather than put her in a place close to Terry, her goddaughter moved her 3,000 miles from Terry’s home (presumably to be closer to the goddaughter). Unfortunately, Terry was able to see Carol only four times during the next ten months, partly due to the strict Covid public health restrictions. Terri worried he would not be with her as she moved closer to death. Carol called and wrote to Terry daily, expressing how much she missed him.

A few months ago, Romeo (Terry) snuck into the nursing home and absconded with Juliet (Carol). Together, they started their unlikely trek across the outback from western to eastern Australia, all with the police on their tail. Of course, the pair were not made for the journey, especially driving in 105-degree Fahrenheit heat. In a short time, they became dehydrated, and the police eventually caught up to them. Terry was charged with a serious crime and given a restraining order not to see Carol for two years, which is cruel and unusual punishment given that she was 84 years old and near the end of her life. Sadly, two months after they were apprehended in late February, Terry and Carol died within two days of each other.

What are we to learn from this sad yet lovely tale? I look forward to your thoughts on:

1. What would you have done if you were in Terry’s shoes?

2. Do you think Terry should have been charged and given a restraining order

3. How do we address a situation in which a goddaughter can overrule a late-life lover concerning what happens to the elderly person who is infirmed?

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