“I thought it was a very good omen”: how to get married in 77 years

Three years ago, Elaine Hoffman lost her husband, Neil Ullman wife. Thanks to each other they were able to survive grief and start a new relationship – in the eighth decade of years.

Photo: An Rong Xu / The New York Times

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Three years ago, Elaine Hoffman and Neil Ullman enrolled in one program at Fairleigh Dickinson University in new Jersey. They were both enrolled in courses aimed at developing cultural, educational and social activity of older people. Their friendship and Platonic relationship developed into love, and 3 years after meeting Elaine and Neil were married on the campus of the University where they began their relationship. By this time the bride was 77 years old and the groom 72.

Photo: An Rong Xu / The New York Times

2015 has been difficult for Elaine and Neil. In February from Alzheimer’s disease died Gail Ullman, wife of Neil. Her husband, who led an active life, he taught mathematics and statistics, made furniture and even wrote a children’s book, it was difficult to cope with loneliness.

“I felt quite lonely. And I would like to meet someone with whom I could share new experiences.”

In may of that year, Elaine Hoffman, a social worker at school, lost her husband Barry Hoffman from complications caused by Parkinson’s disease. Together they were 48 years old.

But overall the future spouses was not the only loss. Elaine knew deceased wife of Neil, who was also a social worker, and spoke well of her. Both had the same brand cars and credit cards of one Bank.

Finally, when Neil said he plans to leave for a week in Cambria to see the migration of elephant seals, butterflies, whales and birds, and got a brochure about these places, Elaine apologized and got the same. She is also planning such a trip.

Photo: An Rong Xu / The New York Times

“I thought it was a very good omen,’ said Hoffman. – Well, we had a lot in common.”

Elaine was grateful to Neil that he appeared in her life, but was in no hurry to give in to the romantic mood.

“I still went through the process of grief when we met, and at times I was very, very difficult to think that I had relations with another man.”

“I knew that was Elaine, but in my opinion, there is a significant difference between male and female, when they lose a spouse. Woman comforted by family, friends and all members of the groups in which it is composed. In men, there is simply no such support system,” – said Neil.

Despite the fact that Elaine could lean on loved ones in her grief, she signed up for courses for the elderly. She had no romantic plans in the classroom at the University, she was just planning to “support active thinking” after the death of her husband. “I just wanted to participate in this community of bright people who like to learn from each other. And then there was Neil,” she says.

Photo: An Rong Xu / The New York Times

“I think they helped each other through their loss, says daughter Elaine Jessica Hoffman. – Since they both went through a similar ordeal, Neil can comfort her like I can”.

According to the materials of The New York Times

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