A Widow’s Incredible Final Gift to Her Husband

They wouldn’t let religion, custom, or even burial come between them.

By Alison Caporimo
Also in Reader's Digest Magazine January 2014

After 42 years of marriage, in 1880, Lady van Aefferden buried her husband, Colonel J.W.C. van Gorcum, in the Protestant cemetery of Roermond, a small town in the Netherlands. Custom dictated that van Aefferden would be buried in the Catholic cemetery upon her death, eight years later. To stay close to her spouse, van Aefferden requested the burial plot next to her husband’s grave, beside a brick wall separating the two cemeteries. Then she added interlaced stone hands to connect their tombstones so that they would embrace for eternity. Today, the tombstones are called het graf met de handjes, which translates to “grave with the little hands.”

What’s the most romantic gift you’ve ever given or received?

couple holding hands graveCourtesy Visual News

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