​Joined together in love, and in death

Can you die from a broken heart? 04:55

To be heartbroken is nothing more than a figure of speech ... or is it? Here's Susan Spencer of "48 Hours":

In 10 years at the Tampa Bay Times, Andrew Meacham has written more than a thousand obituaries.

"If you drill down far enough, there's always a story," he said. "Everybody's got one."

And sometimes two people share the same story.

"It's not mathematically probable that couples should die together," said Meacham. "But when it does happen, there's something beautiful about it."

Recalling one such couple, Jimmie and Bettie Wise, makes him choke up a bit even today.

"They were in the same room together, at the end, in the nursing home," Meacham said. "The bed rails [were] turned down so that they could hold hands.

"And he had said before he died that he wanted to go help Jesus get ready for her. And then, four days later, she died."

They shared their love, their lives, and ultimately their 2010 obituary -- a retired railroad engineer and a homemaker, married 63 years.

An undated photo of Bettie and Jimmie Wise. Married 63 years, they died four days apart. CBS News

Their only child, Sandy Brooks, still marvels at the real-life love story in the pages of her parents' photo album.

When asked if it was love at first sight, Brooks said yes.

And the love letters seem to confirm it:

"I hope and pray every night in my prayers that we shall have a long lifetime of happiness growing old together with even deeper love."

They met in 1945. He was 23, she was 20. Soon they married.

"They were inseparable," said Brooks. "They were playful. They had water gun fights. And in the summer they rolled back the carpet in the house and they put phonograph records on and they danced."

And they kept on dancing, through 37 years of retirement on a Florida beach. They were in step right to the end.

Her health declined, and his health declined when hers took a turn for the worse.

"I think they both died as they lived," said Brooks. "He made the decisions, he went first. She followed."