The phrase 'Till death do you part' may be a wedding adage, but according to recent research, that's not always the case.
Studies worldwide show people commonly die soon after the death of their spouse.
•One study conducted by the University of Glasgow followed more than 4,000 couples and found that on average, widows and widowers were at least 30% more likely to die in the first six months following a spouse's death than those who hadn't lost a partner.
•And another large study in Jerusalem found the bereaved spouse's risk of death during those first six months rose by up to 50%.
So what's going on? Some experts say grief can be too much for those who already have health problems. While other more spiritual folk say the stronger the bond between two people, the more likely one will follow the other in death.
But there may be medical reasons too: The most common cause of death of a bereaved spouse is a heart attack, which usually occurs 18 months after the death of their partner. And there's the stress factor too: Dramatic events can trigger the release of cortisol, a chemical that can damage health.
And get this: There's a condition called "Broken Heart Syndrome" which commonly follows the death of a spouse - and it primarily affects women, causing chest pain and sudden heart failure.
But there's good news: Scientists say finding purpose after the death of a spouse and maintaining hobbies and interests can mean the difference between life and death. In other words, finding something else to live for.