Norma Cook, an 89-year-old woman who went viral after moving in with her hunky 31-year-old neighbor, has died.
The friendship between Chris Salvatore and Norma Cook warmed hearts across the nation when they were profiled in People magazine late last month. Cook, a retired interior designer who loved champagne and her cat Hermes, was diagnosed with leukemia 10 years ago. After deciding to stop treatment last fall, Cook moved in with Salvatore, who lived next door to her home in West Hollywood. She needed 24-hour care and he wanted to take care of her. They lived together for several months before she passed away.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I share the news that earlier this morning the world lost a truly inspiring, beautiful woman,” he wrote in a Facebook post yesterday. “Norma is now resting peacefully in the eternal and while she may no longer physically be with us, her spirit will continue to fill the hearts of so many people.”
He continued, “Perhaps Norma’s lasting legacy is that her story helped the world to see the true meaning of love. Norma reminded methat we all are created to love and all desire to be loved. This year Norma has helped the world see the true meaning of Valentine’s Day. To love another is not about living struggle free or never experiencing hurt or loss, but to fully and deeply open our hearts to one another without fear. Each of us is lovable even with all of our differences. Love has no boundaries. May you rest in peace my sweet sweet lady, Norma. “
Prior to that, Salvatore posted a heartwarming tweet that read, “This morning as Norma was in and out of sleep she told me that she remembers me from a previous life where we were lovers. #loveistheanswer”
In January, Salvatore told People magazine how the unlikely pair became such good friends.
“One day I said, ‘Can I come in and chat?’ Because she just seemed so sweet,” he explained. “She offered me a glass of champagne, and it was like this immediate friendship. I was going through a break-up at the time, I was depressed and I would sit and talk to her for hours. Just knowing she was there and listening to me made me feel better, she was able to help me through some dark times.”
Salvatore’s hope was to make her feel loved during her last days.
“It’s my job to make her feel comfortable and at peace and not lonely. I’m giving her a gift of passing on and being at peace and having a good time in her last few months,” he said.
By the looks of his Instagram, she definitely had a good time. RIP Norma.