MIDDLETON (CBS) – A man who lost his wife of nearly 50 years to coronavirus says families in similar situations should not let the virus define them.

Sandra Krakow of Middleton died last month. She was 69 years old.

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“Her last words to me was, ‘Why me?’ So that really hit me,” her husband Ira told WBZ-TV.

Ira Krakow said Sandy never left his side. The two were inseparable.

“She just supported me all the time,” he said.

Sandy was a retired nurse who spent much of her life taking care and comforting others. Ira said she had some underlying lung conditions. After she got sick, Sandy was placed on a ventilator at Beverly Hospital, but her family could not be by her side because of restrictions.

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“There were no visitors allowed, so of course, I could not say goodbye and the Beverly Hospital was totally correct in doing that to protect the safety of the staff and patients,” Ira told WBZ.

Because of the pandemic, the family had no choice but to have her funeral via Zoom. More than 100 family and friends from around the world took part in her celebration of life, including many from her place of worship at Temple Emmanuel in Wakefield.

“It really helped me, just spiritually and emotionally,” Ira said. “We were members for about 35-to-40 years and everyone in the congregation was just devastated.”

Sandra and Ira Krakow. (Photo credit: Ira Krakow)

Sandy was laid to rest in Wakefield. Ira wants other families in similar situations to not let coronavirus define them. Instead, they should use this time to celebrate and cherish life.

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“She just wanted to help people. And I was fortunate that I was her life partner for nearly 50 years and she certainly lit up my life.”