Former prime minister Ariel Sharon, who died Saturday at the age of 85, will be laid to rest later this week at the Sycamore Ranch, his family farm in the Negev. He will be buried next to his wife, Lily, who died in 2000.
Sharon had been married to Lily for 37 years, and had often spoken of how much he missed her.
"Everything in the house at the ranch was Lily's doing," he said in an interview years ago, "I miss sitting and talking with her. I don't have that anymore – I miss Lily."
A short while after Sharon's death, his son Gilad arrived at the Sycamore Ranch to visit the grave of his mother. He also thanked the Israeli
public for their support, saying his father had passed away on his own terms.
"He left when he decided to leave," Gilad said. "We thank all of those who prayed for his health."
Marina Lifshitz, who was Sharon's nurse at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer in recent years, recalled a moving incident in which she showed the comatose former prime minister an image of his late wife.
"I came to him one morning and saw that in terms of cognitive functioning he was relatively responsive. So I took a picture of his wife Lily and showed it him. I saw a tear roll down his cheek. It's hard to forgot that," Lifshitz said.
"I took care of Sharon for seven and a half years. I didn't know him when he was prime minister, only as a patient. He was a hero. He was a hero before and he remained a hero as a patient."
Itay Blumenthal and Yaron Kelner contributed to this report