The Titanic’s Real Love Story (conclusion)

(This is the conclusion of The Titanic’s Real Love Story started in last week’s post.

Several first-class passengers tried to convince Ida Strauss to board one of the ill-fated Titanic’s lifeboats, but her mind was made up. She would face fate, on board with her husband.

In her place, Ida sent her maid, Ellen Bird. Before Bird stepped into the raft, Ida took off her fur coat and wrapped it about Bird’s shoulders.

In the movie, the Strauses receive only a cameo mention. They retire to their bed chamber and hold each other as the ship sinks. The real life version is as touching. According to witness reports, it was the “most remarkable exhibition of love and devotion,” as the Strauses were last seen standing side-by-side and holding each other on the Titanic’s Boat Deck.

Paul Thiriat drew the above picture based on eye-witness accounts of the last moments of the Strauses’ lives. The drawing appeared in the French daily Excelsior on April 20, 1912.

Isidor’s body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett. A funeral service for him was delayed in the hopes that Ida’s body would be recovered, and the couple that had lived and died together could also share a funeral and burial, side-by-side—but Ida’s body was never found.

I choose to believe that at the moment of death, the Strauses let go of each other, knowing their earthly bodies no longer mattered, their souls would be together forever—regardless of where their physical remains were buried.

Theirs is a true love story.

Memorial Plaque at Macy’s, New York City

Photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International and is displayed at the New York Macy’s Store.

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