Uwe Grosser, 76, had just returned from the hospital when he opened a letter from his health insurer asking urgently for him to call them.
"They explained, very coolly, that my wife had died. That was a terrible shock," Grosser told the Flensburger Tagesblatt.
But as a medical supplies company tried to make arrangements with Grosser to pick up his wife's wheelchair, as she no longer needed it since the insurer presumed she was dead, Grosser was looking at his wife, who is still very much alive.
"I am not doing well, but I am still alive," said Grosser's wife Inge, 74, who still needs her wheelchair very much.
It turned out the lender of the wheel chair had been told by Grosser's health insurer that Inge had died.
IKK Nord said on Friday that it was all a "clerical error".
"We regret this extraordinary case," said a spokesperson for IKK Nord, who said that the couple have received an apology for the mix up and will get a personal visit from a representative for an in-person apology.
Inge Grosser took the news of her supposed death in stride.
"We are only human and mistakes happen," she said.