The newscaster just finished his report on the death of Debbie Reynolds, calling it “mind-boggling” that she died just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher.
Hey, doofus, don’t go off your teleprompter. Only someone who has never experienced massive grief would ever think this was mind-boggling.
For me, it was not surprising. I have spoken about this before. Ms. Reynolds’ son said that his mother was under a lot of stress since her daughter’s death, and she “just wanted to be with her.”
Been there, done that. Sometimes still am there. I am so sorry for Ms. Reynolds’ loss, so sorry for her son and her granddaughter who are still living and now must grieve doubly. Are she and her daughter together in the afterlife? That’s nothing we can know. Trust me, if I thought death would mean Adam and I would be reunited, you would not be reading this blog.
There is a real phenomenon called the Widowhood Effect. Others have written about it more eloquently. Here’s the gist: one definitive study says that a widow or widower has a 66 percent greater chance of dying than a person with a living spouse in the first three months after a spouse’s death. This study only looked at people over 50, but the researchers (in this article at least) suggested that percentage may be greater with younger widows (jury is still out because there is less of a sample size).
Of course, the researchers also couldn’t account for what causes this increase.
Obviously, those researchers have never lost a spouse. Based on my own experience, this death can happen from any of the following:
- Car accidents because we simply aren’t paying attention like we used to
- Tripping on cords, stairs and pebbles
- Bleeding to death from chewing on your cuticles too much
- Dehydration due to tears; malnourishment due to not eating; obesity due to too many chips and pop-tarts
- Leaving appliances on and dying in a house fire
- Serious illnesses because we haven’t taken care of ourselves; been to the doctor; or given a flying fuck about ourselves
- Broken-heart syndrome (I suspect this might more likely happen to older spouses, but it’s real. Read the link).
Although Ms. Reynolds had a stroke, I do not doubt it was related to broken-heart syndrome.
You know what lessens the chance of bereaved people dying?
“You” meaning friends, family and any support system available. This is why you can’t stop thinking about me and helping me … I NEED IT. I am thinking about Adam and my sadness just about every minute of every day. But you guys can help me move forward. You guys can keep me from being a statistic.