Can People Die of a Broken Heart?
Debbie Reynolds' son, Todd Fisher, said his mother told him that the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher, was "too much" for her.
On Wednesday, one day after Fisher's death, Reynolds, 84, died.
"I want to be with Carrie," is what she said just before her death, Todd Fisher told the Associated Press.
Can people die because they are so upset over the loss of a loved one? Some call it "broken heart syndrome."
The American Heart Association lists a "broken heart" as a medical condition. It reports that it can lead to sudden intense chest pain, especially for women.
The good news, it said, is most people make a full recovery.
Debbie Reynolds was a movie star, beginning with her starring role in 1952 with Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain." Fisher, 60, won fame through books, movies and plays. She is best known for playing Princess Leia in four of the "Star Wars" movies.
All of Us Feel Loss
Susan Gennaro is dean of the William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College. She said all people have felt or will feel the loss of a loved one that leaves them feeling like their heart is breaking.
That can bring on stress, which can affect a person's health, Gennaro said. That is especially true for a person who already has health problems.
Gennaro said she does not believe people know how to control their bodies "to the point that we can will ourselves to die."
But, people can make the decision to "give up" on life, or to fight and hang on, she said.
"I don't know why we are surprised as we also all have stories of people who were dying and waited until a loved one arrived before dying or some other important event," Gennaro said.
For people who believe that death is followed by an afterlife, it can make sense to want to join a loved one who passed away, Gennaro added.
"It makes all the sense in the world that Debbie Reynolds having lived a full life would prefer to ‘pass' to another existence with her daughter," Gennaro said.
Grief brings with it stress
Harvard University's School of Public Health did a study in 2013 that examined health information for 26,000 Americans over age 50.
It found an increased chance of dying after a spouse dies. People who lost a wife or a husband had a 66 percent increased chance of dying three months after the spouse's death, the Harvard researchers said.
David Kessler is a grief expert who has written five books about losing a loved one.
"There is a stress that comes with deep heart break and that stress can affect your heart," Kessler said. "For some people that passes. But, in some cases, people die from it."
Kessler said his advice to people experiencing loss of a loved one is to accept the pain and sadness.
"We often want to run away from the pain, but that grief will actually help us heal in time if we don't run away from it," Kessler said.
Kessler is still dealing with his own grief. His 21-year-old son died unexpectedly on September 12.
"I've worked many years with people going through grief," Kessler said. "This year, it's personal. I certainly feel a kinship with Debbie. Your heart is just so broken when you lose a child. I can see at 84 years old, she was just done."
I'm Bruce Alpert.
And I'm Jill Robbins.
1.heart break 伤心；绝望
The shock and extreme heart break brought me to my knees.
2.die from 死于
Forty-thousand children a day die from preventable diseases.
3.passed away 过世
A superstar of the musical circles passed away.
4.hang on 坚持
Without the support of my parents I would have probably cracked up completely. But I managed to hang on.
假如没有我父母的支持，我可能已经彻底垮掉了 。但我还是坚持了下来 。
1.We often want to run away from the pain, but that grief will actually help us heal in time if we don't run away from it," Kessler said.
run away from 逃离
They run away from the problem, hoping it will disappear of its own accord
Smith has run away from home, but his family are putting a good face on it.
2.But, in some cases, people die from it."
in some cases 有时候；在某些情况下
In some cases, US industry has lost sight of customer needs in designing products
In some cases a problem child is placed in a special school
黛比·雷诺兹（Debbie Reynolds）的儿子（Todd Fisher）托德·费雪表示，母亲曾说过女儿凯莉·费雪（Carrie Fisher）的死对她来说“太沉重了” 。
美国心脏协会将“心碎”列为医学疾病的一种 。报告显示，该疾病可导致突发强烈的胸痛，尤其对女性而言 。
黛比是电影明星，1952年与吉恩·凯利（Gene Kelly）搭档主演影片《雨中曲》开启了演艺生涯 。终年60岁的费雪因出过书，出演过电影和戏剧而一举成名 。她最知名的角色是在4部“星球大战”系列影片中饰演“莱娅公主” 。
苏珊·詹纳罗（Susan Gennaro）是波士顿大学William F. Connell护理学院院长 。她说大家都经历过或将经历失去挚爱时的心碎感受 。
詹纳罗表示，心碎的感觉会产生压力危害人们健康 。对于那些已经有健康问题的人来说，危害更甚 。
“我不知道我们为何会感到惊讶，因为我们都听说过濒死之人会等待至亲归来或一些重大事件完成才能瞑目 。”詹纳罗说道 。
研究发现，在配偶离世后另一人的死亡几率会增加 。哈佛大学的研究人员说，失去妻子或丈夫去世后，其配偶在三个月内的死亡概率增加了66％ 。
大卫·凯斯勒（David Kessler）是一位曾写过五本关于失去挚爱书籍的情感专家 。
凯斯勒称：“过度悲伤会使人产生压力，这种压力会危害心脏 。”对于一些人来说，这种现象会逐渐消失 。但是在某些情况下，人们可能会因此死亡 。
凯斯勒仍在设法摆脱悲伤 。9月12日，她21岁的儿子不幸意外身亡 。
凯斯勒说“我曾和许多经历悲伤的人们交流过” 。“今年，这种事降临到我身上 。我与黛比感同身受 。当你失去孩子时，你会感到悲伤欲绝 。而黛比在84岁的高龄经历了这一幕 。”