Deadly Grief: Super Star Debbie Reynolds

In my mind Debbie Reynolds has always been the Unsinkable Molly Brown. No matter what hardship or failure, she grits it back out and turns it around for her good. She lived out that life belief: through family hardships, betrayal, broken marriages, financial devastation, and career reboots.

But obviously that belief did not hold when it came to death of her oldest child, Carrie Fisher.

Her son Todd Fisher stated that Debbie had been shattered with grief from the day before when Carrie died. The stress of his sister’s death “was too much” for her to bear.

On the morning of her death, Debbie told Todd “I miss her so much, I want to be with Carrie” according to TMZ and E! News. More specifically Todd said she said told him she was “really under a lot of stress” and he surmised it’s pretty much the stress and emotion from the loss that actually triggered this event.

The “Unsinkable” Debbie fell to intense grief and emotional stress, “broken heart syndrome”.

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is medical name for this temporary heart condition. A temporary rush of stress hormones can weaken the heart muscle and cause the arteries to constrict which can be fatal.

Associated symptoms, loss of sleep and appetite, can depress the immune system and exacerbate underlying medical conditions.

While anyone dealing with a difficult emotional situation can manifest a medical escalation, people who lose spouses have a higher risk. They are prone to experience general illness, depression, and anxiety in order for the body to absorb the emotional loss or coping behaviors.

British researchers have found that the risk of coronary failure or stroke DOUBLES in the first month of bereavement. Danish scientists found those who lose their partner are at an increased risk of developing an irregular heartbeat, a risk factor for stroke and heart failure.

It doesn’t have to be a death. A traumatic breakup, life event, divorce, emotional betrayal, major surgery all can trigger symptoms as the mind doesn’t discern degrees or specifics of heart ache. It only registers the ALARM and puts the body into shut down mode for mental protection.

I’m sure we all have personally known of others who experienced deadly heartbreak. My great grandfather died a few days after the death and burial of his adult son. In my hometown, a husband died at the funeral home as he was receiving friends paying their respects to his deceased wife.

I’m not here to judge or determine if what Debbie did was rational, or if her wishes to not live any longer are valid. And same for my great grandfather or the husband who lost the love of his life.

My appeal here is that there is a way to handle grief and emotional devastation in the moment by being aware of what it is and how to deal with it in a healthy way. There is a way to negate the grief in order to not stress the body with a flood of damaging hormones.

In my coaching practice, people are still reliving their past griefs and emotional traumas. That trauma and emotion is still stuck in their body, causing the individual to live in the past. Hence the body itself is living in the past, still holding on the festering emotional pain. THEREFORE the body is still producing the harmful physical effects and hormonal damage. The body does not know the event has ended.

I show my clients how to successfully release the past and move forward with a life they do want. In the case of grief and the loss of a loved one, it involves keeping the respect, honor and love of the life that has left them and moving forward with that love to produce a magnificent future the client truly desires.

They do not have to hold onto the grief in order to preserve the love of the person who is gone.

I show my clients how to keep the good memories, the love and let go of the pain.

Randolph is a Mind Performance and Life Coach successfully helping his clients prosper in their careers, relationships, health and wellness. He works through emotional traumas and addictive behaviors and helps them find the life they truly desire.

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