As we begin 2017 with a fresh slate, what new hope and lessons learned can we take from how we closed out the past year? The top story ending 2016, was the shocking national news that Debbie Reynolds died exactly one day after her next door neighbor and deeply loved only daughter, Carrie Fisher - from Princess Leia, Star War’s Fame - passed away from a heart attack. Her mother, Debbie didn’t pass from a heart attack, but rather, a broken heart.
Debbie Reynolds son recalled that when the movie legend first heard that her daughter had passed away, she said: “I want to be with Carrie.” A few hours later, she, too, was gone.
As believers and followers of God’s Word, the Bible, we are instructed to be led by His Spirit & not any other outside influence, including our emotions (Ephesians 5:18). However, our lives are wrought with emotion-filled experiences that can deeply move us. None greater than the departure of those we love.
Is it possible for the emotions to literally cause one’s death? We’ve all heard of the touching stories of elderly couples who, after lifetimes of marriage, die literally days, weeks, or sometimes even hours apart. They are the most touching of stories. In fact, there is science that confirms this. Upon research, I discovered it’s called ‘Broken Heart Syndrome.’ The American Heart Association says that Broken Heart Syndrome is real. It can be caused by an extreme, emotionally stressful event’, causing a surge in hormones as a result that puts stress on the heart.
Reynolds, who died on December 28, 2016, commented while planning her daughter’s funeral with her son Todd that morning, that “she missed Carrie” and “wanted to be with her again.” She also remarked of having some trouble breathing. He stated by TV interview that, “In those exact words and within 15 minutes from that conversation she faded out, and within 30 minutes she was gone.” Her death appears to be due to stroke. But for many others, the reason for passing is far more obvious - it was a broken heart.
The Bible is clear – God doesn’t desire us taking life’s last journey alone. His heart aches for us to know Him here, now – and one day have the assurance of spending eternity with our heavenly Father, His Son, Jesus – and loved ones in Christ who have gone on before us.
We don’t know when our particular journey is; but I do know where I’m going… and who I’ll be with. How about you? If you don't know the answer, start the new year by asking the question. And if you do, let's start 2017 with gratitude and praise for the only thing that matters in the end -- this year or any year.
God bless and Happy 2017.