The other day I was walking down the street and saw an elderly couple shuffling along the sidewalk holding hands. My first thought was “Awww” followed quickly with curiosity, wondering how long they have been together. Seeing long-lasting relationships like that is inspiring, awww-inducing and just makes me happy when I see it.
My mind then skipped to an article I remembered reading about a couple that had been married for over 6 decades. This couple, who spooned each other every night for 62 years while watching the news, died within 6 hours of one another. One of their children described it as “bittersweet romance.”
I’d heard similar stories in the past and began to wonder, “Is it really possible to die of a broken heart?” It sure feels like it sometimes. You know the feeling – crying so hard you can’t breathe, a heavy weight sitting on your chest that feels like it may never be lifted. The emotional despair caused by losing and missing someone seems to affect you on a completely visceral, physical level.
The idea that someone can die from a broken heart has long been the subject of folklore, movies, music and literature. Researchers have known that stress can trigger heart attacks in people prone to them, and a syndrome resembling a heart attack in otherwise healthy people after acute emotional stress. This is otherwise known as “Broken Heart Syndrome”.
Research that came out of Dr. Dean Ornish’s Preventative Medicine Research Institute notes that when people are in a relationship for 20-50 years, they create a co-energetic resonance with each other. A simple analogy is two tuning forks put next to each other. They create a co-resonant pitch. Something similar happens when a couple is together for so long. So what happens when one of those beating hearts stops ticking?
I don’t think it takes 20-50 years to co-create energy with someone you love. I’ve only lived for 30 years and I know in my relationships I’ve co-created energy with the ones I’ve loved. It is my belief that it happens any time you connect with another human being. But imagine co-creating energy and love with another soul only to have that taken away after decades…it’s not any wonder why the emotional pain becomes physical.
Dying of a broken heart makes sense in a strange kind of way. And for the nay-sayers, there is now a scientific explanation for it. The good news is most of us don’t die of a broken heart. And those that do are usually just following their soul mate on to the other side. Bittersweet, indeed.