Category: Death

To hell with death

I am so weary of death

And weary of writing about death

For the rest of my life I will be bereft

Because death crushed the last breath

Of my two brothers and my son Seth

And lastly the cruelest of all my wife Beth

But now as I catch my breath

I’ve nothing left to say about death

So henceforth and hereafter to hell with death.

7-9-11 x 3

Art by the brilliant Donn P. Crane

Die a day apart

Death by broken heart

To all the grieving people out there — Watch that left ventricle

People do actually die of a broken heart. There are many famous examples, including the actress Debbie Reynolds, singer Johnny Cash, and the American writer Jim Harrison.

‘Broken-heart syndrome’ — Takotsubo cardiomyopathy — is a weakening of the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber.

One of main causes is severe emotional and physical stress from the loss of a loved one.


Surging stress hormones (e.g. adrenaline) “stun” the heart, triggering changes in heart muscle cells and/or coronary blood vessels that prevent the left ventricle from contracting effectively.

Takotsubo symptoms — chest pain and shortness of breath — are indistinguishable from those of a heart attack. Most cases occur in women between the ages of 58 and 75. The condition was first described in 1990 in Japan. (Source: Harvard Medical School)

Debbie Reynolds died of a stroke one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher died of a heart attack in 2016. Debbie’s last words were:

“I miss her so much, I want to be with Carrie.”

Johnny Cash died four months after his beloved wife June Carter Cash died of heart surgery complications in 2003.

Johnny was being treated for diabetes, which extreme grief turned into a deadly condition.

Jim Harrison died of a heart attack at the age of 78 in 2016, a little over five months after the death of his wife Linda. “After she died,” Harrison said of his wife of 55 years, “I was so depressed I was thinking of suicide.”

Just hours after ‘Dr Who’ actress
Mary Tamm died of cancer in 2012, her husband Marcus Ringrose died. He had just delivered the eulogy at Mary’s funeral and was sitting at his computer writing thank you notes to those who had sent condolences.

Doug Flutie’s parents

The parents of former Boston College football star and NFL quarterback Doug Flutie passed away within minutes of one another in 2015. Flutie’s father Richard died of a heart attack and less than an hour later, his mother Joan, devastated from the loss, also suffered a fatal heart attack.

There are countless other less famous broken-heart deaths.

I’m coming with you.”

British couple George and Pat Pittman were married for 55 years after first meeting on a blind date and then marrying on Valentine’s Day, 1959. As Pat lay dying in a hospital bed in 2015, George whispered to her, “Close your eyes, I’m coming with you.” Twenty one hours later George died.

All he wanted was to be with her.”

Californian couple Don and Maxine Simpson died four hours apart in August of last year. Don had held Maxine’s hand during her final hours and after her body was removed from the room, Don also died. “All he wanted was to be with his beautiful wife,” a grandson said. “He loved her to the end of the earth.”

Poēmia Bohemia


I sleep past noon, head deep in the pillow

Rain on the roof and the wind does billow;

No will to rise since the death of Willow.

For more than thirty years we shared a bed,

Then from out of hell a stroke struck her dead.

Life ever since has been unliving dread,

Devoid of will I am locked in the past

Remembering the years that passed so fast

Me the vagabond and Willow steadfast

Always there for me at journeys end

My wife, my soulmate and best friend.

Now in death, did she ascend or descend

Rise to the sky or stay down in the earth

Is it oblivion as before birth

Or in realms unknown spiritual rebirth?

Knowing her eternal destination

Might bring about merciful cessation

To my own life sentence of damnation.

I do not expect an answer real soon

I do not expect the gods to commune

Thus I stay in bed till way past noon.