Death Stress

Mourning Coffee, by Tracy Renee Lee

I have received many calls this week with questions related to the deaths of actresses Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. I have referred these inquiries to my articles, “Death Comes in Threes” and “Dying from a Broken Heart” found on my website It just so happens that this week, I served a family who is suffering similar issues.

A secondary death within a family is not uncommon. When someone we love dies, our stress levels instantly climb. If we are suffering any ailments, they may at that point exacerbate to a dangerous level. If we have chronic ailments or disease, we should consider notifying our physicians. If we find that we are suffering any changes in our conditions or diseases, immediate action is paramount.




Survivors should be concerned whenever grief manifests itself as a physical or psychological ailment.

If your grief has moved into either of these realms, you are experiencing complications and should consider immediately consulting your physician.

Do not delay visiting your physician under such conditions.

(Mourning Light II, Tracy Reneé Lee)


I telephoned my client family this morning to check on them. The surviving sister of the decedent notified me that she had to take her husband to the emergency room yesterday. He was suffering an arrhythmia ventricular fibrillation and was promptly admitted. This morning, her aged brother, who suffers from known heart disease and lives in a town approximately 60 miles away, is not answering his phone. She thought she should jump in her car and drive over to the city where he lives to check on him. I advised her to immediately hang up our call, dial emergency services, and ask for a welfare check on him. If it turns out that he is in need of assistance, the 75 minutes it would take her to drive over there could be the difference between life and death. On top of that, it is pouring down rain in East Texas this morning. My client’s health is quite frail, in and of itself, and driving under such poor conditions while under extreme stress is quite dangerous.




Driving is especially dangerous during the early stages of bereavement.

One’s mind will wander and suddenly one is where he or she was going without noticing the drive there.

It is common for recently bereaved individuals to run traffic lights and stop signs.

Traffic reports indicate an increase in missing turns and traffic accidents during this time as well.

Be extra careful if you must drive, but it is recommended that you engage someone else to run your errands for a while.

(Mourning Light II, Tracy Reneé Lee)


Stress is dangerous under any circumstance, but under the reality of grief, it can be deadly. Please take the time to read the two articles, “Death Comes in Threes” and “Dying from a Broken Heart” on my website These articles will help you understand the significance of death stress and the importance of its appropriate management, especially in the aged and in-firmed.

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