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Debbie Reynolds Dead at 84

Just one day after her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher, died, movie icon Debbie Reynolds also passed after being rushed to a hospital with a possible stroke. Only a few months ago in May, Carrie talked with ABC News about her mother’s frailty and an unspecified illness. At 84, Reynolds also had a “spinal issue,” Fisher said.

While other news agencies haven’t gotten into specifics on Reynolds’ possible health issues that Carrie referenced, it’s always tragic when something like this happens. Often people will say that the real cause of death in a situation like this was a broken heart — which isn’t beyond the realm of possibility, especially in the elderly. In fact, older people are particularly at risk from weakened immune systems during the grieving process and are more likely than young people to develop life-threatening health issues while grieving.

Not only that, no matter what your age, if you lose a loved one, statistics show that your risk of a heart attack increases 21-fold! You also are more likely to get infections of any kind. For that reason, it’s important to have a method of coping with the death of a loved one, and to have someone close by who can help you can go through the grieving process.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something we train for, but you can reduce the stress by being gentle with yourself and allowing yourself to process what’s happening. Aside from exercise, some common stress-reduction tools include prayer and meditation. The Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, is another option; it's a psychological acupressure technique that can help with both physical and mental pain — and it’s something you can do anywhere, any time to help restore your mind and body's balance.
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