I heard this story on the radio this morning:
Former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie has paid an emotional tribute to his parents, who he revealed died just an hour apart from one another after they both suffered heart attacks.
On Wednesday morning, Flutie’s parents Richard and Joan Flutie – who had been married for 56 years – died. Flutie took to his Facebook to announce the news in a heartfelt tribute to his parents.
“It is with a heavy heart that I am making this statement,” he began. “This morning my family experienced the tragic loss of my father, Dick and mother, Joan. My Dad had been ill and died of a heart attack in the hospital and my Mom, less than an hour later had a sudden heart attack and passed away.”
“They say you can die of a broken heart and I believe it. I would like to honor my parents for all that they did throughout my and my brothers’ and sister’s lives.”
Scientists and doctors have long debated whether Broken Heart Syndrome is a real condition, with many arguing that it is. Johns Hopkins Hospital researchers published a 2005 study in the New England Journal of Medicine that many factors, including stress, can trigger the syndrome.
You can read that on a multitude of websites, but for my purposes I’m using the post from People. I don’t mean to focus on the death aspect so much as the apparent love. What struck me soundly this morning was Doug’s quote, “They say you can die of a broken heart and I believe it.” The fact that his parents passed within an hour of each other from a heart attack is just unbelievable. There is speculation that they were both in declining health and were hanging on to care for the other. So when one passed, the other felt free to let go. You could also argue that the timing of their passing was just coincidence, but I think there’s more to it.
The thought that you could love someone that much is both frightening and inspiring. How many people do you think can claim that level of love? Judging from talking to couples, both married and not, it’s not that many. I think I’ve come close to that feeling once in my life so far, but it obviously didn’t work out and, therefore, it’s frightening to think that it may never return. I’m optimistic that it will, though, so it also inspires me to keep looking. In discussing this with friends in the past, they’ve expressed reservations about that kind of love citing beliefs of severe co-dependence or a feeling of being smothered. Perhaps I’m simply romanticizing it, but I can’t believe that kind of love, true love, could ever be like that. If you experienced true, pure love, would it be possible to feel smothered?
Maybe I’m overthinking it (what are the odds?) and true love is only a matter of perspective. That level of love can only be attained by two people who share the same perspective. Perhaps the folly here is trying to apply any sense of logic where love is concerned.