Weekdays at noon on Houston Public Media News 88.7

Why Do Grieving Spouses Often Pass Away Soon After Their Partner?

Why Do Grieving Spouses Often Pass Away Soon After Their Partner?

You’re probably familiar with a story like this one – either anecdotally or personally: there’s a couple who’ve been married many years, and they’re getting up there in age. Eventually one of them passes away, and then – relatively soon – so does the surviving spouse. We hear phrases like they “died of a broken heart,” or “they lost their sense of purpose.”

While we can’t necessarily prove or disprove those theories, a new study looks to explore the more empirical health factors that contribute to a bereaved spouse passing away soon after their partner.

Rice University psychologist Dr. Christopher Fagundes is launching a five-year study to determine what causes some grieving survivors to suffer unanticipated – and potentially fatal – heart attacks.

Project HEART (Spousal Bereavement Study Website)
Project HEART (Facebook Page)
Study Seeks Cause of Fatal Bereavement (Rice University, Oct. 26, 2015)

Patricia Morales
Project Heart Project Coordinator
Email: Patricia.Morales@rice.edu
Phone: 713-348-8167

About the Author

Michael Hagerty

Michael HagertyMichael Hagerty is the Senior Producer for Houston Matters. He has a degree in journalism from Abilene Christian University and has served as news director for NPR and PBS stations around Texas and The West, including: KUNR-FM in Reno, Nev.; KNPB-TV in Reno, Nev.; and KWBU-TV/FM in Waco, Texas. He got his start on the air as a college student hosting Morning Edition at KACU-FM in Abilene, Texas. A native of the Chicago area and an avid Cubs fan, Michael spent four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.View all posts by Michael Hagerty →