General Cardiology General Medicine

Tyler’s tragedy…Heart pain

It hurts…a bunch.

Nothing punches the heart harder than grief can.  And few things in life cause more grief than suicide.  In my professional life, I have seen suicide cause the ‘broken heart syndrome,’ and unfortunately, in my personal life I have felt the awfulness of grief’s tug on my own heart, at the funeral of a young friend who took his life.  (The unconfirmed story involved meanness as a contributing factor in his death.)  Grief’s pain hurt my heart many-fold more than any arrhythmia could.  It was a visceral discomfort.

I was leaving the story of poor Tyler Clementi alone.  That was, until reading this poignant and bluntly honest story authored by my exceedingly kind-hearted electrophysiology colleague, Dr David Mann. (Read his words at your own risk.)

The heart is more durable than most give it credit for; this is a certainty.  But unkindness, intolerance and abject evilness can fell even the strongest of hearts.

Right versus wrong is almost always obvious.  Knowing the difference comes from the heart–and not the beating one.  Granted, I don’t attest to know the right address that one should spend Sunday mornings at, or what spiritual symbols (if any) are the right ones, but I do know firsthand that actions which cause grief to fellow mankind–or even animal-kind–is really bad for the heart.

Agreed.  Tyler’s tragedy is a really sad story.  Can we change; can we become a more tolerant society?  I hope so.

Because if we did change, both our physical hearts, the ones that don’t like sticky platelets and inflamed arteries, and our metaphysical hearts would surely be the better for it.

Yes, indeed they would.


h/t: To my former partner, but still present colleague, Dr David Mann. Dr Mann maintains yet another EP blog, EP Studios.