(n.); pain near or in the heart; suffering from or exhibiting overwhelming sorrow, grief or disappointment, particularly due to romantic love; heartburn
“Deadly grief is not about stress alone, scientists say. It shines a light on the physiological bonds of love.”
–Kirsten Weir, “Can You Die From a Broken Heart?”
“You’ll be the death of me!” It’s an affectionate exclamation that most of us have flung in exasperated jest at a loved one at some point or another. But perhaps it’s not only a figure of speech: as Kirsten Weir narrates in an essay for Nautilus, a heart’s sorrow has been observed to cause physical repercussions on the body—even death itself. Is it simple stress that causes a careworn heart to surrender, or can the loss of an emotional bond result in the loss of life? Can two people be so linked through love that one can no longer sustain without the other?