“There seems to be a lot of death and dying going on recently,” as one of my colleagues put it. Along with some serious illnesses among some very good friends, I might add. Someone wrote to say that a cousin died from broken heart syndrome and asked if there really was such a thing. Definitely there is. That’s one reason good grief-recovery strategies and stress-management techniques can be so important. Broken heart syndrome is also known as a stress-induced Takotsubo cardiomyopathy and it can strike a person who has a healthy heart. The name came from octopus traps known as Tako tsubo because the traps resemble the pot-like shape of a broken heart. Both males and females can experience this syndrome although women are more likely than men to have the sudden intense chest pain that occurs as a reaction to a tsunami of stress hormones. More tomorrow.