There are well-known but little-discussed syndromes that involve “when” people die that have always intrigued me: the “Anniversary” and the “Birthday” reactions and syndromes, for example.
One recent news item highlights the Anniversary Syndrome and how it is a form of the copycat effect. It is often quite evident if the method and timing are reflective of the circumstances of the death being copied.
A police report released on February 2nd said officers responded to the home in reference to a drowning. The narrative of the incident offered no information about the young woman's condition or the circumstances leading to her being found.
Bobbi Kristina Brown is reportedly in an induced coma and has "significantly diminished" brain function.
On February 11, 2012, Whitney Houston was found unconscious in Suite 434 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, California, submerged in the bathtub; she was later pronounced dead. The cause of death was not immediately known. It was later ruled by the coroner to have been an "accidental drowning." Beverly Hills paramedics arrived at approximately 3:30 p.m. and found the singer unresponsive and performed CPR. Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. PST. Local police said there were "no obvious signs of criminal intent." On March 22, 2012, the Los Angeles County coroner's office reported the cause of Houston's death was drowning and the "effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use." The office stated the amount of cocaine found in Houston's body indicated that she used the substance shortly before her death. Toxicology results revealed additional drugs in her system: Benadryl, Xanax, marijuana and Flexeril. The manner of death was listed as an "accident."
New conspiracy theories are floating around regarding the new Brown news, such as this one posted on YouTube by a Mr. Cati. BTW, Whitney Houston was 48, not 49, when she died. She would have been 49 on her birthday of August 9, 2012.
It is a matter of native folk knowledge that some people appear to wait until a loved one's specific death anniversary, or their own birthday, to die on during those nearby times. Research has proven it has a basis in fact.
Holidays are anniversaries of important events. Holidays and death go hand in hand. Birth dates and death do too.
The notion that there is an anniversary syndrome in which deaths are tied to birthdays or important dates in a person's life has been scientifically studied. The after effects of Post Traumatic Stress events can result in depression or rage linked to the anniversary of any traumatic event such as a death, war, or accident.
This is clearest, perhaps, as the date of death of a loved one approaches. The anniversary of a relative, especially a father or mother, can trigger a Sudden Death (SD), according to research that was presented in March 2008, at the American College of Cardiology’s 57th Annual Scientific Session.
“Sudden death is a major public health problem and is responsible for nearly half of all cardiac deaths,” said Juan Marques, M.D., Central University of Venezuela, and co-investigator of this study. He wrote:
Researchers evaluated a consecutive series of 102 documented sudden death cases of individuals between 37 and 79 years old. Life circumstances that preceded death were investigated. In nearly 70 percent of cases (69 cases), the underlying syndrome was coronary artery disease. In 13 percent of cases (13 cases), SD occurs on the anniversary date of the traumatic event of death of a parent (seven on the anniversary of father’s death, five on the anniversary of mother’s death and one on the anniversary of the death of the mother and father, who died on the same date). Deaths were not related to the loss of any other close family member. Roughly one-third (4 cases) died at a similar age as the family member who died previously....Nearly 80 percent of the patients (10 cases) who died suddenly under the anniversary effect were male. The reason for this is not understood, but may reflect gender differences in response to stressful situations. Source.
Birthdays can be either "a deadline or a lifeline," said Phillips. "In our achievement-oriented society, men may find themselves wanting. They don't want to go through another one of these stock-taking periods."
The study was published in the September 1992, Psychosomatic Medicine, the journal of the American Psychosomatic Society, and found 3 percent more deaths than expected among women in the week after a birthday and a slight decline the week before. For men, deaths peaked just before birthdays and showed no rise above normal afterward.
It is true that you can find memorable events that have happened on any date on the calendar, but it is a different matter when the historic incidents are especially significant to the people dying.
Mark Stibich, Ph.D., has this to say about this topic, as it relates to traumatic memories:
There is a commonly held belief that people die more around dates that they associate with loved ones passing or near certain holidays. Some of the statistics prove true – there are more deaths around Christmas (for Westerners) and just after Chinese New Year’s (for Chinese). People seem to be able to time their deaths – extending them slightly to make it to a holiday, birthday or other event.If this is related to birthdays, where people actually are able to stem the tide of death until they reach their birthdays or important dates, you can see how it interrelates with the anniversary syndrome.
A recent report in Reuters told of a case in which a woman had a heart attack exactly one week (to the hour) after her father had died. The strangest part is – she was standing at the grave of her sister who had died when she heard the news of her father’s death. Researchers have called this the “anniversary reaction.”
Researchers don’t exactly know what the “anniversary reaction” is or how it might work. What we do know is that thinking positively about the future can add years to your life. So find something to look forward to and be positive about, especially near sad anniversaries. “Anniversary Reaction – Can Memory Trigger Death?”