Two recent celebrity-related deaths caught my attention in the past few days, because they both involved ills of the brain.
First, Roman Catholic priest and best-selling author Andrew M. Greeley died last Thursday at age 85 in Chicago. A vocal critic of the Church, and a writer of sometimes-racy novels, Greeley had been out of the public eye for the past few years, a fact I hadn’t really noticed.
I found out why he was inactive when I read The New York Times’ obituary on him. It said that Greeley had died in his sleep, and that “he had been in poor health and under 24-hour care since suffering severe head injuries in 2008.”
I don’t recall ever reading about this, but in a freak accident Greeley’s clothing had got caught in a taxi door as the vehicle pulled away, and he was thrown to the ground, hitting his head. So for five years, ever since then, he apparently had been incapacitated by the traumatic brain injury he suffered.
In the second death, the mother of Grammy-winning singer Bruno Mars died Saturday of a brain aneurysm. She was only 55, and passed away at a hospital in Honolulu in her native Hawaii, according to CNN. So young, and of course, so surprising.