The body is a temple

February 11, 2008

by Kristen Miller

Many people speculated the death of actor Heath Ledger as a suicide, and why wouldn’t they – he was a movie star, after all.

Saddened by his sudden death, I knew it couldn’t be a suicide and awaited the toxicology reports that were sure to prove the others wrong.

He may have been an overworked, anxious movie star, but I knew he wasn’t depressed and suicidal.

Ledger had a lot going for him with a new movie coming out and one in the works.

There’s been rumors of drug use, which I wouldn’t doubt, but I wouldn’t blame that as the cause either.

Along with his steadily advancing career, he had a new daughter, whom he adored.

Toxicology reports came out Tuesday, ruling his death an accidental overdose, just as I had suspected.

Yes, it was a large combination of drugs – including anxiety medications, sleeping aids, and painkillers – that killed him.

No, these six drugs shouldn’t be taken together, and I doubt any doctor would recommend such a lethal combination.

However, I do believe he was overworked, stressed, tired, and probably in pain (which can come from all of the above), and became desperate for relief.

I definitely believe he wasn’t being smart about it, but unlike bloggers who commented Tuesday, I don’t think this was a suicide or that he was trying to get high.

Some may find it suspicious that all six drugs were found in his system, but the medical examiner didn’t say what the concentration of each drug was or how long they had been in his blood.

Just because six different medications were found, doesn’t mean he took them all at once.

Year after year, celebrities die from accidental overdoses, the most recent, Anna Nicole Smith and Chris Farley.

Others who have passed in a similar fashion include Marilyn Monroe in 1962, Judy Garland in 1969, and Elvis Presley in 1977.

It’s definitely sad, and we can speculate all we want, but we will never truly know what really happened.

What amazes me is, that this same type of death has probably occurred in thousands of cases – a killer combination of painkillers, sleeping aids, and anxiety medications or the like – we just don’t hear about it because they aren’t celebrities.

Such deaths are seldom recorded on the news after the toxicology or autopsy reports. After all, who cares if it happens to Joe Schmoe.

The fact is, sleeping pills can be dangerous, especially when combined with other drugs, prescription or not.

Oftentimes, people wonder why bad things happen to good people. I think it’s God’s way of teaching others. By accidents such as this, people can learn from them. It gives us a good shake and a reminder that we are mortal and our lives are not infinite.

Our bodies were made to work in perfect harmony when left alone. We should treat them as temples, care for them as such, and remember our lives can end as quickly as they began.