Big's Peloton Death Triggered My Own Grief About Losing My Husband To A Sudden Heart Attack

Photo: MISHELLA / Shutterstock
plaza hotel in new york city

(SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you want the new Sex and the City reboot to be a surprise.)

I, like the rest of the world, was so excited for the reboot of Sex and the City.  I couldn't wait to reconnect with these girlfriends who I had grown up with.  Seeing them evolve into their 50's made me think I was about to get some good guidance on how to age gracefully with great fashion, good friends, and maybe even some good romance.

You might be able to relate to me when I tell you how overjoyed I was to see Carrie and Big in their gorgeous New York City home at the beginning of Episode 1.  Carrie had finally found happiness, and Big finally got on board as a loyal and loving husband.

RELATED: I Love 'Sex And The City' But We Don't Need A Revival, Enough Is Enough

And then, "just like that," it happened. Big died. He had a heart attack on a Peloton.

For SATC fans, this was absolutely tragic, shocking, unexpected. For me though, a widow who also lost her husband unexpectantly to a heart attack, this episode was so much more. It was a reminder that I still have deep wounds that have maybe scarred over with time but are still quite evidentially there.

I cried uncontrollably when Carrie discovered Big after an evening out. When I realized that Episode 2 entitled "Little Black Dress," was most likely going to be about Big's funeral, I couldn't bring myself to watch it right away. I was too shaken up.  A couple of days later though, I did. I was more prepared with my emotions this time, but it still hit me hard. 

The whirlwind of unfolding funeral plans brought me right back to January 2019 when my tragedy happened.

I felt so betrayed. How could the SATC producers trick us like this? I read that they worked so hard to keep this story development a secret, that they even filmed fake scenes just to throw everyone off.

I get it. If the story leaked, this premiere buzz would not have happened. That said, perhaps it's time TV shows and movies not only came with ratings but perhaps also trigger warnings.  It's the responsible and caring thing to do. Just saying.

I am part of a young widows and widowers group on Facebook with over 8000 members, and I have discovered from our online discussions that many of the members of this page had a similar reaction. No doubt about it, that episode was majorly triggering — right before the holiday season, too, when people going through grief are already really struggling.

RELATED: The Highs And Lows Of Dating After Widowhood

I also read several reviews that questioned why Carrie didn't immediately call 911 when discovering Big. 

Well, guess what? I didn't immediately call 911 when I discovered my husband, either. I was in denial. I didn't need 911. My husband was going to get up or smile or crack a joke at any moment. 

My then 14-year-old daughter was the one that made that initial 911 call.  She insisted, and she was right. Thank goodness one of us was able to think straight. I know that might be hard for some of my friends to understand, but I will tell you one thing for certain, when you are in that moment of tragedy, you never know how you are going to react. My daughter often comments on how calm I was.  That's because I never thought he was going to die in a million years.

Finally, to Peloton ... they responded with a clever commercial. (Which has since been taken down over the sexual assault allegations against actor Chris Noth.) 

Big and "Allegra," the Peloton instructor are shown starting their new life together. The commercial talks about how exercise and a healthy lifestyle can decrease your chances of a heart attack.

Though I completely appreciate their need for a response, as a widow, I simply cannot laugh about Big's death. There's nothing humorous at all about that commercial for me. I'm sure my reaction is different from most people's, but I am writing about this to bring awareness of the impact this fictional storyline can leave on someone who has been through a similar circumstance.

I have felt compelled to write about this, because truthfully, I need to work through this triggered pain, and I desperately want to make others aware how a simple TV show or a passing comment or a simple anything for that matter can bring you back to day one in your healing process. 

So friends, please be kind this holiday season.  You never know what someone is going through or what can stir their pot. 

And just like that ... I began to feel better that I got this off my chest.  What would Carrie do if she were me?  Well, this I know for sure. She'd write about it — guess I still got my guidance after all.

RELATED: How To Find Your Purpose In Life After Experiencing A Deep Loss

Julie Zorn is a Jewish educator and song leader in Canton, Ohio.