A few months after the deaths of Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds, I made a tasteless comment to Older Son. He was planning to engage in an activity that I felt risked life and limb. So I said to him, “If you end up dead, just know I will pull a Debbie Reynolds.” This meant that if he died I would be dead within 24 hours and just as he was getting settled into the afterlife I would show up and ruin all his fun.
I don’t know why Debbie Reynolds died so soon after her daughter. That is not my business, but what I do know is that they were a delightfully connected mother/daughter duo that, although they didn’t quite reach the heights of Big and Little Edie of Grey Gardens fame, they obviously loved and leaned on each other a great deal.
HBO Films produced a documentary about the two women in 2016. Bright Lights can be difficult to watch knowing what we know now but it remains a funny and charming love letter to a mother/daughter duo much loved not only for their work as actresses, authors and entertainers but also as two women who loved each other as deeply as a daughter and mother often do.