Yes according to new scientific results.
Scientists have charted for the first time how intense stress caused by bereavement can make someone "die of a broken heart".
A British team has found that the regions of the brain responsible for learning, memory and emotion can destabilise the cardiac muscle of someone who already has heart disease.
When we are under stress, these "higher regions" of the brain take part in a vicious circle of activity which can trigger harmful rhythms, researchers say.
While it has always been suspected that emotional problems could put the heart under pressure, this was believed to have been caused by "primitive" brain regions, such as the brain stem sending messages to heart tissue. Bereavement has been one such unexplained problem.
The discovery of a new relationship between heart and brain, published online today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals how irregular cardiac rhythms are triggered, which can lead to sudden death in patients with underlying conditions.
Researchers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London and the Brighton & Sussex Medical School (BSMS) studied 10 patients with specific heart conditions, measuring electrical changes at the surface of the skull.
The patients performed the mildly stressful task of counting backwards in sevens.
The scientists noted that activity in "higher level" regions, such as the cortex, not only reflected the responses of the heart to stress, but also became involved in a "feedback loop", often worsening the situation by making the heart muscle less stable.
Dr Marcus Gray, from BSMS, said: "We know that stress can increase the risk of sudden death through cardiac arrest and that the brain areas responsible for regulating heart function can be unbalanced by stress. Our research suggests that the cerebral cortex may play a significant role in these events by becoming involved in a vicious circle."