Though I admired Debbie Reynolds’ and Carrie Fisher’s talents, I can’t say that I followed their careers particularly. And yet, the deaths of this mother and daughter – one day apart, the daughter’s, Fisher’s, first on Dec. 27, perhaps causing the mother’s from a broken heart– resonate with me. As the daughter of a glamorous mother who often upstaged me, I got the “Postcards From the Edge” aspect of the Debbie-Carrie relationship. But as the niece of a beloved aunt who raised me and whom I mourn so intently that I just dreamt about her the other night, I also understand the Debbie-Carrie who lived next door to each other.
The mother-daughter bond is perhaps not as fraught as the power struggle between fathers and sons but it is no doubt more intense. At its heart is the quest for control and perfection that is part of each woman’s hypercritical life. But there’s also an intimacy and, yes, a real love as mothers and daughters become neighbors, roommates and friends.
I’m happy to say that with my aunt – and even with my mother, her younger sister – I found that friendship in the end. And I hope Reynolds’ and Fisher’s fans take comfort in the fact that this dynamic duo did, too.