Opera diva appeals for prayers as she faces heart surgery

Opera diva appeals for prayers as she faces heart surgery


norman lebrecht

June 16, 2019

The Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman has callled for prayers as she faces double bypass surgery in a Calgary hospital, on the eve of her father’s funeral.

Here’s Measha’s message:

Dear Friends,

The outpouring of love and support and condolences and well-wishes and shared memories and prayers have truly sustained me during this unbelievable time. I can’t thank you all enough because my father is truly deserving of every testimonial shared and tear shed.

I hate to pile on but currently, I am a patient in the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary awaiting double bypass surgery on my heart. My Dad and I are strong of spirit but we also share a bum ticker, unfortunately. Nearly ten years to the day of my aorta exploding, I woke up in Calgary on the day I was meant to fly home to Nova Scotia with severe chest pain – almost at the same time that my father was making his own journey home to glory on the other side of the country. I can’t begin to express how devastating it is to be this far from home, in a hospital bed, and unable to be with my family. The agony of not being with my mother and my sons right now has inspired me to write this post because I am in desperate need of prayer and support.

Rest assured, Christ is my Rock and my Source and I am in very good hands medically. But I am also human and I want to be at my father’s funeral. It has always been our father-daughter pact that I would sing his favourite hymn – In The Garden – at his homecoming and I’m trying to make my peace that it might not happen. But I also want to fight from every possible angle to MAKE it happen.

So I’m asking for your help. Either we rally and do our best to advocate on my behalf for my surgery to happen as soon as it’s safe or we pray that I make my peace with not attending the funeral of the man who raised me to be who I am. Even typing the words brings floods of tears but I truly believe to my core that God has a plan that is better than anything I could think of and that my father wouldn’t want me to risk dying for the sake of attending a man-made ritual intended to make us feel better about the passing of a loved one.

And that’s the rub. My grieving process has always been placated and advanced by information and ritual. When I lost my babies, it brought me comfort to be a part of every aspect of the process. My first loss was in the first trimester and she absorbed into my body and my second, August David, actually had to be birthed because we lost him in the third trimester. Although August was no longer with us, my family and I got to see and hold him and know that he was real instead of an unseen miracle growing in my belly. My process of grieving was spurred forward in a healthy way by driving his body from Toronto to where he would rest in Nova Scotia, ordering his plot marker, choosing his burial plot and witnessing the small hole get dug and by having a brief service with my family to honour his teensy, but impactful, life. I fear that my grieving process will be stunted and incomplete if I’m prohibited from taking part in what I know will be a wonderful celebration of my father’s life and legacy. The loss of a parent is a major life event and I’m concerned that to be denied the privilege of taking part in the rituals of loss will be of no help to my heart.

The funeral of Pastor Sterling Gosman is going to be a celebration of a life that was lived to the absolute fullest and in selfless service to others. Trust me. I can see the morbid irony in my heart breaking figuratively and literally at the possibility of not being there with my family and community to celebrate my Dad. But I will not be moved! My father would be the first to say that satan doesn’t attack anything that isn’t of great value. God isn’t finished His work through me on this earth yet! Not by a long shot.

To that end, please pray that God’s will would reign supreme in this very challenging circumstance. Pray that my heart would be healed through this surgery and it would lean in to whatever outcome unfolds and that I would continue to be basked in the peace and joy that only comes from God Almighty.

Thank you again for the kindness and empathy you have shown to me and my family. God is in control. Prayer works. We are better together.




  • Caravaggio says:

    Profoundly touching and sending positive energy for a successful surgery and recovery.

  • Thinking of you and sending you lots of positive energy and prayers…

  • Ms. Melody says:

    Sending you my prayers and best wishes. You are a strong and courageous person and will overcome whatever adversity comes your way. Your dad will watch over you from heaven.
    All the best.

  • Straussian says:

    Dear Measha,

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. May God gives you strength and wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Much love,


    • C-G says:

      Dear Measha & Straussian,

      I join my heart & prayers to your own – and yes, may God grant you strength & a timely recovery, Measha! As you mention, I agree that there is a reason for His every move; and I am thankful for the strength of your faith! I have no doubt your precious father is joining us in prayer, as well. Hang in there. All will be well!

      With my love & prayers for both you & your family,

  • Michael says:

    You have my prayers for what is truly an unfortunate and sad situation.

  • I’ve heard she tweeted she is going home tomorrow. Can’t check as I don’t tweet…

    Great singer. Her first (and only) cd for DG was fabulous


  • Bass One says:

    Wishing you all the best. My triple was over twelve years ago. Don’t think God (who?) had anything to do with it. Skilled clinicians more likely.

  • Una says:

    The eve of her dad’s funeral is really the worst bit. Poor woman. Bypass is routine these days but not on the eve of anyone’s funeral least of all the los of your dad. God bless her …

  • Susan Green says:

    • Measha, I am holding you and your family in my prayers. I am so sorry about your dad. “In the garden” was the hymn that Mom always wanted sung at her funeral. She passed away in 2014 and my Dad in 2017 I will continue to pray throughout your heart surgery and recovery. My son, Alex, lives in Fredericton and is a musician. This fall will be his 3rd year to perform at Jazz festival. On February 14th I had a heart attack. I am 61. It was very scary. I was in ICU for 5 days then to Saint John. One artery was 90% blocked and they put a stent in the artery. I am doing great. I feel better than I have in 10 yrs. I am taking part in a cardiac rehab program. One of the younger guys (in his 30’s or 40’s) in the program had double bypass surgery and he is doing very well. Sorry to go on and on. I know you will get better and be back performing soon. I find anxiety my biggest thing to deal with. Afraid to be alone, being afraid of another heart attack but I am getting better. Take care, you will get through this stronger than ever. Love, Sue in NB.

  • Leopold says:

    I hope that the surgery goes well and that Ms. Brueggergosman recovers soon.

    “Prayers work.” – It has been empirically tested that they don’t.

    “God is in control” – gods do not exist and they are not in control. Let’s hope that she has competent and experienced surgeons.

    • Bruce says:

      When someone is going through a difficult period, that is when it’s especially important to remind them of your opinions regarding whatever mechanisms they use for support. That is the most helpful thing to do, and that is the most helpful time to do it. /eyeroll

      Something else that has been empirically tested is that people who have strong spiritual beliefs weather personal and medical crises better than people who don’t. Call it a placebo effect if you wish, but guess what: the placebo effect is also real.

  • Eric B says:

    Pffff… She doesn’t need prayers, she needs a good surgeon and good caretakers.
    Very tired of all these people who think God will cure them, when it’s actually professionals of the medical field and the evolution of medical SCIENCE.

  • Bernard Caplan says:

    Very touching confessional from a great singer. Wishing her long life & a speedy recovery.

  • Eric B says:

    Prayers is like masturbation : it feels great for the one doing it, but absolutely nothing to the one you’re thinking of.
    At least, with masturbation, you get something real out of it…