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How Do You Mend A Broken Heart ? 
Started by eKIM
15 Jun 2013, 4:54 PM

If your heart is broken and you feel that the entirety of you is broken, what happens as you mend, as you put the broken pieces back together?

Outwardly, you look the same – everyone still thinks that you are the same person.

But are you? Inside, how do you see the new you? How do you present the new you?  

How do you change from "we" to "me"?  

What and who is helping you?

Any comments or reflections? 

Please share your thoughts to help others on this difficult journey. 

- eKim

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Reply by Mark99
16 Jun 2013, 8:49 PM

These are terrific and poignant questions that I have asked myself frequently. I would venture there is no one way or path to heal a broken heart. Our hearts were broken from loving as much as we did and that love is a product of time and a slow building process. The mending and coming into our own is a process that cannot be rushed or prescribed as much as it has to happen and come from within from the place our love resides. It is an artesian well of emotion and love that needs to come to the surface to redefine ourselves in our eyes, in the mirror, and to the world.  

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Reply by eKIM
17 Jun 2013, 1:40 AM

Hi Mark99

The fact that we are all unique is one of the most wonderful aspects of our humanity.  We all have different stories and different ways of reacting to our stories.  It really points out the futility of trying to suggest any course of action to another, regardless of one’s desire to help.  In the end, I suppose the most useful thing that we can do as compassionate souls is to listen, quietly. 

I have heard it said that the answers to our most soul-felt questions reside deep within us, sometimes inaccessible because they lie hidden under layers of emotions.   It is such a relief (it has happened to me) to hear oneself verbalize one’s answer simply because a compassionate other had taken the time to listen.

Just last week someone asked me why I am a hospice volunteer.  Without thinking, I blurted out, “From the depths of great pain comes the desire to comfort others who are in great pain.” 

I never related this concept to my own life because, I have had a blessed life ever since I first met my wife in the “summer of ’69 – and now, here I am 43 happily married years, two daughters and four grandsons later.

But then I recalled my sad childhood, surviving not one, but two dysfunctional families and realize that the aftershocks of the pain that I felt as a child were still with me today.  Ergo, my high sensitivity towards the suffering of others.  It is interesting how even at 65 years of age, one can still discover new insights into oneself.

I relate this, not to make this “about me”, but to give a personal and poignant example of the cathartic power of telling one’s story and the healing influence of a compassionate listener.

I (and the others here at Virtual Hospice) encourage you Mark99, and others to tell the story of your journey, in anonymity.  Yes, we probably will make our inane comments, so please forgive our stumbling attempts at empathizing.  This is offered in the hope that in the miracle of your own voice, you as well as others, will find your answers.


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Reply by marstin
18 Jun 2013, 11:26 PM

Hi eKim

Your questions bring so many emotions to the surface. One of my daughters told me one day that it is easier to meet new people who accept who you are than to explain to your old friends why you are not the person you used to be. I found that to be a brilliant insight into how our losses have changed us into who we are now. I don't think the pieces ever fit back into where they used to be.

Personally, I do not trust people like I used to. There has been so many let downs during my journey and the little bit of family that I do have left tend to make me feel like a failure because I haven't lived my life the way that they do. What their 'desertion' has given me is strength and the ability to do so many things moving forward that I never thought I was capable of doing. I know that those who are critical of me could not have moved the mountains that I have in this past year nor dealt with the pain I have endured.

Your reference to your childhood pain is an issue that brings renewed pain to me while I deal with my losses. So often I find myself being pushed back to the days of never feeling good enough, always the disappointment, always being looked down on. My brother has taken over my dad's role of treating me like a loser even down to offering a place for my girls to live but telling me that I would have to find a place for myself and the dog. I have learned to spend as little time as possible with him to combat this and only allow people near me that are loving and supportive. I take pride in how strong I have been to lose my two closest people and yet still keep moving forward, to do all of the work that has been necessary without any help but this has also made me very angry and bitter. On the flip side of this I have become more able to support others who are going through this kind of pain.

As the one year mark of Len's passing draws near I am surprised by how raw I am still. Possibly even more than I was in the beginning. Maybe it has taken that long for the reality of it all to hit, to know how all responsibility for decisions weighs on my shoulders only and that I no longer have my love or my mom to turn to when it becomes too much to bear. It is me... alone. My daughters look to me for guidance and sometimes I just want to run away and yell 'leave me alone'. Possibly if we weren't being forced to sell our home, we could just take the time to grieve but with so much work to do to prepare for selling, very little help, and trying to figure out where we will go and how we will afford it loads so much more pressure on. I miss my problem solving man so much.

I know that I will never be the person that I used to be but I do believe that I will reach the top of this mountain and be able to say 'I did it!'. I do find though that I miss having someone to lean on and the companionship. For now I will be happy with the handful of friends that I do have and know that these few people really do 'have my back covered'. Only through this process have I weeded out the gems in my life and treasure them so dearly. From them I draw my strength.

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Reply by eKIM
19 Jun 2013, 12:53 AM

Hi Tracie

I loved reading your posting.  You speak right from your heart.  I had the feeling that you received some comfort from “speaking” your heart out, for several reasons.  I sensed a catharsis in your words, as though you were releasing pent up negative emotions.  Also, I sense that it is a relief to “speak” to people who are not here to judge you, only to support you.  That’s Virtual Hospice for you.

Your daughter gave you very wise advice.  It sounds as though she must have suffered through the “mean girls” syndrome at some time, or something similar.  Moving onward with your solid core values intact and leaving those who do not share your values behind, is a huge step in anyone’s personal growth.  “If you can’t change the people around you, then change the people around you.”

I love the following quote:  “Scatter words of kindness upon the world. If others cannot hear them, send them love. Not everyone will be able to receive your kindness and that’s OK. Bless their path and send loving angels to be with them. Then go focus upon the people who have words of kindness for you.”  - unknown   

You speak of feeling angry and bitter.  That is sad that people make you feel this way, Tracie.  Remember two things: firstly, their shortcomings are theirs, they don’t reflect on your character and worth; secondly, while you are feeling this anger and bitterness, you are spoiling the beauty of the moment that you could be enjoying.  Furthermore, they are happily continuing on, blithely unaware of your pain.  Don’t let people rent space in your mind.  Evict them!

You know what I love most about your attitude, Tracie?  You fully acknowledge the difficulty of your journey of grief and growth, however you already know that you will come out at the end of all this, a winner.  The prize will be a new you and a new life.  Remember, this one fact about the search for happiness:  “The bad news:  There is no key to happiness.  The good news:  It isn’t locked.” 

Keep us posted on your progress, Tracie.

-        eKim

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