Dying from a broken heart… heartbreak can literally break your heart.
“Jelly Bean, I’m going to spend the afternoon and evening with my friend EV.”
“Your friend who’s mommy died last year?”
“Yes. This week her daddy died too.” I tried not to let the rapidly welling tears spill from my eyes. My eyes pricked at the effort.
“So are you going to go be like her mommy tonight?”
At that moment I had to take a deep breath and look away. “Yes, I suppose that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to help her make it through this like her mommy would have.”
“OK!” she gave me a big hug and kiss. In her mind, everything was explained and she wouldn’t ask my husband a million questions about where I was all evening long.
And her questions planted some seeds of clarity into my mind.
I did need to be like a “mommy” to my friend today. Because in the last two years, this dear friend of mine lost her only sister to ovarian cancer, her mother, very unexpectedly, five months later, and now her father has gone to join them.
She and her brother, both only in their 30s, are now the only family left.
Apart from their friends. I recently saw a quote that said “Friends are the family that you choose.” And I believe this is true. We wrapped our arms around her as they went through the process again – a receiving line at the church – much smaller than the last two, followed by a reception at the house for close friends and family. This was also smaller and made up mostly of EV and her brother’s friends. We gathered, we ate and drank, and we celebrated life.
It was so strange that right before I left to go help set up for the reception, I saw this graphic, posted by Still Standing, pop up on my timeline.
There’s no doubt in my mind that you dying from a broken heart is possible. I know that EV’s dad loved his daughter and his wife so much, that when his wife, the light of his world, died so unexpectedly, he began his descent to death.
The worst part of this is the impact that it had on EV and her brother. They felt like their father, lost in his grief, gave up and perhaps even forgot about them.
Don’t let that be the case in your life.
We all lose. We all grieve.
Don’t let it take you too.
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