Understanding Grieving from a Broken Heart

No matter who you are, the day will come in this lifetime when you will experience severe grieving following the loss of a loved one. Whether a spouse or close relative, a beloved pet or a lifelong friend, some day you will be stricken with a broken heart. It’s part of Earth School.

Understanding the grieving process and being aware of how to interpret the medical condition known as Cardiomyopathy, now more commonly known as Broken Heart Syndrome, will help ease the discomfort and pain associated with the loss. There are many different ways to grieve, and only a small percentage of people who have suffered great loss develop this condition. Yet many people are unaware that the condition even exists.

If you have experienced severe emotional loss or know someone who is suffering, then perhaps you will find comfort here. I came upon this information last year following my own experience with grieving after the death/re-birth of three of my greatest loves, including my mother. Researching the medical science behind Broken Heart Syndrome helped me to accept the process of grieving and understand the pain associated with it.

During my research on Broken Heart Syndrome, it started sounding all too familiar.  I quickly realized that I too had suffered from Broken Heart Syndrome way back in 1983, before it had been “discovered.” I had been hospitalized for a week. No doctor ever asked me if I had recently experienced emotional trauma. The doctors just said my heart was inflamed, and my diagnosis was cardiomyopathy. The doctors never knew my condition was caused by the breakup/death of a 10 year relationship.

It was eye opening to learn about the enormous capabilities of the heart following another go-round with the Grim Reaper.  The information presented here is intended to bring awareness to anyone grieving from extreme emotional loss with hopes that it helps ease the pain and assists in the healing process.


For those grieving and those praying for anyone suffering from loss:

A Prayer to Connect to the Eternal Soul Source

We/I choose to bless this moment. We/I choose to honor and support whatever is coming and birthing forth from our collective soul, Spirit of God, Divine Light, Eternal Source..(Whatever logo you choose to assign the Power which cannot be named.)

 I call forth collective healing for all who suffer feelings of separation and loss following the Re-Birth, the transition and transformation of  Our Loved One (Name)

We accept that we do not understand. But we ask for relief from the weight of this grief, as we connect again to the Spirit reborn.

Show yourself in the night, in the garden, in the dawn and beside the waters. I will always be awaiting your communication from Nature. I will meet you anywhere.

We send love and light, to let our loved one (name)  know that we will be reunited in no time, in another time, where this earthly lifetime is but a microsecond in the cosmos of our eternal domain.

Your heart has a mind of its own.

Live the Life You Choose

This life: It is but a grain of sand in the eternity of your Soul’s evolution. Know that when the loved one crosses over, they are not gone, just gone on ahead.

In my work as a psychic medium, the subject of dealing with grief following a death is a common theme among my clients. People come to me after losing a loved one and want to communicate with the other side. And, along with my client’s desire to hear from the deceased comes their desire to overcome the sadness and grieving process that is a natural byproduct of the death.

What happens to the body when exposed to the stress caused by death and emotional loss is remarkable. Studying grieving was fascinating and enlightening, primarily because the research is so new.  Medical studies on the condition, finally identified as Broken Heart Syndrome, or TCM – Takosubo Cardiomyopathy, began in Japan as recently as 1985, thanks to a the Japanese scientist Sato.

And, it wasn’t until February, 2005 that the New England Journal of Medicine finally acknowledged the condition, paving the way for wider recognition of broken heart syndrome. Research now concluded that yes, you can actually die from a broken heart.

Broken Heart Syndrome Symptoms

experiencing time

Takotsubo syndrome, or Broken Heart Syndrome, is named after a type of octopus-trapping pot used by Japanese fishermen (tako – octopus, tsubo – pot). It refers to the occurrence of sudden stress-related cardiac weakening.  During this crisis, the heart’s left ventricle actually changes shape, resembling the takotsubo pot used by Japanese fishermen. The condition, named by the Japanese scientist Sato, published these findings in 1991. While rare, the condition if severe and left untreated, can be fatal.

When in the darkness of severe grief and suffering, it might feel like you are dying. The physical pains can be as severe as the emotional pains that go unnoticed by those around you when you are in the depths of your suffering.

And, there are many different kinds of grief. Loss and suffering comes in all shapes and sizes. Indeed, the pain of grieving can be horrendous. You might be frightened because your chest hurts and feels like there is a huge weight or a vice grip on your heart.

The symptoms build over time and can mimic a heart attack. Often people suffering from TCM, or Broken Heart Syndrome sincerely believe they are dying. The heart aches terribly, breathing may be erratic, and the heartbeat irregular. It may feel as if your heart is bursting through your chest.  The pain can be excruciating.

Extreme states of grief can then cause the heart’s left ventricle to change in size. It takes on a triangular shape resembling the takotsubo.  This malformation of the suffering heart will show up on an X-ray.  Other changes in the body chemistry of the grieving patient will also show up in blood tests. Cardiac bio-markers (substances released into the blood when the heart is damaged or stressed) will be higher than normal. But they are not as high as when having a heart attack.

Moral of the story? A broken heart is nothing to take lightly.

The bad news: Broken heart syndrome can lead to severe, short-term heart muscle failure. (In rare cases it can be fatal).

The good news: Broken heart syndrome is usually treatable. Most people who experience it make a full recovery within weeks, and they’re at low risk for it happening again.

How To Grieve in a Healthy Way?

Consciousness Resides in the Heart

How do you know how to love, how to dance, how to be You? You are a unique precious jewel and no one can tell you how to grieve any more than they can tell you how to love.  Because  like love, everyone grieves in their own way. And “healthy” suggests that surviving grief is like taking a pill or doing an exercise. But more importantly, our western culture pushes that agenda that there is an “easy” solution for everything.  Even in the grieving process you might hear insensitive messages such as “Try to move on,”  “Get over it” or my personal favorite: “Time heals all wounds.”

This is simply not true and no one should ever utter these words when attempting to console someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one. These are toxic words for the person in mourning. When trying to console someone grieving, best to avoid the cliche’ “There’s a reason for everything.” While this is true, this message is not comforting when someone is suffering loss. That’s like saying: “Nausea is great, enjoy your body’s ability to process poison,” when someone is vomiting with the stomach flu!

Not helpful!

There is nothing to do to control the way we grieve, and for each individual it is as unique as our own fingerprint. Again, no can tell you how to grieve, or how you should process loss. For some it may be an easier transition, for others it may take months, even years to fully recover.

The severity of the grief is equal to the amount of changes the loss produced in your day to day world. The death of your 90 year old grandma whom you see only once every few years will be sad but your grief will be less traumatic. But when grandma lives next door, and you see her everyday, your grief will be substantially compounded.

If your spouse with whom you have spent the last 60 years of your life should suddenly die, everything in your daily routine would change, and therefore the level of grief would be even more severe. The weight of the grief is equal to how much of your life is disrupted by their crossing. And by life, this includes the horrible loss of a child following a miscarriage. Even the mother who never got a chance to give birth can suffer enormous grief following the death of her unborn child – a life barely lived.

And how you grieve is unrelated to your religious or spiritual beliefs. When it comes to a facing the death of a loved one, the heart has a mind of its own.

The best way to look at the process of grieving is to think of a scale.  One side of the balance measures your love, held down with mammoth weight, representing your heart’s great capacity to love. When someone  you love dies, you know exactly how big your love is, because your Heart tells you so! The pain is equal to the love, it’s that simple.

The other side of the scale measures your grief, representing the enormity of your loss. Together, the love and the loss balance the scale perfectly. They are equal in weight, and need to receive equal attention from your heart. If your grief is excruciating, it is equal to the vastness of your love. The emotion is one in the same, just transposed into another dimension. The metamorphosis of the grieving process is not unlike the caterpillar that disintegrates yet eventually emerges as the butterfly. A painful process but one that leads to rebirth.

We can rationalize the reality of life and death. But it doesn’t make the painful process of grieving any easier. Each death will present its own recovery process which is unique, equal to the love invested. Each person will have their own way of experiencing the pain.  Understand that the heart can be damaged by severe grief. Listen to your body.  You know what your heart is saying.

•Do you feel overwhelmed by the sadness?

• Has your chest been aching in pain for a prolonged period resembling a heart attack?

•Do you feel shortness of breathe that lasts for a couple of days, bothering you and interrupting your sleep?

•Do you feel disoriented, forgetful and confused, lasting more than hours but perhaps for days?

If you are experiencing any combination of these symptoms, then please consult a licensed physician. You may be suffering from Broken Heart Syndrome.

Your heart has a mind of its own.

1. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cardiomyopathy/what-is-cardiomyopathy-in-adults/is-broken-heart-syndrome-real

2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17857-broken-heart-syndrome/diagnosis-and-tests

3. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Broken-HeartTakotsubo-Syndrome-History.aspx (For an in-depth background of the origins of TCM, please read this article by Dr. Liji Thomas, MD)

4. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17857-broken-heart-syndrome

5. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cardiomyopathy/what-is-cardiomyopathy-in-adults/is-broken-heart-syndrome-real

3 thoughts on “Understanding Grieving from a Broken Heart”

    1. I’m so happy. When I was suffering, I was in so much pain I just turned to the internet with the question: “How do I stop the suffering from a broken heart” and my research took off from there. Pain in your heart is just awful. I’m so glad you found a sliver of relief here. Love and Light.

  1. Dearest Sally,
    Good Morning.
    Thank You for sharing your Enlightenment.
    It is very important for a Heart to learn what is going on.
    Yes,it is a process one undergoes.It is experienced in its one’s individual ways. One has to come to the realization by Ones’s Self. From my own experience of a Loss it gave me a tremendous impetus to open my Soul to the divine because my husband wanted me to open up and vibrate with his soul on the same frequency. His passing (which I realized with time) helped me to start looking at things, events and people with his eyes.And it is thanks to You,Sally,that I went through this period with Your guidance.
    Looking forward to Your new articles and discoveries.

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