The Weight of a Heart
Mom's Engagement photograph at age nineteen.
Few things are as heavy as a broken heart. A person can have all the material goods that they need, but a wounded heart, the Holy Scriptures say, who can bear it?
I vividly recall the moment that I experienced a heavy heart. Standing on our deck at 3:00 am June 14, 1997 and listening to the police describe my mother's death by gunshot. They wanted to know if I suspected that anyone may have shot her. I drifted inwardly into some dark abyss where I would remain for a couple years; unable to fully comprehend the totality of this event.
A heavy heart can heal, but it takes time. Sometimes, we don't have the kind of time that we need for self care. I was 38 years old and a homeschooling mom. I still had to wake up each day and hold class for my three children. I'm truly not sure who was present at that time since I had somehow insulated my heart into some safe recess. I went through all of the motions expected of me, even with efficiency. Autopilot was switched on.
It wasn't until my marriage dissolved completely and I left with my two sons to find my own apartment that I was even able to confront what happened and attempt to work through those complex emotions. Suicide brings with it a slew of complex emotions and differs significantly from other forms of loss.
Even suicide loss can heal. What remains is a heart softened by this unique form of loss. I'm particularly sensitive to anyone who loses a loved one through suicide and go out of my way to offer hope and encouragement. One day at a time can truly be tackled with the support and understanding of someone who has passed this way before.
Kiss your loved ones regularly and never take anyone you love for granted. Love and love hard, because we don't know when we will see them again.
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