A Broken Heart

Matters of the heart are very compelling and often evoke potent emotions as well as delicious memories of long ago. When I was about 12 years old, I was riding in a car with my mother. As she drove, we listened to the radio eagerly, waiting to see if they played a song I requested. At some point, the radio disc jockey of WORC, a local and popular radio station at the time, announced that he was playing the Bee Gees’ top hit ”How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?” He went on to say it was for Darling, Darlene. What an enchanting moment it was for my mother and I. We smiled and laughed with joy.

February Celebrates The Heart

As we know, there have been songs, poems, and stories written about the subject matter of the heart throughout history, and February is the month that cherishes its purpose literally and figuratively. Last week, we celebrated Valentine’s Day with the heart symbolizing all aspects of love. The week before, National Wear Red Day was a reminder of the fatal impact of cardiovascular disease. Although heart attacks and congestive heart failure come to mind when talking about cardiovascular problems, we may overlook the category of Broken-Heart Syndrome.

Broken-Heart Syndrome

For many years, I, along with others, thought that Broken-Heart Syndrome is a figure of speech for those whose grief was so overwhelming that they died from a ”broken heart.” Although such pain certainly can cause trouble for the heart, it is not the only precursor for the broken-heart syndrome. I became enlightened when an acquaintance of mine told me that she suffered this due to extreme stress in her life. She had not lost any loved ones and lived an extremely healthy lifestyle, including diet and regular exercise. The issue that rose for my acquaintance was that she listened vigorously to others but kept her anxiety and problems to herself. Consequently, her heart was taxed, causing her to develop Broken-Heart Syndrome. Thankfully, this lovely woman sought therapy, where she was able to disclose her concerns and eventually recover.

A Broken Heart

Not long ago, a very close friend suffered from a broken heart in the figurative sense. She is a teacher in a private school where she has been for several years. When she talks about her work, you can hear enthusiasm and passion for her vocation come through loud and clear. Sadly, for the first time in my friend’s long and illustrious career, something occurred, which created much angst for her. A benign series of statements she made became convoluted and reached a few elite coworkers who took it upon themselves to cause havoc. Unbeknownst to the holier-than-thou individual spearheading this, my friend knew of some unholy deeds this woman did herself. Recognizing that everyone makes mild errors, my friend never disclosed this information.

As I reminded my friend, every human being is flawed and that she should take comfort in the quote familiar to many of us about casting the first stone if you have never erred. Although my friend’s heart is on the mend, she views the situation as a betrayal by others who took it upon themselves to share before revealing it to her. This mishandled action resurrected for her a betrayal from long ago by a relative whom she thought loved her but later discovered that was not the case. My friend understands that this relative may have felt affection toward her, but a fiercer loyalty was to another.

How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?

Whether you have Broken-Heart Syndrome or a ”broken heart, ” you must mend it physically and emotionally to survive and, eventually, thrive. All of us suffer from broken hearts at some point in our lives. So to return to the question in the poignant song, ”How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?” Well, I believe the answer lies in a simple response I heard in the late nineteen-seventies and never forgot. A professor of mine declared in an undergraduate psychology class, ”Time does not heal all wounds. Instead, it is the intervening events.”

What About You?

What say you? How do you mend a broken heart? Do you agree with my college professor? If so, what intervening events do you entertain when you get mini and not-so-mini cracks in your heart?


Darlene Corbett
Darlene Corbett
Darlene Corbett views herself as a life-long learner, a pursuer of excellence, a work-in-progress, and a seeker-of-the-truth. For over thirty years, she has been assisting people to get unstuck. Darlene's primary professional role has been as a Therapist, but now she includes Author and Writer. In 2011, Darlene began putting her thoughts on paper and hasn’t stopped. Many of her blogs can also be found on Sixty and Me, Medium, and Penning these articles set the stage for her first book, Stop Depriving The World of You, traditionally published by Sound Wisdom. Throughout her career, Darlene has been described as animated or effervescent which contradicts the perception of a psychotherapist. She firmly believes in the importance of being authentic and discusses platinum-style authenticity in her book. As a believer in pushing oneself as long as one has life, Darlene’s first novel, Visible Forever, will be published in the spring of 2024 by WordCrafts Press.

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  1. You have raised a valid question about mending a broken heart, Darlene. I grew up back home in India, watching a fascinating ad from the makers of a compound to join broken articles. They used to claim, “QuickFix joins everything except broken hearts.” Coming back to your point, I believe the ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’ has more to do with the emotional wavelength of an individual than anything else. With a very positive attitude, we can take significant ups and downs in their stride with comparative ease. And, ‘BHS’ happens to be one of those things.

    As regards mending the same, we need to indulge in some deep introspection before suggesting any standard procedure, because none exists. A well-balanced approach to the events before receiving this deadly jolt can, more often than not, prepare us to accept the fact in a much calmer fashion. Once we have gathered the courage to identify our shortcomings that led us into this catastrophe, recovery shall be much smoother.

    Yes, your college professor is right to a great extent, because the intervening events can trigger an appropriate response on our part, based on the guilt we just established.

    I am deeply indebted to you for handling issues of Universal appeal in these columns. I try to learn from you as much as I can, so please keep us enriched with your brilliance.

    Thank You, With Warm Regards, and A Prayer for All

    • Bharat,
      I cannot put into words my gratitude for your kind words about my writing. Mutual admiration for yours also. I greatly appreciate you taking the time out to read my articles and offer such a thoughtful response. Your last lines especially made my morning. You are the second person this morning from the community who has done so. Thank you so so much. Please tag me on your articles in case I miss.

      With a smile, prayers to you also, and much, much gratitude,


    • Hi Jeff,

      Thank you for reading and commenting. You may have a point. Perhaps, the events are just offerings which we must act on. I appreciate your thoughtfulness.💖

  2. Excellent Darlene. I’ve said that on many occasions that time does not heal all wounds. Each case is individual but in many cases – as appears to be the case with your friend – the broken heart, while created by someone else’s actions, led to her feeling poorly about herself. Although this is typically the case, this is precisely why I titled my new book, “Change the way U think about You!
    It is much easier said than done but is a good way to begin/continue the healing process.

    • Hi John,
      Thank you as always. Yes, this person is sensitive and she was slightly injured but is recovering. For her, it was the hypocrisy, but as I remind her, life can be unfair and uneven. She has already moved on.
      I look forward to the publication of your book! Your fantastic writing that I have read is a coming attraction for more. I look forward to it.💖

  3. What a thought-provoking article, Darlene. I had no idea that “broken heart syndrome” was an actual thing. I loved how the radio station played the Bee Gees song-which I immediately heard in my mind when I saw the title of your essay. What a great question to ask all of us! I appreciate the ideas you have offered as well as some different situations in which a person’s heart can get “broken.” A very real human experience.

    Many people I know have grieved that broken heart from the hurtful words, the betrayals, the abandonment, or rejection of others. Being able to allow myself to have many cleansing cries, sob sessions that at times have morphed into pity parties for myself (which I now know to interrupt by texting love messages to as many people as I can to tell them how much I love or appreciate them-focusing out on others), I discover that this helps keep my heart open and able to love. Writing, singing, listening to love songs, to sad songs, running, biking, swimming, dancing all have helped me heal my heart many times over. Sharing all that I need to say to dear friends, therapists, beloved ones, and reading about those who continue to love after unbelievable challenges also supports me. Knowing that Elie Wiesel continued to love after living through the Holocaust reminds me of the strength of love, of compassion, of resilience. Letting go of expectations and limiting beliefs such as “A mother is supposed to unconditional love a child.” or “A husband is not supposed to break his vow of fidelity.” can be quite freeing. Radical acceptance of what actually happened and how we responded or reacted, changing behavior-altering a response to one more aligned with our values-all supports the mending of a broken heart. A practice of flowing through all experiences through the heart can be such a liberation for past events leave lingering impressions that if “unprocessed” will build up and create walls around the heart-and result in the “meh” life of going through the motions rather than having access to the full range of human emotional expression.

    Thank you so much for asking. As you can tell I love this topic. Quite a passion of mine!

    • Hi Laura,
      I am blessed to have you respond so thoughtfully. Your exquisite prose cloaked with warmth always adds to my articles. You bring it to another level. Thank you, dear Laura!💖

  4. Darlene, in my world the broken heart belongs to my inner child. The power in that is that I, as the inner parent, can help her heal once again. Intervening events are helpful and create distance from our heartbreaking experiences as your professor said, yet most betrayals come back to self betrayals and unless we can embrace her own innocence, knowing we did the best we could with what we knew and understood of the time, it’s really hard to heal. We project our pain out on others or make ourselves wrong for it. Neither of those are necessary when we can remember our innocence. Then we can open our heart again for the next adventure. Thank you for your beautiful article and inquiry. I’m excited to see what others have to say based on their experience! ❤️

    • Dear Wendy,

      Thank you for your beautiful and thoughtful comment. You made my day!💖

      With a smile,