She’s listening to country songs as her hair is blowing in the wind. She looks and feels older than she is. I smile watching her sing. She reminds me of my younger self. Carefree and complicated. Charismatic and emotional. 

“So, is it true, mama?” 

“Is what true?”

“Can you die from a broken heart?” 

I wasn’t ready for this kind of question, just like she’s not ready for the truest answer. The answer that is heavy and complex. 

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My reply was simple, “No, baby. You can’t die from a broken heart. Hearts are resilient. They break all the time.”

What I wanted to say was . . . 

You can’t die from a broken heart, but it might feel like it.

You can’t die from a broken heart, but you’ll break and shatter.

You can’t die from a broken heart, but it will knock you to your knees, breathless. 

In your lifetime, your heart will break many times. You’ll lose people you love to death. You’ll lose people you love to circumstance. You’ll lose people you love to growth and change and the unknown. 

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Sweet girl, sadly one day your heart will break. You’ll cry. You’ll pray. You’ll ask why. You’ll want to be left alone and also want to be held. You’ll wonder how you’ll get past the pain.

You’ll wonder if your heart will heal. 

It will, baby girl. Hearts are resilient. They crack wide open and eventually beautiful things come along and fill the cracks and empty spaces. 

I’d love to tell you hearts don’t break. I’d love to prevent yours from ever feeling pain. I’d love to protect and shield yours fiercely. But by doing that, you’d miss the beauty of overcoming hardships. You’d miss the important lessons of pain and loss. You’d miss the growth and transformative opportunity. 

A broken heart feels like loneliness, fear, sadness, longing, and complete despair. A broken heart eventually transforms into resiliency, hope, strength, and unexpected blessings in the broken.

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The only heart that can break is the one that loves fiercely. You will never regret spreading passionate and mighty love. Even when your heart breaks.

Love bravely. Love boldly. Love beautifully. Never fearing the outcome. Hearts break, sweet girl, but they heal too. 

Originally published on the author’s blog

Chelsea Ohlemiller

Wife, mother, and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is married to the love of her life, Justin. She’s the mother to three beautiful and spunky children. She has a deep love of teaching and has always enjoyed helping inspire students. She is a Ball State graduate but an Indiana University Hoosier at heart. Chelsea’s mother always encouraged her to write. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. She decided to honor her mother's wishes and write. It was one of the best decisions she's ever made. Website: Instagram Handle: hopeandharshrealities Facebook: @hopeandharshrealities