A Broken Heart: It's Real


In an ideal world, I would use this space to babble commentary about the random thoughts that pop into my head each month. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world. Sometimes, things happen that make using this space for randomness or humor seem next to impossible. This is another one of those times, as my grandma Ginny was laid to rest just over a week ago.

My grandmother lived what I believe was a very full life, and was truly one of the kindest individuals I think I’ve ever met. As I sit here and really think about it, I can’t remember her ever losing her cool towards anyone. I’m sure she did, as that’s just human nature. But, never around me, and I was far from perfect. While she lived to be 91 years old, I’m not sure she passed away from old age. I think she truly might have died from a broken heart.

While she was understandably showing some signs of aging the past few years, it really wasn’t until my Grandpa Ken passed away just eight months ago that it was really noticeable. I know with 100% certainty that she loved her family. Every single member within it. But, my Grandpa Ken was her guy. Her partner in crime, her ride or die. For anyone who knew my grandparents, I challenge you to close your eyes and think about either of one of them. Can you do it without the other one there? I can’t.

Now, I’m no doctor, and I don’t think anyone’s cause of death has been listed as heartbreak. But, when my grandpa passed, I’m confident so much of my grandma passed on with him. I told many of my family members that after grandpa’s passing, she would either feel rejuvenated and flourish without having to worry and care for him. Or, she would decline quickly. Unfortunately, it was the latter.

But, was it really “unfortunate?” For us as her family members, absolutely. But, how amazing is it that two people were so connected that they left this physical Earth so close together? How lucky would we all be to have someone for that long and have such a deep connection with that person? I certainly don’t believe that my grandma wanted to pass away, or was necessarily ready to do so. But, I have to imagine as one’s health begins to decline, thoughts about what’s next have to creep into your mind. For me, I really think she was comforted by the thoughts of knowing she’d be greeted by her man whenever that time came.

Maybe all of this type of thinking is just our way of rationalizing and coping with loss? Maybe. But, maybe, her and grandpa are having dinner right now, like they always used to do. Free of any pain that they may have felt during their lives, but still full of the joy and class we all came to know from them.

Yeah, now that I think of it, it’s not a maybe. They are.