What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

– Psalm 34:18 NIV

(2017) February is National Heart Disease prevention month, and coincidentally, Valentine’s Day is also in February. How do those two go together?

Modern Medicine views the heart as a part of the physical body but past philosophers and scientists, including Aristotle, considered the heart to be the seat of thought and emotion. We use terms such as “heartache”, “heart sick”, and “brokenhearted” to attribute emotions to the heart.

The recent death of actress Debbie Reynolds, just one day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher, has been widely attributed in the media as being caused by “broken heart syndrome” or takotsubo cardiomyopathy. This is a dangerous, and very real, heart condition that mimics a heart attack. I have witnessed this condition right here in the community and in church members.

In recent years, there has been an increased awareness in how we are intimately connected through mind, body, and spirit. Cardiologist Dr. Sharonne Hayes of Mayo Clinic stated “medicine doesn’t entirely understand how grief and hope affect people’s health; hearts can literally be broken by the chemistry of grief.”

It is indeed important how we take care of ourselves and each other. Medicine, Psychology, and Theology are coming together in new ways to help us to better care for one another. We all make a difference by caring.

Take care,

Susan Ferber
Parish Nurse

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