A Heavy Heart


“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have—life itself.” ~Walter Anderson


I have come to recognize the tell tale signs of grief.  They sneak up on me and cast me down into an abyss that I struggle to climb out of.  It has been happening for the last 16 years since my father died.  They are momentary lapses into sadness for no apparent reason.  And luckily these melancholy moods don’t last as long as they once did.


It is hard for me to deal with grief because my dad was the one I could talk to when I was heart broken over the loss of a pet or a relationship.  Or when there was a tragedy in the world and I was at a loss as to how this senseless act could have happened.  He knew I took these sorrows hard.  That my heart would shatter into a million pieces because I wore that heart out on my sleeve for all to see.  I loved completely, and so the loss was also as complete.


I had not intended to write this post.  I actually had two other topics I was wavering between, but I just couldn’t write them.  Something was blocking me, and it needed to be let loose.  I really had no idea what was going on with me just that I was in a very low place.  And then it became clear what was happening as those tell tale signs appeared again.


DSCN1597With the recent happenings in the world I am feeling very vulnerable.  Feelings of great sadness seem to bubble up at strange times causing me to withdraw or hide inside myself.  And I know these actions will not help, but for now all I can muster is to lean in again and let the tears flow and the love pour out into the universe hoping it will have an effect.


I am fighting the urge to curl up and just stay numb, not even venturing out into my garden which at least usually brings me some sort of solace.  And I can hear my father’s words helping me fight my way back….I can feel his strong arms hold me up, and I draw upon the strength of loved ones whose mere offering of a hug are sometimes just enough to bring back the smile and light my heart again.


The key for me at this moment is to appreciate life itself.   Yes it seems the most important thing to feel right now.  Sharing my hope for peace, treating others with kindness, spreading loving thoughts and actions out into the world help keep me strong…keep me resilient.  These actions are helping me move on and heal….and maybe in my doing of these seemingly trivial things the world will heal a little more too.  At least I hope it will….it is all I have at this moment.


Special Note:  The marigolds pictured above represent grief.  Such a sunny flower that somehow brings me solace.


The picture below is my gift to you this week.  These words helped me know that we must keep the love going…after all as the Beatles said so many years ago,

“All you need is love….love is all you need.”



 All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.


26 Replies to “A Heavy Heart”

  1. I too have a butter-soft heart and have been feeling overwhelmed this week. I have chosen to treat my tears as a way of freeing my body/soul/heart of toxins.
    I so hope that with the support of your father (who is certainly still with you) you find you way back to the light – and out into the peace of the garden again.

  2. I think I can understand somewhat what you are going through from time to time. I get those feelings of sadness when I see what is happening around the world. Wishing it would be different for the people who are suffering.

  3. I feel bad that you have these times of sadness but you are finding ways to work through them. I rarely experience the deep inner sadness you describe, but do feel for what is happening in the world today. I have a follower on GWGT that each day posts images from Palestine and all the sadness the fighting is causing there. They are images we would never see through the media and it adds the reality to the acts of war. They also describe the emotions of the people there. It really is heart wrenching to read.

    1. I imagine it must be hard to read…and I really appreciate your kind words Donna. As soon as this post published I felt a lightening of my heart which is one reason I write. The creative process brings back the joy that may be dampened for a brief time.

  4. I think letting it out and allowing ourselves time to be sad can be healing. I love what Elephant’s child said about it – freeing herself of toxins… and your closing about sharing it – women are amazing in that way.

  5. You just have to follow your heart- and your last paragraph sums it up very well:
    “The key for me at this moment is to appreciate life itself. Yes it seems the most important thing to feel right now. Sharing my hope for peace, treating others with kindness, spreading loving thoughts and actions out into the world help keep me strong…keep me resilient. These actions are helping me move on and heal….and maybe in my doing of these seemingly trivial things the world will heal a little more too. At least I hope it will….it is all I have at this moment.”

  6. What a beautiful reflective post Donna. You and I have much in common right now as you know. When I walked off the plane after helping my little sister die just this month, my husband held me and said: it hurts so much because love is so great. These past few weeks it is all I can do to keep going a day at a time. When the grief comes I let it wash over me because it will have its way no matter what I do. It is essential to feel all of it. Then I can move forward. In the last two years, I’ve lost the two young women who I could talk to about anything, especially since they were the repository of my history. Somehow I’ve learned to accept help from others who have it to give; my heart has cracked open. I find love everywhere, sadness everywhere, at times anger. It is all part of the human experience. If this is my time of life to start losing people, it seems a little soon….but this is not for me to know.

    1. Susie my heart grieves for you my dear sweet friend. As you say your heart has cracked open and the tears must flow. I think of you daily and offer much healing light to you…you know I am here if you ever need anything…I only wish I were closer!

  7. Donna, I know just what you mean. I also find myself, out of nowhere missing my Father with an ache of depth that sneaks up from nowhere. I too, am concentrating on appreciating the wonder of life. Sending you light.

  8. When you have lost a dear one – as both you and I have done – it seems even more horrid with so much hatred and fear going on around the world. “All you need is love” but it’s hard to get people of power to understand that.

    When my oldest son died 4 years ago I had two choices – to disappear from this world or to live a good life. I chose life. But it is hard and I too have my ups and downs. The good thing about downs is that I seem to appreciate the ups even more when I get there. I hope you will too.

    1. So beautifully said Katarina. The ups do seem so much more precious. I am sorry you too had such a deep loss. Maybe if we say it enough times, the world will finally listen and spread the love!

  9. Donna, I’m convinced that to choose life with its ups and downs is the right way and that in your doing of those seemingly trivial things the world will heal a little more too. Your beautiful garden, your love and all your effort have certainly been making a change.

    16 years sound as a very long time and yet the time hasn’t been long enough to heal the grief. I think that where strong relationship was involved, certain amount of pain will stay forever and we need to learn to live with it. To accept it. For the valuable we got. Perhaps we just don’t know how to grasp the changed perspective properly. Could we try to remelt that grief into gratitude for what we received and appreciated in that relationship? The pain may not disappear but may become “kinder”. Well, I’m just thinking aloud, as during my last week’s holiday it happened to me several times that I suddenly wanted to address my dad in my mind though he also died several years ago, and realization of that was firstly painful and secondly made me ponder over those everlasting connections…

    1. Petra it’s as if you were reading my mind. I was shaking my head, ‘yes’ as I read your wonderful comment. Yes I think the pain is “kinder” making it easier to live with. Everyday I feel the thanks deep inside for everything my father gave me…thank you for stopping by and lightening my load.

  10. You nailed it on how I feel at times especially with the horrible things going on in the world… It is a comfort to know I am not alone….hugs… Michelle

  11. I’m struck by the wonder and beauty of having a father
    who is open and available to that kind of togethering
    …..what a magnificent gift you received.
    It must feel a tremendous hole to have it gone
    in the way you’d always known.
    Grateful for the strength of his deposits into your life
    that you have to draw from now……that is such a
    powerful legacy. Peace to you in the remembering.
    Marigold love to you,

    1. Indeed I was so lucky for every second of time I had with my father…he is why I am the person I am and I know he can hear me as I write these words. He would not want me to hurt so which is why the sadness doesn’t last too long…thanks for the love Jennifer!

  12. These holes of grief and sadness that suddenly open up are all too familiar to me as well. I can understand that you slip into them easily with all the horrible things going on in our world. It’s often the little things that are soothing to me – the song of a bird, the laughter of a little child, a beautiful flower. It can be very hard, though.

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