At one point, when the loss of my son felt utterly final, the air rushed from my lungs. My vision narrowed. I couldn’t breathe. My chest was tight, my throat so dry it closed in on itself. My heart clenched into a fist of pain.
I believed I would die.
Years have passed since that fall afternoon, and I’m still here—alive and thriving.
If you’re like me, and many other parents of estranged adults who have experienced moments where they felt as if they couldn’t breathe, and suffered chest pain, you understand what it feels like to have a broken heart. The emotional upheaval can affect us physically.
I hear from parents often who describe themselves as heartbroken.
There really is such a thing as a broken heart.
“Broken heart syndrome,” or “stress cardiomyopathy,” occurs more often in women than men. It’s believed to happen because of stress hormones from a sudden shock, loss, or acute anger. Those feelings are common to parents of estranged adult children. The temporary condition disrupts normal heart functioning. Most people recover well, and don’t suffer the condition again, but it’s wise to seek medical care for any symptoms that could be indicative of heart trouble.
Listed below are a few articles to read more thoroughly about broken heart syndrome.