My first experience with a broken heart was when our family dog, Jamie, was accidentally killed by a car. The hurt was like nothing I had ever experienced before.

It was awful.

Yet… to my surprise, after a while, my heart healed.

A few years later, I came home from school and learned that a family friend, who I adored, had lost his life in a boating accident. It was shocking and once again, I felt my heart break in a million pieces.

And once again, the pain of his loss eased, and my heart healed.

In my teens, I felt love for a boy, for the first time, who was in one of my classes. Sadly, for me, the feeling wasn’t mutual, and once again my heart was broken.

As life moved forward, heartbreak happened for me again with divorce, lost love and the feeling of not belonging.

It hurt. Yet, my heart healed, and life was good again.

When my husband died suddenly, the pain and heartbreak was devastating. It was the worst, most intense pain I had ever felt.

Bobby and I were friends, neighbors and schoolmates from kindergarten through 12th grade. Although we took different paths after high school, we were fortunate enough to reconnect later in life.

Our friendship grew from a comfortable connection from years past into a passionate, powerful real-life love with trust, respect, kindness, and affection wrapped around it like a big, warm hug.

Life together was beautiful — better than either of us dreamed possible — until death claimed him.

I was inconsolable. I loved him so much. How could I possibly survive another heartbreak?

Though my heart was shattered, a surprising and unexpected emotion began to run through me. It was gratitude..

  • Gratitude for being with him as he took his last breath…
  • Gratitude for the friendship, love and life we shared…
  • Gratitude that we got the opportunity for a second chance.

Since Bobby’s death, grief has been my constant, not so welcome companion. And, alongside that grief, deep gratitude lives in me.

It hurts like hell to lose someone or something you love or care about… still we dare to love again — and it is SO worth it.

Anytime you love, you risk heartbreak. Yet, despite the pain and hopelessness of it, you can recover, and often, as your heart heals, a better version of you emerges.

The experience of heartbreak many times over has reshaped my life in unimaginable ways. I‘ve gained an appreciably new respect for life, valuable insight and perspective about loss and heartbreak. I have also learned how resilient I am.

My hope for you is that when heartbreak happens because you’ve lost someone you love or something you value — as you surely will — remember that you are a strong, brave human being because you dared open your heart to love.

Please also remember that you have the power within to heal.

Do not become solitary and close yourself off from others. Rather, become the one whom others can look to and depend on.

You are NEVER alone.

In love and light…

Kerri Lewis