Healing the Broken Hearted

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saintdwynwenWell, it finally happened. It was bound to in a house with four teenagers. It will probably happen a couple more times, too. No, I am not talking about spilling red juice on a newly mopped floor or breaking a picture frame by throwing a ball in the house. These have happened over and over again in my house, but not this week. This week something more fragile than a frame was broken.

I am referring not to a broken frame, but a broken heart; not spilled juice, but a flood of feelings and emotions.

My son’s high school sweetheart of 3 1/2 years broke up with him. Since the middle of freshman year, they had the type of relationship that, if a child of mine is going to date in high school, I can bless.  “Going out” consist mostly of just enjoying being in one another’s presence at his or her home with family around.  They, of course, saw each other in school and occasionally had a few classes together or the same lunch periods. Together, they attended many youth group activities. When they could drive, they began to go to a movie once in a while or go to the local frozen yogurt or Italian ice joint.  There was also junior and senior proms. While they enjoyed being with each other, they did not have to be together all the time in order to be happy. Many weekends, they were busy doing other things with family or other friends. Affectionate, they were not a clingy, mushy couple. On the contrary, they had a wonderful high school relationship.

Now, however, the time for college has come. They each will be attending their own universities. His girlfriend wants to jump into college with both feet and not have to keep looking back. Perhaps a mature decision, but not one without consequences. For my son envisioned this lovely, young lady in his future always. So she leaves behind a broken heart.

Most of us have suffered a broken heart at some time. It is a tough experience to brave; the pain from which only time will alleviate.

My son is going through the stages of grief – denial, bargaining, anger, depression and, perhaps soon, acceptance. In the mean time, he is surrounding himself with good friends. He always has family around. And, thank God, he has share with me throughout this ordeal his feelings and thoughts.

As a mom, I wish I could do something to heal the suffering. Alas, there are no band-aides for broken hearts.

I looked in Scriptures for verses to share with him. Psalms has a few – Ps. 73:26, Ps. 147:3, but my favorite is Ps. 34:18, “The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” I myself found comfort in knowing that God is even closer to my son than I am, helping him to become stronger.

I wondered if there is a friend in heaven to join in my prayers for a healed heart. I thought of St. Valentine, who had to say goodbye to those whom he loved. St. Rita is always one of my go-to saints. Maybe she who must have suffered much at the cruelty of her husband and sons would be moved by his broken heart to pray for my son. Perhaps I could pray to St. Raphael and ask him to help my son find a nice Catholic girl in college. I heard St. Anthony is invoked in Portugal and Brazil to help find, of all things, spouses! I guess that would be moving a bit too fast. Nonetheless, I do often pray to Saints Anne and Joachim for the future spouses of my children. I suppose I will leave it at that for now.

Upon researching to find out if the Church has an official patron saint of the broken hearted, I discovered St. Dwynwen. A 5th century princess of Whales, she fell in love with Prince Maelon. One version of the story has her father refusing permission to allow them to marry since he had promised her to another.  Maelon becomes entrapped in ice. Dwynwen prays and begs God that Maelon be released, that she remain unmarried and that God look after and protect all true loves. God grants her requests. The saint then retreats into solitude to become a hermit until she dies a happy, holy death.

There is a wonderful prayer asking her intercession:

Oh Blessed Saint Dwynwen, you who knew pain and peace, division and reconciliation, You have promised to aid lovers and you watch over those whose hearts have been broken. As you received 3 boons from an Angel, intercede for me to receive 3 blessings to obtain my heart’s desire (state requests). If that’s not God’s will, a speedy healing from my pain, your guidance and assistance that I may find love with the right person the right way in the right time, and an unshakable faith in the boundless kindness and wisdom of God. This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Perhaps I shall leave this pray on his pillow. I know, and I think he knows, that I will continue to be here if he wants to talk. I will also pray to St. Dwynwen, along with St. Rita and St. Valentine, and probably even St. Raphael. Most of all, I will leave my son in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for no one’s heart could have been more broken than His. I will, likewise, trust in the Immaculate Heart of Mary whose heart was pierced as she watched her son suffer. What else can a mom do?

What suggestion do you have that may heal a broken heart?

Copyright 2014 Kelly Guest

 

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About Author

God has given Kelly lots of wonderful opportunities to follow Him. She was a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia in Nashville, an education coordinator for a Catholic Charities’ program for pregnant teens, a middle school teacher, a director of religious education and is now a youth minister. Her most challenging and rewarding calling, though, is wife and mother of ten children. What she has learned, she blogs at CatholicMom.com.

17 Comments

  1. Yes when a long term relationship ends, it’s the parents that go thru those emotions as well. I’m sure both families established a relationship w each other, celebrated holidays, birthdays, etc. It is also important at this time not to confuse what you are feeling with your sons feelings. There are two sides to every relationship and no teenager, especially boys, are forthcoming with any information regarding their day to day activities let alone their relationship information. Sometimes it is difficult to see the truth and a hard pill to swallow when you are handed it. You see your son in pain now but have you seen her hurt through out the relationship? If so maybe this would not have come as a surprise. As a mother of a teen girl I see the other side. This is a time in both of their lives to hit the ground with both feet. They should be encouraged to embrace their college years. This beautiful relationship should have been something to look back on and smile about and grow from but thanks to social media the smiles are likely to fade. I’m sure both families are going thru the same emotions right now and prayers should be offered for both to succeed in the next step they take. Together or apart.

    • Agree. I love her and her family still and consider them friends. I look forward to the great things God is going to do through and for her. Sorry if that got over looked in the article. It was mostly to be about how we can help our children overcome a broken heart., as most likely, they will experience one at some point in their lives. I was excited to share St. Dwynwyn’s prayer.

  2. First I would like to applaud you on your faith and convictions. As a fellow Christian and writer, I understand and respect the strength it takes as a Christian to openly share your views. I am however dumbfounded by this article and it’s complete bias and unprofessional approach. This story you are telling is not yours to tell. And while your passive aggressive description of your son’s ex-girlfriend’s reasoning and feelings are laughable at best, it’s clear this writing belongs in a private diary and NOT on the most public forum known to man. Your insensitive remarks toward this young girl could be seen as bullying but I’ll chalk it up to you forgetting your obligation as a Christian, mother, and blogger and allowing your emotions and need to protect your son before others be an excuse.

    “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

    I pray that you put yourself in another mother’s position. The day will come when it’s your son who does the breaking-up and I can’t imagine the hurt and pain you would feel to read these same words about your own son.

    • I doubt it’s a direct attack on the girl also it’s the girls decision to part and obviously for the right reasons as far as I’m concerned but the boys mum is simply focused on healing her son not trying to bully. I assure you the girls mum might also be trying to convince her daughter in a way which if you were there might be seen as completely degrading cos it might sound something like “you made the right decision seeing he has no plans for his future ” I also think you were a little too harsh and also bullied with your message above there are of cos softer ways to convey a message which is obviously why she chose not to reply you. Like the lady in the previous message pointed out that the girl might be hurting and she apologized for not seeing it. I’d suggest as a Christian writer you immitate humility when teaching people cos if I came to you and you talked to me in this manner I’d loose more faith. Remember you are a consoler as a Christian not a judge.

      • Taylor Dowell on

        Thank you for you accountability! I’m just now re-reading my post after being notified by your reply via email. I assure you my intention was not to bully or be aggressive and as I re-read my comment I am reminded that I tried not to be, but can also see where it came through despite my efforts. When I wrote this response it was after seeing this link posted on the page of a family friend and those emotions are definitely what triggered my response. I still believe this could have been just as powerful and meaningful of a blog post if certain remarks about the two young people were left out. As a Christian, and a human, I appreciate and thank you for your kind words of accountability

  3. Dear Mrs. Guest,

    Thank you so much for your post. I’ve no idea how many people have been comforted by your shared experiences, but as of tonight include me in their ranks. I’m a male senior in college and was just recently broken up with by my girlfriend, a fellow Catholic. I had searched on Google for a patron saint of the broken-hearted, but little did I know that the top result would be so applicable. Almost all of what you have described has been experienced by my family and I (though her and I had only been officially dating a year, our families had known each other much longer). Perhaps the hardest part of the whole ordeal is knowing how much she was liked by myself and all of my family. She made what she believes to be the best decision given the circumstances, and unfortunately with that, inevitably, comes much heart-break; it has been a great struggle to know how to feel, with so many different thoughts flying around in my head, but your input has helped a lot. I love the Bible verses, and I’ll ask my family and friends who are Catholic to pray to St. Dwynwyn (what a name!) for me. I would also like to assure you that, despite how it could be read, I totally understand what you meant with regards to your son’s girlfriend. I think it in no way attacks her to say that she broke your son’s heart. My ex-girlfriend certainly has broken mine, and I wish that she felt differently or had made a different decision, but I should never be tempted to imply to anyone that she is anything less than a good, beautiful young woman. I wish you the best, and I hope that you continue to comfort others in the sharing of your experiences as a Catholic mother.

    • Dear Ben,
      Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. I will join you and your family in praying to St. Dwynwyn (yes, crazy name, but fun to say) for you. I have also ask our Lady to keep you close to her Immaculate Heart until yours is healed (and it will be).
      Have a blessed Advent, a beautiful Christmas, and a new year full of hope and promises.
      (Jer. 29:11)

  4. All I came here to do was seek a prayer to a saint.

    Thank you for sharing

    A broken heart is one of the most painful illnesses to go through

  5. Indeed, a broken heart is very painful. I do believe St. Dwynwyn’s prayer helps. Time and God’s loving Providence will complete the cure. Keep praying and take care of yourself.

  6. Kelly, I enjoyed reading your blog. I too at age 51 am suffering with a broken heart. I’m divorced and met a man on a dating website. We shared many interests and enjoyed each others company. As it would happen after a year our relationship took a turn for the worse and we broke it off recently. His job and financial situation made him realize he wasn’t ready for a committed relationship. I miss him terribly. A divorce and now this. I also have consoled my 19 year old son and 23 year old daughter through their broken hearts. So young or old it still hurts. I will share this prayer and a few others I have found with them. God bless.

  7. Kelly this page came at the top of the list of a google search for a patron saint for broken hearts. I am grateful for your words of encouragement. Like Kathy responded above , I too, at 57, have just gone through a divorce. A friend who softened the blow has just suddenly passed away and I am struggling with a broken heart the size of which I haven’t had since high school. I thought I was beyond this sort of thing but I guess age is no refuge. This prayer and the knowledge of St. Dwynwyn is a true blessing. Like you, I have also sought intercession from St. Rita and St. Valentine. I am copying this prayer and thank you for all of us who hurt. You are fulfilling Jesus’ commandment to care for those who are in need.

  8. Dear Rick, today’s Gospel reading reminded me that I have neglected to respond to your kind words. It is the parable of the sower. I live in the country next to a farm. Every early spring he farmer prepares his soil for the seed. It is a mess as he tilts it. The ground is all torn up, up-side-down and clumpy. I image that, perhaps, this is how you feel. Know that God is getting ready to do great things with and for you. I will pray to St Dwynwyn for you.

  9. I am also going through a huge heartache. After 5 years and hoping for a proposal, my boyfriend has decided to move on with someone else due to the convenience as she lives in his area whereas for me I will require to move from another country and that will be a lot of hassle. He failed to tell me when it started and Im in my mid 30s now, never been marrued and am mourning the death of the family I will never have. Please pray for my heart to heal.

    • Jane, I am praying for you. If it is God’s will, you will be married and will have a family. I hope you find consolation in that I had a child at the age of 36, 38, twins at 40, and one more at 43, all healthy. Ask St. Dwynwyn and St. Raphael to send to right man. He will come.

  10. i searched for an online catholic support group for broken hearts and your blog came on top of the list. i had an official relationship with this man for a year and the next 2 years passed by unnoticed by just simply being friends with him while me asking the Lord why is he still around. I turned down this man 3 times because I felt he was not going above and beyond expectations of what he should be doing given the things he did and did not do when we were still in a relationship. i have my own lapses though as i became a nagger by way of telling him from time to time about his weaknesses and his seemingly unimproved character for the past 5 years that I have known him. I did not improve though as well in my nagging. I thought I was doing that because I only want what is best for him. He seemed to have gotten tired again and just recently silently “broke up” whatever we have without telling me. I just figured I was left alone when he did not send me a message as usual and found out that he took out all our photos in the social media. Now I am broken hearted again and trying to cope up. I though it would be easy but I realized it is not because I realized I still want to love the person and want to learn to accept him as he is.

    • Anne, it takes quite a bit of discernment to determine if you can love a person (until death do you part) in spite of his faults or if those faults are signs that he is not the one for you. I believe that this relationship was to teach you a couple valuable lessons about being more forgiving of other’s short-comings and recognizing/ working on your own. There is someone out there that you won’t have to “learn to accept him as he is,” you will accept the right man just as he is. I pray the hurt you feel is filled with God’s loving presence, for He truly loves us even in all our faults, sorrows and beautiful mess.

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