How can you mend a broken heart?

Published 10:16 pm Tuesday, January 22, 2019

By Nathan Rice

The Bee Gees were the first to sing the song titled “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.” It became their first No. 1 hit in the United States and was ranked as the fifth most popular song of 1971 by Billboard. The song, which is almost 50 years old, has been covered by numerous artists and sung by countless forlorn individuals.

The simple lyrics, smooth melody and question for which the song is named have made it an anthem for those who are feeling the pain of a broken heart. This song is often played when a romantic relationship ends, but many other things can break a heart.

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Last year brought things into my life that shattered my heart, and the first month of this year has kept me singing, “Please help me mend my broken heart, and let me live again.”

I’ve realized that there may always be an invisible scar, but I know my heart can be mended. I’m determined to live again. Every heartache is different, but perhaps a few of my own thoughts can allow all of us who have been hurt to help each other.

The first step in healing is to admit that you’ve been hurt. It’s hard to properly process a broken heart, but it’s nearly impossible until you admit that you’re in pain. We too often say that we are fine even though the very core of our being feels torn. Ignoring the pain isn’t wise. The healing can only begin when we admit that we need to be healed.

We should also be willing to allow others to help us during the difficult times. We are not meant to live in isolation, and this is especially true when we are grieving. Do not be afraid of allowing those closest to you to know of your struggle and be willing to accept their offers of assistance. There’s no shame in admitting that you need some support while you’re in the process of healing.

It’s also important to make sure that you don’t withdraw from the activities of life during your time of healing. It’s OK to take some time to heal, but separating yourself from people and the activities of life can cause wounds of the heart to fester.

Everyone is different, and one broken heart may heal vastly different from another. The well-known five stages of grief list what many people experience, but not everyone neatly follows that experience.

In the same manner, there is no timeline for healing. Some wounds heal more quickly than others, and other times a heartache will return after you think you’ve passed the worst of the pain.

Don’t box yourself into a corner with what to expect when your heart is broken. Recognize the pain and allow yourself to heal in your own way.

Personally, my broken heart lay in the hands of the One who created me and loves me more than I can fathom. I’ve asked Him to piece it back together, and I cry in His arms when it seems like the pain will never end. I’m letting Him repair my broken heart.

I encourage everyone who has recently experienced a broken heart to allow yourself time to heal but to refuse to allow that brokenness to keep you from experiencing new joys. It is possible to mend a broken heart. It is possible to live again.

Nathan Rice is a Hampton Roads native and can be reached at