The Heart of the Matter

Before you know it you have thought a thought. There is no real control or is there? My heart seems to bleed into my thoughts or is it the other way around, my thoughts bleed into my heart. I do know this; my heart has been affected by whatever I am thinking and not a day goes by that I have not thought and cried over my son who has been gone from me for 4 1/2 years. I would have to have a lobotomy to insure that I did not think of him. From the very minute we heard the news of our son’s death, my blood pressure has been high and my heart beats wildly at times. 

The first year of my now uncontrollable existence (did I ever have control?) I had a strong death wish just so I could be with my son to know he is alright. My mind was controlled by my emotions….or, was/are my emotions controlled by my mind? Which came first the chicken or the egg? 

In the early hours of overwhelming abusive grief, I felt disconnected as if watching myself in the starring role of a movie…one I did not want to see. The only thing that was connected was my heart while my thoughts ran rampant with guilt, pain, confusion, hysteria, “is this really happening?“…WHY?…. an unsettled horror that has never adequately been described. 

Yesterday, I went to the doctor to have a follow up for the medications I was recently prescribed for my high blood pressure. ( My blood pressure sounds so possessive…do I want to own this thing or does it own me?) After the routine of going over blood work and the typical warnings from the doctor to stay away from stress and anxiety (can I actually stay away from stress when it follows me around?) Another word for stress is “grief.” Is she kidding?  I stifled a howling laugh that mustered into a smile at her nonsensical suggestion. Even she knew it sounded silly. Who can stay away from the unwanted persistence of grief? It just IS. Lifestyle change was another suggestion. Did she not hear me when I told her of the ‘lifestyle change’ that has come to stay? I just don’t seem to have a say so.

I know the worthy platitudes that come with this kind of thinking…that “you may not have power over what happens to you, but you do have power over the way you handle it.” I believe this but I know that shock renders you helpless and you are in a vortex spiraling downward……who will catch me? My heart wrenching pain…the sound of thumping in my ear…a wild rhythm. I cry out for peace!

Peace has come in increments as God has been delivering me from the injustice of my son’s death. I know the term “tug of war” is an overused description that rightly defines my lifestyle now, but it is the best expression of the warfare going on in my heart and mind. I did not choose this so-called life just as my son did not choose his. I cannot fault the way his mind handled the pressure he was under because his mind was not rational. I compare the pain of grief that I am in has to be to some degree the pain he must have felt, also. Initially I wanted out. I could not see how my life could go on in this agony. My son felt the same kind of agony in a different situation and he reacted impulsively. He sought relief from a crippled mind and an injured heart. It was terminal for him…..and in a way, for me. 

In trying to come to terms with everything that has happened, I think too much. My mind is cluttered as much as my heart is fluttered. The two are connected and there is no way to live one without the other. My son was my heart. It will never be the same.

My faith in God and the peace that only He can give me is what endures me to His promise of life everlasting. I am thankful to our Father who does restore my soul…and has restored my son’s soul…heart and mind.

005Drawing by Michael Brandon Heath from “The Human Condition, a collection of poetry” by Dale Jordan Heath


  1. Dale, you always seem to put loving words, heart and a face to the reality and otherwise unspeakable grief that suicide causes. With each new post I think you are reaching out, connecting with the brokenhearted, and saving lives.


  2. Thank you, Susan. I always anticipate your loving, kind comments. I can only hope that those people in need of some kind of answer or comfort will come by my blog and hopefully, glean from it some light on a very dark subject.


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