Everyday Bereavement – ‘Why I keep my Broken Heart’

I would like to share with you a story, I promise its short, but I think it illustrates something that, as fellow bereaved parents you may relate to:

Last week I attended a Professional Development Day at the West Australian Association for Mental Health. It was a workshop specifically dealing with rather weighty topic of Perinatal Mental Health.

To my socially uncomfortable horror we were asked to partake in one of those: ‘Getting to know each other’ games –

I groaned at the very thought!

But anyway, we were all asked to stand up. Our presenter would ask us a question and we had to move to a part of the room to indicate our answer.

It was supposed to show how much we have in common with our fellow attendees.

First question up was up:

“Would you rather have a broken leg or a broken heart?”,

to answer a broken leg you moved to the right,

to answer a broken heart moved to the left.

I had my answer immediately, and I watched all other participants move to the right.

I moved to the left.


They all looked at me, their faces showed a mixture of unease, pity and concern. Why on earth would I stand alone and choose a broken heart?

A broken heart is there for a lifetime, a broken leg will only hurt for a bit then heal?


Well to me:

My heart is broken because I loved my child,

My heart is broken because when my daughter died she took a piece of my heart with her – and that piece she holds, is what connects us together, always.

It is my broken heart that keeps her safe,

and it means I am always and forever her parent.


I’ll keep my broken heart, because I would always choose to have my time with my daughter, no matter how brief. My daughter is a part of my story, and my families story.

Sometimes things aren’t perfect, they aren’t how we planned and they aren’t what we want. Even though my daughter died, I know that it’s a situation I didn’t choose nor can I change, but choose to be proud to be her mother.

So in that sense, I will always make sure she is protected and safe and she is, as long as she has a piece of my heart with her. Because with that piece she keeps with her, she will always know how much I love her.

So I hope the other attendee’s didn’t feel sorry for me with my broken heart,

because I know exactly where the other part of my heart is,

and I know it is filled with the purest of love.


It can be hard being a bereaved parent in a clinical world, a world where we are supposed to have timelines, deadlines and guidelines.

It’s hard to be a bereaved parent in a world that finds it uncomfortable to deal with the grief associated with losing a baby,

but I know somethings are constant in my life:

that I wish my daughter didn’t die,

that not a day goes by where I don’t think about her.


and I will never doubt that, through my heartache, my tears, even in those times when I doubt myself –

I never doubt my love for my child, and I will always know how lucky I am to be her parent.

So, I choose to carry my broken heart,

because in our hearts is where the love we have for our children is the strongest.

I didn’t choose this broken heart,

but now that I have it, I would never take it away,

because it is where my daughter rests with me, and she is no burden at all.



Excerpt from Speech 17/12/2017

1 Comment

  1. My granddaughter Claudia is always in my heart too,personal grief is so hard, made even harder when it’s your beloved daughter going through it,like all moms I’d take the pain to myself in a heart beat if I could. We all have our own journey to make happy or sad. Just be gentle with yourself.❤️❤️💔❤️


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