When my dad died in 1996, my heart literally hurt in a physical way. I kept saying to people: "It's like a scarf with a huge knot tied right at my heart."
Now, I know it was a classic symptom of grief. From our column today:
Jackie Kleinjans, director of bereavement services at Hospice of North Idaho, says the physical symptoms of grief can also mimic heart problems. “People say, ‘I’m having heart palpitations. I have this heaviness in the chest and shortness of breath,’ ” she says.“They often put their hand to their chest and say that’s where the heaviness is manifesting itself. There’s a lot of truth and wisdom in that phrase ‘heartache.’ ”
In rare instances, this heartache is an actual physical response to grief known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, also called broken heart syndrome.
Has your heart ever hurt from grief?