Every month, our Soulful
Reverend" shares her sage insights on relationships
and getting ready for soulful love! Send your
questions to RomanceRev@SoulfulLiving.com.
How To Mourn A Broken Heart and Lost Love
Dear Romance Reverend,
I just broke up with my boyfriend of two years and I
don’t know what to do with myself. Even though it was
time for us to part, I feel so empty. It feels as if
there has been a death in my family. What can I do to
move on? Should I look for someone new? -- Debra, Sun
* * * *
Ending a significant relationship is like a death in
the family. If you allow the feelings to run their
natural course, you will heal faster and recover more
completely. It is a process so very similar to any loss
through death. I think it is important to grieve, to
mourn, to express all your feelings and fears. This will
allow you to move on when the time is right.
A break up of a love relationship – or a
friendship, a business partnership or even separation
from familiar people and places due to loss of a job –
stimulates all the feelings that the death of a loved
one can bring on. These feelings may not be as intense,
or long lasting, but they are as real. And sometimes, in
the case of a devastating and unexpected break up, the
feelings of loss are even more profound. Somehow, when a
loved one passes away, we often can learn to forgive
them for their indiscretions, the things they may have
done to harm us, whether intentional or not – because
they are dead. But when a loved one leaves, and is still
very much alive, we must confront the feelings of
betrayal, unworthiness, deep and penetrating sorrow, and
a sense of doom. It can be even more difficult to
forgive and forget – initially – than if the person
We can all find great wisdom in the expression
"this too shall pass," for it shall, in its
own time. Your first mission is to go into mourning for
the relationship lost, the love that is no longer there,
and the person who is no longer at your side. This will
help you accept your new reality – soulfully single
life – and over time you will gain back your strength
and desire for a new relationship.
Try seven days of mourning: People of the Jewish
faith have a custom of "Sitting Shiva" for a
deceased loved one or member of the community. It is
seven days of intensive, uninterrupted mourning (except
for the Sabbath and holy days). In that time, relatives
and loved ones gather in community and grieve together.
It is a way to focus entirely on the loss and the pain
of loss, and to remember the departed, as it allows
everyone healthy access to feelings and as well as
expression of their grief in a totally acceptable and
supported manner. You can adapt this practice in a
non-denominational way and apply it to a relationship
that has gone awry by taking at least seven days to
mourn your loss --intensively.
Saying good bye to love lost. I would advise that
you keep a picture of this person, along with a picture
of the two of you if you have one, on a special altar or
table for seven days. Sit down for a half hour each day
and stare at the images. Light a white candle to set the
healing mood, and incense if you like. See what comes to
mind during this time, let the thoughts (and tears!)
flow … and you may find by the second or third day you
have a desire to speak out loud. Talk to the pictures
– as if you are speaking to the loved one who is no
longer in your life and to the person you were when you
were with that person. Think: What do I need to say in
order to move on – and say it. Or just reminisce about
the good times you miss. Don’t worry about feeling
wacky talking to pictures. There is a method of therapy
called Gestalt in which people talk to pillows to get
things out of their system. Talking to pictures is a
spiritual step toward energetic healing.
During that 7 days of mourning, cry your heart out. It’s
never gets easy to lose in love, or lose the one we have
loved. Romantic break ups often leave us as numb, and
almost comatose, at first, as if there has been a death
in the family. There will be many times, as you are out
in the world, that you will have to "hold it
together" and pretend you are fine. Make sure you
set aside time every day to cry like a baby. Cry in the
shower, take salt baths and cry in the bath. Rent movies
that help you release through tears, and listen to music
that stirs your emotions.
Know when to bring mourning of a relationship to a
close. After seven days, or whenever you feel
personally ready, put the pictures away and pack up the
memorabilia from the relationship. It is a Native
American custom to put away the items belonging to, or
reminiscent of, the dead, so that the living can go on.
This idea can easily be applied to divorce and
relationships that have ended. You may not feel ready in
seven days (in fact, it is unlikely if you have been
through an intensive divorce or the ending of a long
term relationship) … Seven days gives you a focal
point for intensive grief, but it could be seven weeks
or seven months that you need to grieve and honor the
sadness and loss you feel inside. Feelings of grief may
turn on and off, and create a sense of highs and lows in
your life for a while. That’s normal. Honor yourself
by giving yourself permission to simply go with it.
There is no formula for overcoming loss of love, just
many little things you can do to move yourself through
spiritually. Your main focus should be comfort and
release during times of despair, and then, a slow
progression toward healing that includes doing things
that bring you joy – like dancing, singing in the
shower instead of crying, seeing movies that make you
laugh and listening to music that warms your heart and
You will heal. You will move on. When the day comes
to see the light through the darkness, you will know it.
It may seem sudden but it is really the result of a
process of letting go of grief and letting in new
possibilities for living. It will be as if the sun is
peeking through the clouds, or as if you have been in a
tunnel of grief and suddenly the light at the other end
has grown clearer and stronger.
As far as seeking out new love, that too will come in
its proper time and season. It is always a good idea to
take time to grieve before starting new relationships.
Jumping into a new relationship before you’ve had a
chance to truly heal the pain of the last, as a way to
get over or avoid feeling the pain, is not recommended.
However, some people are further along in the mourning,
or more ready for the end of the mourning period, sooner
than others. If you find yourself blessed with the
fortunate grace of a new partner who can be by your side
and love you unconditionally through the difficult
times, then follow your heart. Just stay conscious and
always know your motivation.
There are two books I highly recommend. These are my
favorite relationship break up bibles: Spiritual
Divorce: Divorce As A Catalyst For An Extraordinary Life
(HarperSanFrancisco, 2001) by Debbie Ford and Coming
Apart: Why Relationships End and How To Get Through The
Ending of Yours (Red Wheeler/Weiser, February 2000), by
Daphne Rose Kingma. Both offer amazing insights that
will help you heal. Also, in my new book, A Goddess Is A
Girl’s Best Friend: A Divine Guide To Finding Love,
Success and Happiness (Perigee Books, December 2002)
there is a very helpful chapter on "Overcoming The
Loss of A Loved One with Mary Magdelene" that
offers some highly helpful rituals to assist your
through loss of all kinds.
© Copyright 2002 Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway All Rights
Reverend Laurie Sue's Current Column
Reverend Laurie Sue's Past Columns:
2002 - "Relationships That Nurture and Inspire
Growth of the Soul
2002 - "Finding Peace in a Turbulent World"
2002 - "Sacred Sexuality For Modern Men and
2002 - "When Someone You Love Pushes Your Buttons"
2002 - "When Life Has You Down, Remember You Are
2002 - "Plan a Valentine's Day Team Date"
2002 - "Do I Hear Him Knocking … From the Other
2001 - "How Do We Make Our Love Dreams Come True?"
2001 - "What is the Future of Love?"
2001 - "Getting to Know
the Goddess of Good Fortune"
2001 - "Can't Hurry Love... It Will Happen in Its Right Moment"
2001 - "Family Rituals Help Us Grow Into Loving Beings"
2001 - "Dreams Warn It’s Time To Own Your Power"
2001 - "A Fun Visual of Your Favorite Romance"
May 2001 - "Someday
Your Mystical Soul Mate Will Come"
2001 - "Enjoy the Merriment and Fun of An Ancient Love
2001 - "Nourish Yourself On a Date for One"
2001 - "Get Ready for Soulful Love"
Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway is an author,
teacher and contemporary clergy person who specializes
in matters of the heart and soul. As an ordained
interfaith minister and non-denominational wedding
officiant, it is her honor to regularly marry couples in
Prior to becoming a minister she enjoyed a successful
and colorful 20 years in media as a widely published
journalist, editor and author of several books on
relationships and romance—as well as being a noted
spokesperson on those topics. She was editor-in-chief of
two national magazines and several regional
publications, and her articles have been published
around the world and in many newspapers and national
magazines, such as the NY Daily News, The
Washington Post, Women’s News, New Woman,
Ladies’ Home Journal and Child.
She evolved years of specialized reporting in the field
of male-female relationship dynamics into a more
spiritual pursuit that led her to train to be an
interfaith minister, and then establish her wedding
ministry along with a number of popular relationship
enhancement programs. Her wedding ministry is based in
She is also dedicated to bringing about a deeper
awareness and understanding of the Divine Feminine. As a
graduate of The New Seminary in NYC, the world’s
premier seminary for interfaith ministers, she was
educated and trained in the tenants, spiritual practice
and worship of many faiths. She became a specialist in
the feminine aspects of God in all the world’s
religions. Today, she is widely recognized as a
minister, teacher and scribe specializing in women’s
spirituality and The Divine Feminine from an interfaith
and all-inclusive perspective. She is on the
board of directors of World Light Fellowship, heading up
their Feminine Faces of God programs, and is
Founder of Our Mother’s House, a cyber ministry at www.OurMothersHouse.org.
Long devoted to helping women access the "Goddess Within," she is currently
working on two books that bring the wisdom of ancient archetypes to modern
women. Her newest book, A Goddess Is a Girl's Best Friend, is due out from
Perigee Books in December 2002.
To be placed on a mailing list for information
about A Goddess Is A Girl’s Best Friend: OurMothersHouse@aol.com
TO SOULFUL THOUGHTS