To Know Someone’s Heart


To Know Someone’s Heart
By Bernadette A Moyer

“If you want to know someone’s heart, you have to know what breaks it.” President George H. Bush

During a recent television interview with the elder President Bush part of the discussion was about a child they had that passed away as a toddler. I can’t imagine the pain that is associated with having a baby and seeing that child suffer and then ultimately die as a young toddler. It almost seems too cruel to even imagine.

When asked about this loss and the heartache the former President replied with the above quote. For days now I have reflected upon that statement as we do learn so much about another person by what breaks their heart. We all have something and/or someone in our lives that with their loss could literally break our hearts. It could be our mother or our father or a dear friend; it could be a spouse or even a child.

Losing a child is probably the most unnatural loss of all as a child truly represents the future, and comes far too soon for anyone to truly conceive.

In the last day I have received two lengthy e-mails from people that only know me through my writings. It is a common occurrence for me to receive these kinds of messages. They write to me because of the loss and heart break they are experiencing because of an estranged child.

This is where their heart lives as the parent of a child that they loved and raised and who has ultimately decided to delete mom and dad from their lives. To parent any child is to know the depth of your own heart.

“Making a decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone

I don’t believe we truly understand the depth of our ability to love until we birth a child. There is absolutely nothing else like it!

Then there are other loves that also show our hearts. A very dear friend is mourning this week just a year ago her longtime friend of over 4-decades died of cancer. She was just mid-50 with a husband and two sons and grandchildren. I see my friend who is brokenhearted and I see her heart. She has the capacity for love.

Losing a love does reveal many things about us; it reveals how we carry on and how we face what comes next. With any heartbreak we grieve the loss. Our broken heart humbles us and it opens us up in our vulnerability.

One of the greatest gifts that we share with others is when we share our loves. To truly know another we must know where their heart lives and for most of us that includes our family and our friends. It includes the people that matter most to us.

When someone passes on or leaves us it does not mean that we still can’t enjoy and feel the love that we shared. When I see a clock and the time is 3:33 I think of my old friend and mentor Ed who died many years ago, I smile and I say a prayer. He liked those numbers and played them often in the lottery.

And when I catch a clock at 2:41 the time of day that my daughter was born I instantly say, “God Bless her wherever she is and whatever she is doing!”

Today my heart lives most closely with my husband and our son who is still at home with us and our two precious pooches. Like most people I also share my heart with a close knit group of friends and my writing is where my heart lives.

I no longer allow my heart to live in the past as I have learned that love is a living thing, it is okay to reflect fondly on past loves but to stay there is to be stuck and to cease moving forward. To seek more love and new love we must be willing to take the steps that are ahead of us while letting go of what was behind us. Easy to say and often difficult to do.

We all know that to love is to risk loss and yet without love we cease to live. To really know someone and to really know ourselves we do in fact need to not only know about our hearts and their capacity for love but also what breaks our hearts …

Bernadette on Facebook at

NEW BOOKS! Along The Way and Another Way on Amazon and Barnes and Noble


2 thoughts on “To Know Someone’s Heart

  1. Barbara

    Wow. What a read .My question this morning came from reading 2 Samuelb16 :7
    And the Lord looks at the Heart.
    My question became How do you get to know someone’s Heart

    Thanks Bernadette

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s