Shattered Vs. Broken

Shattered and broken.

Stop and think about that for a second. What do those words actually mean?

In terms of the dictionary shattered is defined as :     to weaken, destroy, or refute (ideas, opinions, etc.) – to impair or destroy (health, nerves, etc.) – to damage, as by breaking or crushing – to break (something) into pieces, as by a blow – to be broken into fragments or become weak or insubstantial.

Broken by definition is :     reduced to fragments; fragmented, ruptured; torn; fractured, not functioning properly; out of working order – changing direction abruptly – fragmentary or incomplete – infringed or violated – to smash, split, or divide into parts violently – reduce to pieces or fragments – to destroy or interrupt the regularity, uniformity, continuity, or arrangement of – to become suddenly discontinuous or interrupted – to become detached, separated, or disassociated – to begin suddenly or violently or change abruptly into something else – to express or start to express an emotion or mood.

If all that were a checklist about this clandestine adoption, I would mark ‘ yes ‘ across the board, without a second thought.

All the technical terms aside, is the only difference between the two the amount of pieces you end up with when you finally look up and survey the damage?

Everything shattered.  

Can’t form a thought, can’t make a memory.

Crying actually hurts, it’s not just tears running down your face. 

It makes your body ache.

It makes your senses numb.

It makes your survival instinct go into overdrive.

Shattered makes you scream out loud, broken makes you not want to speak.

I have felt my heart beat so fast it felt like it was going to explode in my chest.

I have felt my heart beat so slowly that it felt like it just wanted to stop beating.

My heart has beat so hard that I heard it thumping in my ears.

Shattered …. broken  …. they’re more than just words …. both require much understanding of the person behind the story. What are the circumstance behind their tender heart?

I’m a lover, and when you’re a lover, whose heart gets broken, (shrug shoulders here) it’s like you die. There’s no nice way to say that. This pain grabs hold of you and you have to wiggle your way out of its powerful grip.

My family and I are recovering the best we can and trying to cope with a shattered, broken mess.

I’ve had to relearn everything because everything I thought I knew was all wrong and upside down. I no longer felt the same about any thing or any one. I no longer felt safe. My warm heart; gone. Happy, wild & crazy fun, bouncing Bay-Life Beach Boricua became an empty, sad, guarded, suspicious, hot mess of spinning-fast emotions. Eleven years later, and it feels like yesterday. It takes effort each passing day to stay hopeful and positive, strong, and patient.

Since my life split into two equal parts, before and after my niece, I’ve questioned to myself, and asked many others over the years, if they thought you could actually die from a broken heart. I’ve written about it several times because ‘ death by broken heart ‘ is something that is extremely relevant to me. I feel the answer is a definite YES and you only know that to be true if you have experienced it. I’m talking about true pain, true disappointment, true hurt. Not the kind of ‘ they don’t have these chunky platforms in my size ‘ kind of disappointment. It’s a roller coaster of up, down, rolls around, stop, go, quick and unexpected turns that make your stomach drop ….

Shattered; broken …. it’s not who I am, it’s not what defines me, it is something that HAPPENED to me. It is something that happened to us. When you’re in a million pieces and every person you love most in the world is in a million pieces, you find yourself not only stopping to smell the roses, but appreciating every petal. And that’s the way I look at it …. you can be shattered or broken like pieces of glass or you can be shattered and broken like scattered rose petals ….

I choose the roses ….





4 thoughts on “Shattered Vs. Broken

  1. Rose petals is a good choice. I was at a church wedding when a frustrated little girl ran behind the bridesmaids frantically picking up all the beautiful red rose petals being scattered on the ground as part of the wedding ceremony. When she shouted, “Stop littering!” the audience laughed.

    Individuals diagnosed with broken heart syndrome, known in the medical profession as stress cardiomyopathy, can benefit from the support of friends and family members, draw comfort from their faith, obtain understanding and sympathy from support groups, and profit from the advice of therapists and health professionals. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle deprived individuals experiencing a profound absence due to an adoption must learn to take care of themselves by protecting their mental and physical health; acknowledging their inner pain; expressing their feelings in creative ways; knowing that it is okay to cry and let go of their feelings when the time is right; and anticipate life events that rekindle memories of the past.


  2. I am writing a book about my life and how I’m shattered not broken and I was trying to figure out if the two mean the same???


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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s