An Unforgettable Heart


People think that a heart is an organ that is responsible for pumping blood repeatedly through the blood vessels in your body, to others it is an entirely different thing. Things such as an inner soul that produces emotions, personality, feelings, or contributes a form of happiness into a human being; many people really do have different answers on how they would describe a heart.

Though a heart can be a new way to life, it can be deadly to many people such as having heart failures, heart attacks, or other related problems that causes death. When somebody dies due to any relation of heart problems or illnesses, it is sometimes hard for people to get over it. The following questions that I would like to ask are: how do people get over their love ones death? Are there ways to overcome it? Is this situation a bit too bizarre? Can we accept death? And what do you think about this issue?

A similar topic is on a short-story that was created by Richard Selzer called, “Whither Thou Goest”, which explores how a wife was struggling to find happiness and independence due to her husband’s death, but eventually has the strength to move on with her life. Richard Selzer explains many opportunities to think about those large questions with some additional complications, since the story is not dealing with the burial whose heart is still beating, but the burial of a man whose heart is still beating in someone else’s body.

“Whither Thou Goest” explains how a wife named Hannah lost her husband, Sam, who was killed in a shooting incident by an unknown stranger. As soon as her husband died, she quickly decided to donate all of his organs to others who are in need for transplants. Later in the story, Hannah became obsessed on trying to meet the person who received her husband’s heart, whose name was Mr. Pope, and listen to the heart for approximately one hour. She felt that the only way to reconnect with her deceased husband again was to listen to his heart one last time and her reasons to search for the heart were “A heart can be listened to. A heart can be felt” (Selzer 231), so instantly she started to write letters to Mr. Pope. Hannah’s best friend, Ivy Lou, who appears to be the only one trying to help her to get over Sam’s death, argued that Hannah shouldn’t be contacting the recipient in the first place and to move on from her husband’s death even though she gave Hannah the recipient’s personal information, since she works for the Aetna Casualty and Life Insurance Company (Selzer 238). Eventually, Hannah achieved her goal by finding Mr. Pope who had received the heart, which the recipient ended up becoming her co-conspirator and protector of her husband’s heart.

In my opinion, I wouldn’t say that Hannah was going through a bizarre situation, but I would say that she could have dealt with her husband’s death in a reasonable manner. Some ways could have been therapy, spiritual counseling, new occupation, traveling, education, a new love interest, or other positive activities.
The only thing that I didn’t understand is why she donated his organs. I’m not sure if she wasn’t really thinking or hadn’t thought about it ahead or didn’t really know how she was going to feel afterwards, but I felt that she could had kept his organs and possibility start to visit his grave when she wanted closure.

While constantly reading this story, I suddenly realized that I also had my own share on finding a way to cope with the loss of a family member. I remember when my uncle, Red, died from a heart attack in 1994. I felt nothing but sorrow, grief, and was even depressed about his death. I even couldn’t get closure from it nor talk about it to someone since everything was happening too fast. The main reason why I was upset because no one in my family told me until two years later that he had passed away and it was painful and shocking to hear that, since he was like a father to me and was the only person in my family that I could relate to; somehow I ended up finding a way to get closure. So instantly I would sit in his bedroom and do similar things that he used to do like eat his favorite foods, read his collection of bibles, or even watch some of his favorite TV shows. I used to stay in his room for days and hours while never leaving his bedroom. Within a year, I finally realized that I did achieve my goal of getting closure from his death and never went to his bedroom ever since then and started on the process to move forward with my life.

So I don’t think what Hannah’s going through is not bizarre, but I feel that everyone hates to see people die or sometimes face things alone. The main point is that we can’t accept death. Sometimes we don’t realize that someday we will all dead; but when you lose someone who was a close friend, a spouse, or family member it hits you hard and just knock you off your feet. Within time it allows us to heal from a terrible lost while time takes away the pain. It’s a slow process that only time will allow us to heal. There is no one that can tell you a time limit, because there is no limit, but soon or later you will move on with your life and one day we will have to face daily issues without anxiety, fear, and being able to accept death.

Works Cited

Selzer, Richard. "Whither Thou Goest." Kass, Leon. Being Human. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2004. 225-241.

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