Half Heart, Half Sister


My heart beats. Beat. Beat. Beat. 

But it doesn’t beat the same. It’s slower. More spaced out. 

Beat. Beat. Beat.

This can happen to people for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes, it can be because of some severe health problems. Or, it even can happen as a result of deep breathing exercises.

In my case, it was neither. I have a condition that is neither rare nor common. It happens to people worldwide, but I rarely meet friends in the same situation.

I lost a chunk of my heart. Half of it completely severed off. 

Just imagine red pieces of the organ flying everywhere. 

How does one even live with such a serious health condition?

My heart was held together by stitches. But don’t be fooled. They were extremely painful to get.

The cause of my condition must have been something catastrophic. Maybe eat an overabundance of unhealthy disgustingly greasy foods. Maybe even abused substances I shouldn’t have that killed my heart. 

But the cause did not relate to any of these ideas. Instead, the cause was a person. No, a person didn’t hurt me physically. And no my boyfriend didn’t break up with me and break my heart. Rather the cause occurred to someone else first.

My sibling. My brother. Andy. 

He went to sleep and never woke up. His heart had been stolen by some sort of upper power. Something out of my control. But my heart and I woke up with the price to pay. 

Research has shown that it is true. When we lose someone to death we feel we lose a part of ourselves. Our brain codes “you” and “I” the same as “we” when we are connected to another person. I think the feeling is even worse with a sibling. 

And then the brain has to go through the five grief stages that research has also looked into. And my heart went through them all, again and again. 


When I first woke up on the hot June day to my mother screaming at the top of her lungs, I didn’t want to believe it was true. I wanted to remain in denial like her. Thinking Andy would pull up in his white Nissan into the paved driveway. But he never came. 

My heart covered its fragile beating eyes. It wanted to stay in denial for a while and even sometimes still question the reality to this day. But the denial, the covering of the eyes, and the hiding from the world couldn’t last forever. 


My heart couldn’t be too angry. It just isn’t like that normally. I couldn’t just lash out at the people I cared about and who were the closest to me randomly. But that wasn’t to say my frustration with them hadn’t become short-tempered. 

I even remember going out to Applebee’s with my friends. We sat in a booth and my friend next to me decided to mess with me by throwing an ice cube at my shirt. It melted into a tiny water stain. My heart set off so fast that I had the sudden urge to throw the whole cup of ice on his head, melting water on his entire body. 

But I controlled myself. For the most part. That’s not to say a few ice cubes didn’t go down his shirt. 


I honestly didn’t even know what this word meant until I looked into it. But it’s guilt. And the half of my heart that was left felt the most guilty. 

A month before Andy passed away, he asked me to go to a Yankee game with him. He took me to my first one and it was great. Delicious food, energetic friendly fans, and quality time with my older brother. I wanted to go again.

But Andy invited our older cousin Jessica who he was close to. She was everything I wanted to be at the time. Smart, hilarious, extraverted, and gets along with everyone. And I was the total opposite. Besides the smart part. I was shy, cowardly, and not the most liked. 

My jealousy hindered me back and I told Andy I didn’t want to go. I could feel the disappointment and confusion his heart felt. I felt it in mine too. And a month later when he would pass away, I would felt guilt in my heart for years to come. Forbidding myself from attending another Yankee game forever. 


My heart didn’t want to sleep. My heart wanted to eat the rest of its life away. My heart was uninterested in beating along with other hearts. It didn’t even want to beat. It just wanted to do nothing. And that’s exactly what it did.

I spent high school doing nothing to prepare for college. I still had good grades and did after-school clubs. But they weren’t for a greater purpose I was trying to fulfill. They were just a way to distract me and an attempt to cure my heart’s depression. 


As I said, I had stitches. They healed after time and my heart can live now on its own. Standing in place with one leg.

Still, this doesn’t mean beating my heart is easier. But I’ve learned to live with it. 

One beat at a time.

Beat. Beat. Beat.