After two years marriage, Umuhoza (not real name) decided to pack her stuff and with her children returned home, just to be at peace and feel the comfort of her parents and clear out the heavy heart. “Things didn’t go well in my marriage, I always carried a heavy heart from my broken marriage and I decided to leave. I was warmly welcomed back home, regardless of being a spouse of desertion , my parents were loving and caring to see me suffer, as they strived hard to reunite my family back together” Umuhoza narrated As things were getting in line, the 24-year-old narrated that her father fell sick and within a blink of an eye, died. As if that was not enough, after four months when the family was still recovering from the loss, suddenly, the mother also dies. That is the time everybody is lost for words and is left to deal with shattered hearts. Umuhoza says that in moments like those, good people and reliable ones are very important. “God has blessed me with at least reliable friends who have always been by my side, they have cried with me, never left me alone and we have shared the word of God and prayed together. I have also learnt to lower my expectation, knowing that am responsible for my life, not expecting happiness from any other person” She adds that although at one point she began questioning God and stopped praying, she believes that prayers do work and one of the best ways to overcome a broken heart for believers. Many of us have experienced heartbreak and we have wondered if we could ever have a full mended heart and how to go about that, but as a singer sang, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” It is a lesson that leads to a better life. Alice Kamanzi, a resident of Kicukiro says, heartbreaks hit differently but what she has learnt is to comfront the truth and grieves the loss. “I always consider my future and remember that the decisions I make currently will define my future. Speaking from experience, heartbreaks are so excruciating but the moment you learn to accept the truth, feel the pain, cry as much as possible and also create time and talk to people, especially those who have been in the same situation, that broken heart can be mended,” Kamanzi says. For Maurice Kalisa, overcoming a broken heart is just a matter of time and how you allow your past to affect you. He believes that doing things with no intention to impress anyone just to show them that you are okay and happy can help “You will basically impress people only when you are happy because you give what you have,” he says For him, watching movies or documentaries related to the situation and even those worse than his, listening to soul music and doing a little bit of meditation and workouts helps him learn how to deal with the broken heart. Kalisa adds that, normalizing and facing things that scare and challenge you also makes you stronger, like seeing the photo of your beloved ones will make you to overcome the fear. According to Damien Mouzoun, a family counselor, almost everyone has been on the receiving end of a breakup, family conflict, loss of a loved one at one time or another, and commiserating with them, sharing experiences, getting counsel, being reminded you’re not alone, can be highly beneficial. He adds that it is important to remember that heartbreak and subsequent grief are not pathological, but a normal part of being an emotional creature. It is just the dark side to our life and we need to endure till the end hoping for the best in any given situation. “Though it may be difficult, we must try not to lose perspective” he says Also Healthline blog advises sitting down and make a list of what you need, including needs for tangible and emotional support. This could involve mowing the grass, grocery shopping, or simply talking on the phone. When people ask how they can help, hand them a note card or have them choose something they feel they can do. This relieves the pressure to articulate your needs on the spot when someone asks. First and foremost, seek professional help because it is important to talk about your feelings with others and not numb yourself out. This is easier said than done, and it’s totally normal to need some extra help. Mindful meditations are also important as they strengthen the heart and help the mind and body calm down How you protect your heart According to Koen De Pelsmaeker, a professional counselor and the director of Humura counseling, self-awareness is key to protecting your heart from being broken. “Sometimes people are pleasers, they want to please people and those people will take advantage of them. When people are not loyal and aware of themselves, they attract the same person in their lives. He gives an example that when a young girl grows up with a father who is a drunkard, the first partner the grown up girl is also likely to be a drunkard, until that girl becomes loyal and honest to the situation at home and makes a decision of what she wants towards her life. He adds that people should learn the society around them, the relationship with family, friends and the society, to help them become aware of themselves and make better decisions. Paying close attention to the red flags is also very important. Many times we tend to ignore the red flags hoping for the best but, If you're with someone who's physically or emotionally abusive, lies, or mistrusts you, these are key signs that you should end the relationship.