I can’t breathe!

This weight on my chest is causing every breath I take to be a struggle. As I work to take my next breath, I am frustrated at the strain it is creating. Why is this happening?! When will it subside?! What is it?!

Have you ever heard of the weight of a broken heart? It is heavier than an oversized elephant. Causes more pressure than a severe migraine. Demonstrates the feeling of suffocating. All the while you must keep going. With this weight you go to work, you take care of kids and the house, you make every decision known to mankind, and no one quite sees or knows what this weight feels like in your life.

The weight of a broken heart is carried with pride and possibly a badge of honor. It signifies a loss and can suggest weakness. The latter is not true! In all actuality it transmits STRENGTH! A strength we have never had but is gained with a loss. Even in the hardest moments when we don’t mentally feel strong, the strength is there.
The timeline of carrying this weight is not determined by this blog or others’ opinions. Each widow gets to figure out how long the weight is present in her life. You may find the weight is lifted for days, weeks, or years and suddenly it is back. That is the beauty of grief.

It appears out of nowhere and at unexpected times. Causing the weight of a broken heart to resurface. Leaving us breathless. Confusion can set in due to the fact we thought this weight would be gone forever.

In the moments of “I can’t breathe” and the strangling feeling appears. Or the oxygen supply seems to not be found on our own, we need to allow it to come from the Lord and perhaps another widow. Trying to pull the weight off with clinched fists never works. Exhaustion sets in from fighting the weight placing us in an unstable condition. Allowing the Lord to place breath in us can give us time to heal, time to start placing the tiny shattered pieces of our broken heart back together.

You may be in the beginning trenches of your walk as a widow and the “I can’t breathe” is ransacking your daily functions. Or you may be decades in, living as a widow and experiencing the heaviness still. Either place you are not alone. This weight on your chest is felt by thousands of widows daily, each with their own story.


Jacki Corta is a motivational speaker, intuitive life, and grief coach along with the founder and CEO of Strength > Struggle™. The brand she discovered after traveling the journey of cancer with her husband. She started the Strength>Struggle™ crusade, helping others find their inner strength during some of the scariest times. In 2014, her husband, Douglas was diagnosed with Glioblastoma brain cancer and 20 months later passed away, giving Jacki a new title… Widow. It is Jacki’s mission to share her story with the world and how it can positively impact others in whatever they may face. It is a story of unexplainable strength in life’s most challenging storms, overcoming adversity and finding hope while traveling the difficult path her life took.

It is her ability to communicate and willingness to be vulnerable that connects with her clients and audiences. Jacki believes her purpose here is to impact as many souls as possible showing them that through even the darkest days there is a glimpse of light to grab onto for them to find their strength. Jacki will empower, challenge, and give you a new outlook on your own story.

She is a mother of three adult girls and a Mimi to two beautiful granddaughters. You can follow more of her story and inspiration on Instagram @jackicorta or listen to her podcast Jacki Has a Voice on Spotify.