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OpryLeigh's avatar

Apart from your love for another human, what makes your heart ache?

Asked by OpryLeigh (25251points) July 16th, 2012

The reason I ask this question is, today I was trying to work out when I might be able to go back to Scotland. Many of you may know that Scotland (especially the west Highlands) is my favourite place to visit and if I have long gaps between visiting my heart aches.

I am sure we all know that love of another person (whether it be romantic love or the love for an offspring) can make our hearts ache but I can honestly say I have never felt this kind of longing for a place before I fell in love with Scotland.

What (other than the love for another human) makes your heart ache?

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37 Answers

linguaphile's avatar

I get that too, for lost opportunities, Alabama, Washington DC, and some nostalgic moments. It’s not a bad feeling for me at all, though, but a deep longing. :)

chyna's avatar

My heart aches when I see a beautiful sunset or sunrise. The beauty of it just makes my heart burst, my eyes well up with tears.
I know, I’m corny.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@chyna Nor corny at all. That’s just appreciating what nature and life give us. I was in Cooperstown Saturday, walking to the park for an arts fest. We walked by some beautiful gardens. I stopped to smell the flowers. My S/O laughed and wondered why I do that. Hey beautiful things that will touch your heart are all around us. We just have to appreciate what we have.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@linguaphile I wouldn’t say it was a negative feeling either although it does make me desperate to go back! Hopefully in August

@chyna Don’t worry, when I was typing this question I knew it may come across as a bit corny but I agree with @Adirondackwannabe it’s good to appreciate the simple things of nature, especially in a world were the daily news is full of negativity!

bookish1's avatar

-History (not all history, but a lot of it)
-Thinking about the beach, where I haven’t been in 2 years
-Feeling a profound human connection, doesn’t have to be love
-Thinking about what it was like for type 1 diabetics before insulin was discovered (bad heartache)

ragingloli's avatar

The periodic heart atta-arghhh.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Wow. What a powerful question. Most of my heartache is tied to another human, real or fictional, or to another living creature.

When I drive the long trip back to Virginia, USA, it feels exactly like Scarlett O’Hara did whenever she returned to her beloved Tara plantation. There is something special about that state commonwealth that makes me feel like I do when I am home and safe, irrational as it is. I would like to live there again someday. We’ll have to see if it is in the cards. :)

@chyna Long ago, I read about a group of people who would celebrate a sunrise every morning and then mourn sunset each evening. The concept was found quite interesting.

fremen_warrior's avatar

@Leanne1986 never been to Scotland, but I have a similar relationship with Ireland (especially co. Claire) – everything there is just… grand! :D

Crashsequence2012's avatar

The gradual and inevitable demise of liberty in my country.

ucme's avatar


marinelife's avatar

The beauty and loving nature of animals.

Aster's avatar

Puppies; kittens. Old dogs.
A mountain stream with mountainous backdrop.
Certain songs.
Thinking of my ex inlaws and the warmth I felt being near them; the wonderful meals we had together with great conversation and laughter.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Also, the smell of my grandmother’s house. She recently made me a blanket for my dog but I ended up keeping it on my own bed because, for a while, the smell that lingered on it was of her house. I have some really strong memories of her home and whenever I go there, the smell takes me right back. There’s something about that smell that makes me miss a simpler time but also makes me feel safe.

bookish1's avatar

Also, seeing an Indian family in public (bad kind of heartache.)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

My heart aches when I think about how much I’d like to travel to Ireland or Scotland. For whatever reason, I have this incredible pull to go there. I’d really love to just move there, but alas, that’s not a possibility. Unless we win the lottery or something and no longer rely on my husband’s business. :D

harple's avatar

Memories of people I no longer hear from, or seeing someone that looks just like them…

@Leanne1986 In Welsh that feeling of yours is called “hiraeth” (pronounced hee-r-ai-th)... and in Brazilian “saudade” (pronouced s-ow-daa-jay)...They are both countries that pride themselves on being the only country to have invented a word for the very feeling you describe. :-)

athenasgriffin's avatar

Music makes my heart ache often. Seeing the remnants of childhood, both mine and others, can make my heart ache. People who don’t love themselves make me very, very sad.

tups's avatar

Music makes my heart ache very much (if it’s the right music of course), thinking about places I’d like to go, dreaming, hope and chocolate.

flutherother's avatar

The sadness of knowing everything is transient. Little perfect moments lost in time.

bookish1's avatar

@flutherother : nothing lasts, but nothing is lost.

YARNLADY's avatar

Lately I have been having pangs of loss for the wonderful tree that used to stand in my front yard. It got old and one of the major branches cracked off and fell into the street, so I had the whole thing cut down.

It was a Modesto Ash, planted when the house was brand new, 40 years ago. Two other similar trees in the neighborhood broke in half and fell on houses and cars. My front yard looks so bare now, and the sun is so very hot.

We also had some large bushes removed because they were sitting right on the fence line, and the people who bought the house next door want to replace the fence.

YARNLADY's avatar

@fremen_warrior Thank you, that was very nice

tinyfaery's avatar

My lost childhood. And when I think too long about all the suffering in the world my heart aches.

Earthgirl's avatar

Thinking of my father who is no longer living. I think the thing that makes my heart ache the most is how he didn’t relate to me openly yet I felt his loneliness and didn’t know how to break through.

Seeing the rolling green hills and old faded barns of upstate New York where I grew up. This is true, even though I couldn’t wait to escape it, and find the actual area a little depressing and void of possibilities.

Much music makes my heart ache! Take me Home,Country Roads, by John Denver makes me think of those rolling green hills that I mentioned above, Chopin’s Piano Concerto no.1, Brahm’s Symphony no.3 in F Major (especially the 3rd movement). This is music that has such longing in it!!! Beethovan’s Moonlight Sonata reminds me of my best friend in high school playing piano and those lost days of hanging out together.
And this : song especially….makes me feel very tender.

Photographs do it too. I am very sentimental. Looking at my sisters and my brother as children makes me so sweetly sad.

Thinking of my littlest sister as a child can really get me all teary eyed. She has 2 children of her own now!

Earthgirl's avatar

@Leanne1986 sorry, but most of my heart achy things are human related!

Berserker's avatar

Seeing abandoned or ruined pillows in the garbage. I denno I got problems I guess but I’m being serious here.

bookish1's avatar

@Symbeline : I get that feeling from seeing abandoned toys, especially cuddly toys :-/

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Animals, life’s unfairness, goodbyes of all kinds, nature’s stunning beauty, music….

linguaphile's avatar

@Symbeline @bookish1 I’m the same with abandoned toys. Before I moved away from Minnesota, I looked through our boxes and found that my son, daughter and I, combined, had 4 huge tubs of cuddly toys that none of us could let go of. Until… I found an organization that takes these toys and works with police officers, firemen and hospitals to redistribute to children in need. Only then could we let them go!

OpryLeigh's avatar

@harple Do those words mean the feeling of longing for a place specifically?

@Earthgirl I believe that when we think of heart ache we often think of other people, I know I do. That is exactly why I asked the question this way, to make people think more about other things that can cause the heart to ache.

harple's avatar

@Leanne1986 I have been led to believe so, yes, particularly the Brazilian term.

I also realise that I answered you question with a people based answer, sorry!

The smell of sheep milk around lambing time takes me back to a place before memory, and so makes me long for a time when I was totally innocent and the world hadn’t revealed any of its dark side yet.

A week or so ago, a particularly humid day, which is so unusual for my part of the country, made me yearn for America.

mattbrowne's avatar

Observing other people doing good deeds.

Earthgirl's avatar

Ok, ok, @Leanne1986 I had to think a little more…it’s hard to think of something that is not human related or human created that makes my heart ache. I want to say a beautiful poem, work of prose or work of art,painting, music, you name it. They don’t concern love for a human, but they are still human related. They definitely make my heart ache. It’s all about feeling on some deeper level what it really means to be human. That’s the stuff that really gets to me. The sound of a banjo full of joyous celebration, or a fiddle, or a clarinet that sounds alternately so sad and joyful that it’s like humanity personified. It gives me an actual catch in my throat.The music that does it most to me is the music which combines the saddest and most joyful feelings in turn. To me that carries the essence of life.

Nature and the sense of wonder I feel at it’s beauty and complexity also makes my heart ache.
Good question. :)

P.S. You make me want to go to Scotland

chyna's avatar

Hearing Amazing Grace played on bagpipes.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

The fact that the Civic Type R is not imported to the united states.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@chyna I love bagpipes!

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