The shapes and sizes of human cardiomyocytes are accessible to systematic observation under most circumstances only at autopsy. This constraint has seriously curbed the study of these topics, thereby leaving a crippling gap in our understanding of heart failure. In recent years the only published ongoing findings have come from this laboratory. This article is a condensation of these reports, using those sources to develop fresh analyses designed to construct a set of organizing principles. The data are entirely retrospective thereby forbidding hypothesis testing and permitting only hypothesis formation. The hypotheses generated in this way are novel and surprising. In spite of the severe limitations in this methodology is seems possible that some useful new directions of inquiry might evolve from pursuing these original observations.