All the genuinely smart, talented, funny friends I know seem to be broken-hearted. You will notice it on Twitter more than Facebook, because Facebook is where you go to do your performance art. It’s where you pretend to be hip; the place where people have ridiculously perfect relationships; the obligatory trips to the moon and where all toddlers potty train themselves. It’s the place where you hide how really bat shit crazy you really are. Facebook is surface; Twitter is subtext, and judging by what I am seeing lately, there are a lot of people experiencing bone aching sadness.
I have attempted to find a common denominator for all these broken-hearted souls and the answers were varied. Anything from; she had a mole on her eyelid; he pronounced it “cold slaw,” and Venus is retrograde. All the excuses you can imagine and some you can’t. But no one has said, “I am three gallons of crazy in a two gallon bucket and no one can put up with a mess like me.”
I don’t have the answers. I don’t know some big truth that I can reveal to everyone. All I can do is hurt, and try to stop hurting, and try to help others stop hurting. Maybe we need to tribe up, find each other and put our arms around each other and say something like: I know you have lost someone and it hurts. Perhaps you began to lose pieces of them until one day, they had disappeared. I’m not going to tell you tomorrow is another day, the sun will go on shining, or there are plenty of fish in the sea. It is ok to hurt, and it won’t be better for a long, long time, but eventually it will. For now take all the time you need. Here is some chocolate.
And most of us have figured out that we have to do what’s in front of us and keep doing it. Go to work, return calls, answer emails, return library books, go to the store. And breathe. And some of us even pray. The horror felt is real, and so you do your laundry and you make it through another day. In the aftermath of a loss we do what we’ve always done, although we are changed. Perhaps that’s the point. People change for two reasons I think: their minds are open or their hearts have been broken.
I know it’s hard to believe people when they say, “I know how you feel”. But I actually know how you feel. I understand feeling as insignificant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places you didn’t know you had inside you. And it doesn’t matter how many new haircuts you get, or gyms you join, or how many glasses of Malbec you drink with your girlfriends, you still go to bed every night going over every detail and wonder what you did wrong or how you could have misunderstood. And how in the hell for that brief moment you could think that you were that happy. And sometimes you can even convince yourself that he’ll see the light and show up at your door. And after all that, however long all that may be, you’ll discover that little pieces of your soul will finally come back. And you will realize where there is potential for love the heart keeps on going. It will love whom it loves even if you don’t want it to, even after relationships end. It will keep loving after that too.
“And you finally realize with all the bad stuff there always comes good. If our lives are like clay cups then pain carves the cup deeper as we endure more sorrow but only to make it hold more joy as we drink from the well that of the love that surrounds us everyday.”
J. August Luhrs