Of all the feelings we are meant to feel, and thus accept, I think heartbreak is the hardest. Harder than grief even, as in the death of a loved one.

For me, grief carries with it a finality. The person is gone, never to be again. Perhaps they have transcended to another world, or perhaps the light of their unique life force has no further existence and is merely extinguished for all eternity.

One way or another, death and grief signifies an end with a non-negotiable permanence. In that is the cold comfort, but comfort nonetheless, of certainty.

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Heartbreak has no such certainty, for the other carries on. They are out there in the world, living a life that no longer includes me. They will experience joys I cannot share, pains I cannot soothe, mundane moments I cannot laugh with them at, and ultimately love and attention from others I can never know, but who feel like the inverse of all my inadequacies.

Every limitation I feel in myself, the next man will not have. Every weakness that marks my character, the next man will not share. Every trauma and shadow, he will not carry. He will create happinesses I never could have, despite my greatest efforts. I wilt in the face of that.

And in that moment I collapse into my own emptiness, a hollow feeling that rests just beneath my heart, into which my heart sinks despite my desire to keep it aloft for a world that seems to tolerate no sadness in its demand for joviality, however superficial.

So I smile to strangers with my face, because my heart cannot. I feel a sleepiness cascade down over my eyes, like warm cotton, because sleep is preferable to tears…

Until that moment when I wake alone, whether in the morning or the dark, and reach out with my energy body to feel a connection that once was as natural to me as the rhythm of my own breath, but that now is amputated. Love like a phantom limb.

And what can I do then but exist? Life doesn’t stop. Meanwhile the pain turns in me like a wheel. First rising with these thoughts and sensations in a panic, running and bumping into each other with no route of escape, save perhaps a wail.

Then the pain turns again, descending first to numbness, then to nothingness.

The space it leaves permits a forgetting, a temporary immersion in the moment, something similar to normalcy. Until the next turn upwards rips through me trailing a thought, a sight, a smell.

So as this wretched wheel, which I helped build, turns silently inside, I must put one foot in front of the other. Breathe in, breathe out. Go do a thing. See a friend. Move, and stay in motion.

Repeat this until… will it be always? Can I tolerate the idea of it not being? Is it possible to entertain the thought that someday that same non-negotiable permanence of grief will lend its certainty here, and that It will truly be Over? Then the unimaginable will have come to pass. I feel ashamed to want that, because in this moment is at least Something, the last crumbs on the plate of a delicious meal. Morsels not big enough to offer a sensation of flavor, but still maintaining a texture that conjures the memory of when things were Good and Real, nourishing and rich.

Future Me echoes backwards in time, “This is right. It will be alright.” But fuck him. I want his empathy and he offers advice. I need a warm heart and body which wisdom cannot replace.

And all I want to say is, “I am sorry.” For the little boy in me remembers the times when love was withheld, or withdrawn. Losing love now touches the pain from then, and the little boy only knows how to apologize to bring the love back again, as that worked before.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry! Come back.

If only it were about apologies. If only it were so simple. If only it were about making wrongs right, and mistakes uncorrected. But it isn’t.

So I am alone, inside myself but without myself.

And once again I find a new companion, this feeling, heartbreak, the hardest which we are meant to feel, and thus accept.

6 thoughts

  1. Yes, deeply so. Thanks for sharing from the depths of your heart.
    I have felt the same emotions quite intensely too in the past. I sought love from the outside to fill my emptiness as I did not feel worthy of myself at the time. When the love has left which I depended on as the main form of happiness like couldn’t breathe without it to the point of making me felt very low, sad and a sense of loss like a part of me went dead and numb to ease the emotional pain of loss. It made me question how and why I felt the way I did, which was attachment to the person and dependency and fear of being alone and never find anyone that can give me the feeling of love which I have projected onto him as the only source of love, romantic or otherwise. I have grown a lot after the experience of heartbreak and setting boundaries for myself and others whether with a partner, a family member, co-workers or friends. When I come to give myself more care, priority, self-respect, comfort and self-love more I then realized that as well as being strong and support myself like a best friend would I am showing the world how I wish to be treated.

    Much love and Joy on our journey of Love ~ it is felt deep from within our heart space unconditionally. Gracefully.
    ~Kerry~
    Pieces of Love http://www.facebook.com/piecesoflove111

    1. as someone who has spent the “better” part (i have to use the word better….because i know i am) of the last year healing a heart that was wounded on the field ….just trying to keep it together so many of the days…….to not run out of a room noticeably to go cry or not go crazy wondering what could have happened….or replaying over and over again the misunderstanding must have occurred and what i could have done to be different….etc….etc …ad infinitum …where i went wrong in life….. i know it’s all different for each person…but i really feel you…. the sleep, the things that i loved that now are tethered to her….feeling guilt for not being a better friend to others during my personal and prolonged suffering (that i do acknowledge as having more slack since the end of january …after some interesting insights occurred in my inner realm of existence) .. the process of severing ties that no longer serve me and still wondering if it’s me or her that wasn’t serving me….

      i have so much love for you, will, and i acknowledge how the pain you’ve felt has carved it’s mark…there are somethings that will never allow us to go back …and the exposure to the new elements is nothing short of debilitating without the comfort of whatever that feeling was of home (i’m only speaking from my experiences)….it feels hauntingly familiar and and it aches me to know you’ve had such pain and it comforts me that we’ve had this heart connection and on some vibrational level we’ve been surfing this wave together and apart. …i know we have incredibly different stories leading to “here”.. you’re a beautiful soul…thank you for sharing this and may you and i always find home inside yourself ….and wherever you look…worthy, worthy soul .. <3

  2. Your strength shows clearly through your words. Your eloquence is heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. I don’t know why my eyes are leaking … but thank you for the insight 🙂

    1. Tyler!!! Thanks so much for checking out my blog! And for discovering this post. It means a lot to me that this piece touched you. It was a tough moment in my life, and of course I felt alone going through it. But that it reaches you makes me feel like maybe I wasn’t so alone, after all. <3

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