By the time I was 24, I’d had my heart broken approximately 737 times. (Stay tuned for more on that. I call it: A Pisces’ Manifesto.) With each debilitating fracture and then hopeful repair, I would tell myself I couldn’t possibly weather another. And then, right before I turned 25, my feeble heart broke in such a way that the pieces fell into an entirely different pattern- one I didn’t recognize and one I certainly didn’t know how to piece back together. Among everything else it proposes, Death is an affront to our understanding. It will penetrate you from the inside out and convince you that your heart has lost a piece of itself. The emotional repercussions of man’s mortal tenuity are never uncomplicated; it took me years to replace the foreign, fragmented pieces of acumen that were broken that day.
Just like any adversary, broken-heartedness assumes so many different forms. For me, Death has just been the most harrowing of them all. It seems that embedded within all of heartache’s varying forms exists a common thread, though, and that is loss. Loss inevitably creates emptiness. And maybe that’s the throbbing nucleus of the pain- the emptiness. The parting of ways, unrequited love, betrayal, divorce, chronic illness, addiction- or anything else that ransoms our autonomy- mundane jobs, missed opportunities, unreached potential, unfulfilled aspirations, vague identities... basically any and all the varying vicissitudes of life.
Though it seems the hurt will never unleash its grip, it will either eventually subside, or we will eventually become numb to it- which is as tragic and empty a loss as is anything else. But no matter the culprit behind the pain, it is very real, and if we are not careful, it can hollow us out.
A truth I have learned from all 738 heart-breaks, though, is that resting quietly within the immured walls of that pain exists a remnant seed, waiting...
The word “break” has dozens of definitions, the primal of these being “to fracture” (obviously). A few more definitions down, however, we see that it can also mean “an interlude”, and if one dares to venture even further, “an opening.” Considering these definitions in context with a heart most broken, we can apply it thus: that harboring a broken heart is the act of surrendering to an “interlude in which an opening is created”. That opening is where the remnant seedlings get planted, and new pieces of love have the chance to effloresce into something restorative. The throbs of your heart may beat differently for these new seedlings than they did for the ones lost to you, but they will beat as sure as the ones before them, and they will eventually fill the emptiness. So, I implore, surrender to the interlude; let the opening expand within you, for the more expansive the opening, the more room that seedling has to grow into something beautiful. You may always miss the piece of your heart that was lost to you, but you will be healed, with time, as the new love grows. And it doesn’t mean you forget who or what it was that beat there before. It just means that you now have learned how to trust your heart again, after time and time again, it fails you.