A Broken Heart Does Not Ache

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The first night was the hardest. There were bits of dirt on the cold sheets and the pillowcase was still damp with my tears. I hadn’t really stopped crying in the last eighteen hours, even though those hours felt like years. Every time I closed my eyes even for a moment, I saw him laughing, crying, yelling….

I knew the nights would be the most difficult. I knew that in the devastating quiet of those wee hours my heart was going to implode over and over again.

We had known each other for over a decade, sharing many, many firsts. He was my best friend, the love of my life, my confidant, my dreamer. He was mine… and I was his. For ten years we had loved each other until it hurt, and in just a few moments it was as if none of it had ever even existed. Just a few moments. That was all it took to tear us apart.

I wish there were another word for “heartache,” because when the person you thought was the love of your life hurts you and then leaves, your heart does not ache, it doesn’t even break; it lives on beating and throbbing, but the pain is so much more than any ache. No, the pain is … a living death. You long for another type of pain, any type except for the one slowly destroying you from the inside out; eating away at your body, mind, and soul.

You cry until you are too exhausted to even speak, and if you see even a scrap of something that once belonged to them, you die. A. Little. Bit. More. Suddenly, you are a caged lion pacing a very small, confined space and all you want to do is strike out at anyone that dares cross your path.

Will you ever be happy again? You wonder. That becomes the first question of many, many more that are guaranteed to follow.

No, “ache” is not the right word. Suddenly “ache” seems miniscule, comical.

But there is life after death, and as the minutes become hours, the hours become days, you begin to realize that you can feel again; other emotions than just sadness and anger. You learn to breathe without feeling as if your lungs are going to burst. That first, long breath you take from nearly drowning will always be the sweetest. Slowly, very slowly, you feel the living death begin to metamorphis into peace, laughter and yes … even ache. And you are so very grateful for it.


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