My heart is raw. It breaks open easily. It doesn't take much. Another memory of the life I lost when Mike died. Another tragic story from another new member of our terrible club. Another heartbreak from a fellow widow having made the effort to find new love and life and been hurt. Another day of pain and sadness in a friend's ongoing attempt to move forward without a beloved partner. Another outcry from a wounded fellow traveler. Another experience of the unfair circumstances that befall any and each of us as survivors.
My heart is broken. I am broken. We are broken.
But I couldn't have made it this far without my comrades in arms. I wouldn't be here, standing, without being part of this community. Without sharing the hurt and pain. Without reading, listening, hugging, grieving, crying, hoping, and yes, even laughing at times, together. Without the common struggle.
I sometimes envision us all standing together in a wide open field. Soft green grass; flowers as pinpricks of color swaying in the warm sun far as we can see, their sweet perfume tingling and lingering. Azure skies with bright, puffy cotton clouds overhead, and a few trees on the outskirts calling their rooted cries of life while we cling together arm in arm - hundreds, thousands, millions of us, holding each other up as we wail into the wind our deepest pain and agony. As we exchange tears, smiles, stories, hugs...as we share that profound experience of the joy of being alive amidst the misery of death leaving us behind.
For what else is life? A solid structure of emotion, color, and landscape. Of hunger, bitterness, loss, love, pain, friendship and beauty, all at the same time, until we go, finally, to whatever place it is our loves have gone.
My heart is open.