Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief


My mom’s friend greeted me warmly at a recent fundraiser.

She embraced me and said, “how is your heart?”

I was taken aback a bit and didn’t answer. She answered for me, “It is still broken isn’t it? Of course it is.”

“Well yes,” I finally said, ” it will always be. It should be shouldn’t it? It should always be broken,” As I paused, I suddenly felt so grateful for the question.

I am fine. The whole of me gets up everyday and functions through life in a somewhat sensible fashion. But my heart, my poor continually beating heart, is quite broken.

And I was grateful to address my committed organ, my overachiever, my lovely, poor beating heart; she tends to get overlooked.

I paused after her question and then said, “But Heart is better than she was last year. She is healing but will always be broken and that is okay.” I pounded my chest in King Kong fashion.

I like King Kong.

And then I went back to shopping for jewelry.

Ironically, our president of Miracles for Mito posted about her heart. Lovely heart….35 million beats in a year heart…strong heart, amazing heart. Here is her post:

If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden. ~Claudia Ghandi

I sat with a friend at the hospital on Friday while her husband had heart surgery. They were putting a patch on a hole in his heart. As we sat waiting for news as to whether the hole could be closed, I started thinking about the hole in my heart. The hole in my heart is not due to anatomy or genetics. My heart has a hole for all the children and adults that deal with diseases that keep them too close to hospitals.

I have a hole in my heart that gets just a little bigger when I see someone suffering after losing a child, friend, or parent or watching the frustration as they wait for new research and progress for treating the medically fragile. It breaks my heart.

The hole in my heart is not a fixed size though; it aches and heals with each individual person’s story. The boy who just got a puppy that adores him — healing.

Losing my snuggle bug to mitochondrial disease — aching.

Seeing the huge smile on a sister’s face when she hugs her brother — healing.

Watching a healthy man with two children going to the hospital — aching.

Watching him come home and hug his children with no more hole in his heart — healing.

So the whole cliché “I have a hole in my heart” really hit home this week. I prodded and poked at the hole in my heart. Some days I wish someone could patch mine, but most days it reminds me to enjoy the beautiful, healing moments and gives me strength during the scary, sad times. Most importantly, that hole holds the memories of those I can no longer hug

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s