It’s that time, well, actually, past that time but I guess when it comes to doing the Time Warp, time is relative, right? My friend Kathy at Bereaved and Blessed hosts this blog hop once a month. She explains, “The gist of Time Warp Tuesday is to revisit and share some of our favorite blog entries from our archives and reflect on our journeys since we wrote them.”
Appropriately, the theme for February is heart. With Valentines Day upon us the matters of the heart are all around us. Everywhere you look is your big chance to show your affections by showering your sweetheart with Valentine sentiments. To show them what is in your heart. Thanks to good marketing the possibilities are endless. Your choices span from heart shaped pizza to donuts to chocolate, to cookies, to tasty truffles…and if you are really lucky…big gluey, sticky construction paper hearts with rough edges and cryptic messages written with the best crayon left in the school supply box.
I wish matters of the heart were always this clear. But they are not. The heart is delicate and can be broken. Once broken, not easily healed. But being a complex organ it is capable of loving beyond measure despite being cracked.
And how would it be if matters of the heart were always so clear as to be eloquently stated on a heart shaped piece of paper?
When I began my blog in May of 2010, my heart was newly shattered. There was no “healing” taking place. I was too numb to even consider that “h” word.
In fact, when I first began writing, the subject of such grief and pain was only mentioned as an after-thought. You see, I was seeking only to entertain. My intention was to write the humerous antecdotes surrounding Johnny’s adventures. When I went back and read through a few posts I found I skipped around any matters of the heart and stuck to the topic of my Johnny and his brothers. This then became a sort of escape. Then my life could appear only funny, and not sad. Tears of a clown, isn’t that what they say.
With my heart not in it, blogging was more of a chore. Even though I really, really love a good story, followed by a big ol belly laugh, while ignoring the contents of my heart it was becoming too difficult.
Around the 16 month anniversary of Madeline’s death I was overwhelmed with fresh grief and sadness. The thought that she had been gone from this earth as long as she had graced and blessed us brought a wave of emotion. This mixed with the memories of her last moments haunting my days. I felt a certain anxiety pushing me to try to assign words to these feelings. Instead of thinking what readers wanted to read, I listened to my heart.
So I chose this post I wrote in March, 2011, at the 16 month anniversary of Madeline’s death. I have since been told on many occasions that I write from my heart. But that has not always been true, I can pinpoint when my writing shifted. This, I believe, was my first product of listening to the calm place in my heart and not all the noise in my head. And in that calm place I dumped the contents of my shattered heart into this post and the words seemed to flow. Fluid but raw.
It is entitled, “Sweet 16, Baby Girl”.
Almost a year has passed and my heart has moved from the sharp pain of shattered fragments to an ache of longing and emptiness. I feel that I no longer remember who I was before Madeline was born let alone the person I was before she died.
Pouring my heart out in this space has helped put a few pieces back together. As you know by now, that post was just the beginning and I continue to write about Madeline, her life, and my life after loss. At times it is very raw and other times my heart simply overflows with love and my sweet memories
I still struggle with many “if-only’s” and “what-if’s.” Unloading some of this has brought unexpected rewards. Instead of people running away in droves I have actually developed relationships with others, some struggling with a similar loss, some who just have a better understanding of my world and strong shoulders.
It is difficult to quiet all of the noise. To make any sense of how and why this is now my life. I don’t know if this is something my mind can answer because in matters of the heart, there is a voice from the broken pieces, trying to be heard, if only one will listen.