I don’t want to celebrate with you. I don’t want to laugh and smile for you while my heart is deeply torn.
While you enjoy happiness and cheer, I cry. And cry and cry and cry and cry and cry. Then I cry some more. I will cry until I can’t breathe. My chest will hurt. I will gasp for air. I won’t be able to speak at all. My throat will burn. My face will grow hot. I won’t have any more tears but I will still gasp for air while crying. I will cry until I can’t manage anything more than stillness. Still, my heart will be broken. Everything will look dark. I will still be in tremendous pain. And I will lie in that stillness and pain, unable to change anything.
So, I don’t want to celebrate the weddings of people too young to have had a broken heart (although I console myself knowing their parents will die … or their friends will die … or their spouse will die … or their children will die – someday, their heart will be wounded at least a little). I really would rather not see newborns held by their tired, but elated parents – parents seeing the world as newness through the experiences of their infant’s daily growth.
I don’t want to celebrate your birthdays or your successes or your fun times. Because I have a broken heart. Partnering with you in your joy is too hard while I live alone in my misery. Misery that only grows with each passing month. Misery that doesn’t dissipate with tears. Misery coming from a broken heart that may never heal. Misery from pain and loneliness so potent it knocks my breath and reason away.
I have a broken heart. I might die from my broken heart. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next month. Maybe five or ten years from now. Since the hole only seems to be growing, healing is impossible. Medicine doesn’t seem to help. Time hasn’t started to work. Sympathy seems feigned and spiteful. Advice and direction are condescending. And presence and love are very rare, but so painful when they appear.
So, I won’t celebrate with you. Seeing you is painful, dressed up in your joy.
And clearly you can’t see me, in my overwhelming sorrow. Otherwise, wouldn’t you react differently?
Isn’t what people say during times like these, “Goodbye”?