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what did I know of heartbreak, then?

for what did i know of heartbreak, then?
apart from the expected and formative breakups,
the sad but orderly deaths of grandparents
and of course a handful of beloved pets.
i had wept through sad films –
perhaps more than my share –
and offered an ear, and comfort, at times, to those in mourning.
but as i look at it now, i can see my tender heart
had never truly been broken

and it’s not that i would ever wish
upon myself such losses,
these 4 years of yearning
and sorrow
and struggle.

but as i emerge from this pain
and trace the edges where my heart
truly has been broken now,
i notice how, in the healing,
there is more space for grace.
for my heart has had to learn its way
through unchosen pathways, and
undesired outcomes
and – also – unexpected gifts.

what i know of heartbreak, now,
is that it’s in the breaking apart,
the pain,
the gradual healing,
and the building up again
that we find the gifts
in this surprising, uncertain,
and grace-filled life.

[october 2015]

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