Heavy: Heartbreak, Me, & Mary Oliver

This is how I feel, how I have felt this week, my heart a wounded thing, my chest aching and my mind confused beyond what I can bear. I can’t stop crying unless I sleep, and so I sleep a lot. It is currently my best anesthetic.

Please understand that I will be fine. People survive heartache. I am confident that I will. But the only way out of hell is through it, right? I feel so ill-equipped for ambiguous grief, no matter how much I have embraced uncertainty in my life.

I do still trust that God is at work in this pain, as he has always been. This is not the first time in my life that I have lamented being someone who feels things so deeply. Everything hurts. My shoulders and neck, my chest, my jaw and face. It is as if I was in a car accident that landed me in the ER. But no.

My friend reminded me of a poem I once sent to her when she felt this way. Now I will share it with you.

Heavy by Mary Oliver

That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying

I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had his hand in this,

as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel,
(brave even among lions),
“It’s not the weight you carry

but how you carry it –
books, bricks, grief –
it’s all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down.”
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled –
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?


5 thoughts on “Heavy: Heartbreak, Me, & Mary Oliver

  1. While reading this; my heart aches for you. We have never met, and I genuinely hope things are gonna get brighter really soon for you. That’s probably the empath in me, making me feel your pain right now … You are right about one thing, though ; the only way out of hell is through it.
    Hang in there, I do believe God is working something in your favor right now. ❤
    You're only given the battles He knows you can win. ❤
    Take care of yourself, and take it one day at the time!

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