It was loud, and violent, and left behind little jagged edges that made me bleed.
Which made me think of the heart, and how, when it breaks, there is no sound. There is no loud shattering announcing to the world that it has broken. The only person who may bleed from the jagged edges it leaves behind is you. How many times can a heart break before you've lost too many of those little shards, and you can't ever get it glued back together, whole again?
It seems wrong, somehow. When you break a leg or an arm, you've got a cast on, announcing to the world that you've been damaged. But when your heart is broken, and let's face it, the pain from that is far worse than any bone in a cast can ever be, no one knows unless you tell them.
And so, no one will know. I'll paste on the smile I've gotten very good at flashing at people, to distract them from the pain in my eyes. I'll keep it quiet, because letting people know would open a world of issues and some friends, who have finally stopped looking at me with pity and concern in their eyes, would go back to wondering how close I really am to the edge, which is honestly something they do not want to know.
The thing is, when all is right with the world, and our hearts are bursting with love, the joy that fills you, fulfills you, makes you feel whole, no matter how damaged your body may be. Love can make all the other horror in the world melt away. It bolsters you, like a shot of whiskey in your tea, against the things that are cold, and wrong and hard in the world.
When the heart is broken, there is unbearable pain, and to ignore the pain is to feel hollow. So for now, I am hollow. My arthritis has flared, and badly. I can barely walk, my knees are swollen, my hips are throbbing, and my spine feels like it is on fire. I am exhausted, from the arthritis fatigue, and the very fact that the pain wears me out, it tears at my soul, and I don't have that much will to fight things sometimes. But I can take the physical. I haven't had a day without pain in over three years, it is my constant companion, and at times, it was the only thing reminding me I was still alive. I can take the physical. But the pain in my heart, the pain of letting go of something you held so close, of realizing something is completely, truly and finally gone. The feeling of those little shards poking around inside you, making you bleed on the inside is just too much to manage as well.
Hollow isn't such a bad thing, though. Hollow doesn't hurt. Hollow doesn't make me feel so overwhelmed with pain that I might vomit. Hollow is empty. But emptiness implies a space that maybe, just maybe, will be filled again.