Monday, February 13, 2012

Heartburn - and how I named this blog

There's a movie from the 80's called Heartburn. I haven't seen it in many years, but I remember watching it several times with my best friend Rochelle. We were in high school, and it was a very grown up movie for us to see, not our usual fare of Back to the Future and Can't Buy Me Love.

Carly Simon sang a song for the soundtrack of that movie, and it quickly became a favorite song for both Rochelle and me. The song, Coming Around Again, includes children singing Itsy Bitsy Spider. That song has been a frequent flier in the soundtrack of my life, and my favorite lyric is, "so don't mind if I fall apart, there's more room in a broken heart."

Over the last few months, I've been through a bit of an emotional wringer. Another friend, another cancer, another child left to grow up without his mom, and another husband left without the wife he adored. If you know me, you know I've been down this road. I understand what it's like to lose someone you love. This time, however, it wasn't MY best friend. Instead, it was a family member's best friend, and a lifelong family friend. In some ways, that made it harder.

While I was losing a friend too, I felt the pain that my family member was experiencing . I saw what she would go through before she did. I could anticipate the course of emotions, the frustration, the anger, the helplessness, the worry, the need to drop everything and just be with your friend. And yet, I couldn't totally understand because she deals with life differently than I do. This cancer was different. The families involved had different communication issues. There was tension I hadn't felt when Rochelle was ill and dying.  So, while the stories had similar endings and parallels, they are different.

Regardless, my pain in losing Holly was compounded by the memories and pain it stirred up. Things I'd already dealt with and worked through and scars that were healing from when Rochelle died were ripped open. I felt like I'd taken a giant step backwards, and I suppose in some ways I did. I retreated into comfort mode. Comfort food, comfortable clothes, comfortable couch potato life.

But what does that have to do with this blog? Well, let me tell you. I got sick of being comfortable. I was so comfortable some of my clothes were becoming less so. Nothing too drastic, but my running shoes had not been getting much of a workout and it was showing. So, I made a plan to get myself back on track. I started focusing on my diet again. Back to the gym. But I was having trouble staying motivated and sticking to it. Then I realized I was missing the secret ingredient - my monthly dates for acupuncture.

I made an appointment, and back I went. As I was sitting there, catching up with my acupuncturist, telling her the story of the last few months, she reminded me of how far I've come, even though I've slipped backwards for now. There were several things she said that day that stuck with me. She's good at that - planting seeds of thought. One was a suggestion that I write a blog, because I have a different perspective than a lot of people about grief. So much is written on grief about losing a parent, a child, a spouse. But how much have you seen from a friend's perspective? At the end of the appointment, she said something that hit home so hard I couldn't even speak. She said, "I know it sounds cheesy, but there is more room in a broken heart."

So, I'm here to share my stories. I hope they make you laugh and cry and remember and learn. And when the sun comes out and dries up all the rain...

No comments:

Post a Comment