The human heart contains four chambers: two upper (the atria) and two lower (the ventricles). There is a wall of muscle known as the septum separating the two sides. Enter the pericardium: a double-walled sac that encases the heart, protecting and anchoring it inside the chest.
But honestly? None of that really matters to you when you feel it breaking. Instead, you search for some sort of answer, like maybe Google will lead you the right way. There’s got to be some elixir out there. A tonic you can obtain that will make it better. Make it not so incredibly painful. Maybe knowing scientific lingo and knowing what exactly makes up that pumping, bloody organ will ease the ache. Because you know it isn’t really broken. It’s beating. It’s working.
So why doesn’t it feel like it is?
You’ll wonder if it’s possible to be living dead. Maybe zombies do exist. You think you’re one of them. Your heart, beating in the pericardium, protected. Whole. Beating. But everything inside you hurts. You’re afraid people will know you’re walking around, just the shell. Just the pericardium. All of your insides are hollowed out. You don’t feel anything. Or you feel too much. You feel so much it’s overpowering everything else.
Broken hearts are splattered everywhere. On street corners with couples trying to keep it together. On pages of poetry, memoirs, artists trying to make something beautiful out of a very difficult time. We’re all just doing that. Trying to make it through. Make it to the other side. We’re pushing through dirt and darkness so that we can remember the sun does shine again. Because it does. It always does.
We forget how common this broken-heart-syndrome has become. We’re convinced of our own isolation and that we’re alone in this. We retreat so far into our own solitude that we become a bit blind. We’re sick with our own grief and fail to see how unifying it actually can be. There are so many other people out there just trying to find the light again. We’re so clouded in our own misery, we forget to even look around. We don’t take the time to notice the broken hearts right next to us.
Something is going to break your heart. That’s just the way it goes, babe. It might be a person. It might be an event. A situation, disappointment. There are so many things that can stab that little sucker. But it’s part of life. And it’s something we all share. The human experience is realizing we’re in it together.
Don’t you see that? We’re in this together. All of it. The shit. The beautiful parts. The feeling so alone. We’re together in that. Isn’t that pretty amazing? Someone else is reading this. Someone in a completely different room, with a different life, with potentially a broken heart, is reading this. And you don’t know them. But you’re with them. Here. In this moment.
You’ll heal. Time doesn’t erase wounds, but it does teach us how to navigate with them. And sometimes? Yeah, time can get rid of those wounds altogether. And someone else out there will be healing too.
Others will have hearts breaking as yours is growing stronger. And maybe you’ll take the time to truly see them, to recognize the process they are about to enter and remind them: you are not alone. We are all here with you. And you will be okay. I promise, you will be okay.