The Terrain of the Heart


If cancer is a filter, living after death is an alternate universe.

It is both vastly empty and filled with more than you can hold.  It is exhausting, it is stretching you thin and exposing your bones.  It is colorless and vivid.  Everything is heavy, everything is passing you by while you move in slow motion.  You get carried up in its currents and you carry it constantly within you.
It is encompassing.

Living with death is choices.
It is an empty bed.
Accomplishing things you never knew you could or wished you would.
It is constant.

In one instant.  Vibrant, dynamic life stopped.  Though really it was more than an instant.
Mine continues on.
Vivid and loud with grays and silence.
Sinking underwater- though it always finds a way to leak out.
Tears help me swim.

I have our cats
I have your jacket
I have a different apartmentschedulebedcarfavoritesong
I have our life in memories, as much as I can remember
I have very little strength today

Though it feels like I don’t have the energy to stand there, it’s a two-shower day anyway.

I’ve been thinking about the phrase “terrain” as it relates to the heart.  I never knew how vast it is, how uncharted.  There is so much expanse… so much pioneering with every choice and every turn.  So much space.
My voice is getting clearer- maybe soon it will be louder.
Although, it’s okay to need a microphone.

I don’t write for sympathy, or to bring up sadness or worry.  I write to process, to flow.  I write to chart the terrain and help others find a map- or borrow mine, if it helps.  I write so we can relate to each other in our pain.  I write to engage in the colors of my life that are beginning to seep into the pages; to feel the vibrance without needing to package it in conversation.

I write to recognize the And.  This is one part of it.

4 thoughts on “The Terrain of the Heart

  1. Hey! A friend of mine told me your name, and I have been reading your writing a lot today. My husband passed away a year ago next week, and this week has been so crappy. Just wanted to let you know that your honest words in this post and many others have helped me to feel normal today–so thanks!!

    Praying for you!


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