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Broken Hearted


All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,

And to die is different from what any one supposed,

and luckier…

They are alive and well somewhere,

The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,

And if there ever was, it led forward to life,

And does not wait at the end to arrest it,

And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

-Walt Whitman

Summer days slow down time. The sun hangs high in the sky for hours and the midday heat stretches to dusk. Summer is as close to timeless as most of us get in our busy schedules and it is a relief to lose track of what time or even what day it is. We are just here, right now, warm.

This week, time stood still for many of us in our small community when the lazy afternoon heat invited tragedy. We knew this young man who jumped into a cold river and drowned. Many people knew him, he was a star high school athlete and shined with all the glare of our beloved Duck football heroes. In a moment, the unthinkable, the unimaginable destiny that awaits us all suddenly changed the world. Possibility extinguished.

The very next day, the impossible struck again, when a very dear friend, too young to think of the end, didn’t wake up. A lover of all that was bigger than life, he filled up a room by walking in, and laughed heartily at himself and all the wondrous and strange parts of being human. I can’t actually believe that he will never show up again at my door, exclaiming and strangely costumed. It seems impossible.

The unfathomable losses of life that crack your heart wide open and leave you looking at the world broken hearted are a gift. We get in those moments that all the petty and small disputes that can dominate our life and relationships are nothing. We are awake and realize we have another day to tell someone I am sorry or better still, I love you. With a broken heart we come to life wanting to figure out how to love it all, the lovable and the irritating, the easy and the difficult, the happy and the sad.

We never know the last day. So act like today is it. And say the “I love you’s” that have been waiting to fall from your mouth. Give in, give up all that matters least and take this time to do what we are put here to do- love everyone you can.